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22nd annual Return to the Remuda brings horse world to Guthrie Oct. 5-6

6666, Pitchfork, Beggs, Tongue River collaborate on tradition
Kay Ellington
Thursday, October 4, 2018
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HORSE COURSE: The Four Sixes ranch in Guthrie will be the center of the horse world this weekend with its 22nd Annual Return to the Remuda Sale. Anyone who buys a horse is automatically entered into the raffle to win the custom Jeff Smith 6666’s saddle.

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GUTHRIE—On a quiet, sunny autumn afternoon workers trim trees lining Dash for Cash Road at 6666 Ranch. The bronze statue of the eponymous stallion with jockey astride is a subtle reminder of the legacy and lineage of the horses raised on the ranch that Captain Samuel Burk Burnett established in 1900.

Legendary Quarter Horses and superior Black Angus cattle are hallmarks of The Four Sixes, only 22 miles from the Dickens County line. A part of Burnett Ranches LLC, owned by Anne W. Marion, the great-granddaughter of the founder, the ranch stands some of the most well-respected Quarter Horse stallions in the industry, with elite broodmares that produce some of the best race, ranch and sale horses available anywhere.

Since 1996 “The Sixes” has hosted “The Return to the Remuda,” a two-day horse demonstration and sale, in partnership with Pitchfork Land and Cattle Co., Tongue River Ranch and Beggs Cattle Co. The term “Remuda” comes from the Spanish word “remudar,” meaning to change or replace. Cowboys derived the word remuda to signify the roster of seven to ten mounts they depended on for their daily work. This year’s Return to the Remuda festivities will be Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6.

“Horse people from California to Florida and all states in between will come,” said Dr. Glenn Blodgett, horse division manager of the Four Sixes for 36 years. Blodgett estimates 500 people for the horse demonstrations and between 800 and 1,000 for the horse sale.

Along with the Four Sixes, all of the presenting ranches have deep ties to this area. The Tongue River Ranch, established in 1898, is nestled in the communal corners of four Texas counties: Dickens, King, Motley and Cottle. The Beggs Cattle Company extends across seven counties including Kent, Dickens, Stonewall, King, Parker, Garza and Cochran. The Pitchfork Ranch, established in 1883, operates in Dickens and King counties.

A few years ago, Return to the Remuda started inviting guest ranches, and this year’s two guest ranches are the King Ranch from South Texas and the Wagonhound Ranch from Wyoming.

There is no admission for any event and all activities are open to the public.

“This will be the first year we will have a completely covered outdoor arena,” Blodgett said. “This eliminates the risks from inclement weather.” He said one particularly chilly October horse spectators experienced snow flurries. Forecasts for this weekend are warm and sunny.

One hundred and fifty-three horses will be in this year’s horse sale. Last year, the combination of sales of fillies, mares, geldings and stallions netted record sales of more than $1.4 million. Blodgett said he expected some top-selling geldings to bring as much as $60,00 and some of the stallions may generate as much as $75,000.

Against a backdrop of red barns and outbuildings, synonymous with The Sixes, an Old West atmosphere will permeate The Remuda as many of the ranches will have their chuckwagons on site, according to Blodgett, and will also be selling their ranch memorabilia.

Attendees will be flying into the private 6666 landing strip, flying commercial into Lubbock and driving in. Area hotels and motels are expected to fill up, and Blodgett noted that many custom horse trailers now include sleeping accommodations, and many of the guests will be “camping” at the ranch.

Activities get underway Friday at 11 a.m. For more information, call 6666 Ranch at 855-674-6773.