For nearly 40 years, the Gist family of Midland has preserved Foundation Bloodlines critical to the development of the modern Quarter Horse. Founded by the late breeding trailblazer, Fred G. Gist and his wife, Elaine Conger Gist, the Wagon Wheel Ranch Breeding Program was primarily designed to concentrate blood of specific legendary sires, including King P-234, Royal King, Joe Hancock, Blue Valentine, Driftwood and Mr. San Peppy.
Now, this collection of superior genetics will form the core of a signature educational program at Sul Ross State University.
President Bill Kibler concisely summarized potentially the largest gift in Sul Ross history:
“This is a game changer,” he said of the donation of the Wagon Wheel Ranch Foundation Quarter Horse breeding program.
The donation agreement, approved Thursday (Aug. 17) by the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, is a multi-faceted plan that would establish a $15 million endowment once all funds are raised. The endowment would support and sustain this unique Quarter Horse breeding program at Sul Ross and establish the Elaine Conger Gist Endowed Professor of Equine Science in the College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.