Philipp Ranch,

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Raising The Bar -

THE PHILIPP FAM­ILY FOALS out 40 to 50 brood­mares at their Texas ranch an­nu­ally, and they keep most of the foals un­til they’re 4- or 5-year-olds to sell in their an­nual pro­duc­tion sale. The pro­gram, founded by John­nie and Kathy Philipp more than 30 years ago, fea­tures foun­da­tion blood­lines that trace back to King.

“We want horses that are big enough to head on,” said John Philipp, the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of Philipp run­ning the op­er­a­tion with brother Shane. “A nice­sized horse that will hold up and do the job. Nowa­days, the cut­ters keep get­ting smaller and smaller and finer-boned and lit­tler-footed, and just about 10 per­cent are big enough to head on. We’re look­ing for head-horse types. We want them to watch a cow, but have the size to pull a steer and do the job. Our stud is a Dun Com­man­der—Old King breed­ing, out of a Rocket Wran­gler mare, so he has some run. I’m a fan of the Shin­ing Sparks. They all can run and stop, so we have a Shin­ing Spark stud, too. We’ve rid­den a lot of our mares, so they have a per­for­mance record. They’re just as

im­por­tant if not more im­por­tant than the studs.”

The Philipp fam­ily is are rais­ing horses for the meat of the mar­ket—the gen­eral team rop­ing pub­lic. They strive to put a foun­da­tion on their horses that makes them a plea­sure to ride, John said.

John and Shane Philipp both have rid­den their horses in the pro­fes­sional ranks, pulling checks ev­ery­where from Cheyenne, Wyo., to Beau­mont, Texas. They start their colts as 2-year-olds and, put 30 to 60 rides on them, then kick them back out. Then they put each colt on a cow or ranch on them when they’re 3, and start rop­ing on them at 4.

“I’ll buy a few prospects,” John said. “I’ll try some dif­fer­ent blood­lines, but nowa­days it’s hard to go buy those horses. The size just isn’t there. That’s why we try to raise them.”

The Phillip Ranch sells its colts and sad­dle horses each May at the Bra­zos County Expo Cen­ter in Bryan, Texas.

BOBBY HAR­RIS AND STEEL TRAP

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