Pitzer Ranch, Ericson, Neb.
SINCE ITS START after the end of the Great Depression in 1944, the Pitzer Ranch has produced horses built to drag a 1,700-pound bull or spin steers at the WNFR. Most famous for iconic stallion Two Eyed Jack, today Pitzer Ranch puts out 250 to 300 colts each year, selling a high percentage to jackpot team ropers.
“We’ve tried to keep our structure and our muscle pattern made the right way for it,” said Jim Brinkman, grandson of Pitzer Ranch founder Howard Pitzer. “And, of course, their dispositions are a priority. I tried to go into the cutting horses as outcrosses, and right now I’m trying a Corona Caliente horse. I want to keep some speed and size. We always kept more size and structure than the cutters and the reiners. That lends itself to the team roping deal.”
The Pitzer Ranch still runs plenty of beef cattle, so colts that aren’t sold as weanlings at the Pitzer Sales stick around to do ranch work until they’re ready to hit the jackpots. Most Pitzer Ranch 4and 5-year-olds are scooped up by ropers as soon as they start to get solid, Brinkman said.
“We have 50 or 60 years of selection,” Brinkman added. “These horses they do have a natural inclination to be rope horses compared to some of the outcross horses I’ve had. Over time, it does start to make a difference. We’re putting out 250 to 300 colts a year. Take that times 50 years, that’s a lot of horses.”
Some of Pitzers horses also end up in the horse show market and the feed yards, but a vast majority end up in the hands of recreational ropers. Most of Pitzer’s mares have been roped, shown in the reining or roping or even shown in the halter classes until they become broodmares.