Although Groves has left her Kingsville roots for Silverbrook Ranches in Baird, Texas, her ties to the ranch founded by her great-grandparents have defined her 50 years in the horse business. The ranch is the subject of a new book by Groves entitled, "Bob and Helen Kleberg of King Ranch."
Helen Groves, whose family owned King Ranch, will receive the T.I. "Pops" Harkins Award from the Texas Thoroughbred Association at the organizations 50th anniversary celebration and annual conference.The conference, June 23-25, will be held at the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott in Marble Falls, Texas. The award is presented for lifetime achievement in the Thoroughbred industry.Founded in 1853 by Captain Richard King, King Ranch covers nearly 1,300 square miles of south Texas, making it larger than the state of Rhode Island. Today the ranch's 825,000 acres are part of a diversified agribusiness corporation with interests in cattle ranching, farming, citrus groves and even recreational hunting.The famed running 'W' brand is also known for its Thoroughbred stable which included Kentucky Derby winners Middleground, who won the Run for the Roses in 1950, and 1946 Triple Crown victor Assault.Known as 'the first lady of cutting,' Groves has spent the past few decades breeding, raising, and riding cutting horses and competing in major shows. She is often called an ambassador to the equine industry for her strong support of equine research and contributions to the development of the American Quarter Horse. Groves also breeds and campaigns Thoroughbreds alone and in partnership with her daughter, Helen Alexander, who owns Middlebrook Farms near Lexington.Groves is a member of the National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame, National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.