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From the desk of Mr. John Gist
Written on October 4th, 2017

Our Mission…

The preservation and revitalization of the Foundation Quarter Horse in America

Hello reader,

My father, Fred G. Gist was a breeding trailblazer.

When the Quarter Horse Industry was chasing blue ribbons and the latest trends in modern bloodlines as the basis for breeding, Dad took it upon himself to preserve the genetic foundation of the original American Quarter Horse…the horse that helped our ancestors win the West…and the horse that remains crucial in modern ranching.

Over the course of 3 decades, Dad studied, tested, and proved certain breeding principles and refined the process with Dr. Ed Heimann’s Genetic Statistics Inheritance System. In doing so, he was able to preserve and increase the percentage of Foundation Blood in our horses, as well as increase homozygosity and hybrid vigor to ultimately create genetic super horses…horses with both above average homozygosity and hybrid vigor. Basically, these super horses are the total package–horses that can consistently reproduce themselves and perform.

I think of my dad as a trailblazer, because he did something that nobody has ever done before on such a large scale. In the documentary Heritage, Randy Wright said, “…he proved everything and he put everything on the line to prove it…no one else has ever pushed the genetic envelope as hard as Fred Gist did. He was a genius beyond a shadow of doubt.”

Mom and I continued his work at Wagon Wheel Ranch until 2017. Now, the herd is transitioning to become the foundation of a unique educational equine initiative at Sul Ross State University in West Texas. This program will help preserve the American Quarter Horse and empower future horsemen, range stewards, scientists, and industry leaders.

In memory of Dad’s dedication to preserving our western heritage and the American Quarter Horse, The Fred G. Gist Memorial Foundation preserves and promotes the education, preservation, utilization, and history of Foundation Quarter Horses.

By honoring our strong foundation, we touch the lives of future generations!

Thanks for supporting our heritage,

John C. Gist
Founder of


Education is the primary tool available to ensure that future generations uphold the practices and values that we’ve learned to appreciate. The Wagon Wheel Ranch and Sul Ross State University are partnering to create the most impactful equine educational initiative in the world. We intend to help college students…