McDermott Ranch Gets Out of Stallion Business

McDermott Ranch, the leading Thoroughbred breeding farm in Texas in 1999 by progeny earnings, is getting out of the stallion business. Owner Joe McDermott confirmed Oct. 20 that he is in the process of finding new homes for the seven stallions that stood at the Houston-area farm in 2000, and that he no longer will stand any studs at the 350-acre facility.

"My real estate business is taking too much of my time and effort, so I have made the decision to get out of the stallion business," McDermott said. "I'm real proud of the fact that McDermott Ranch was a leading stallion farm in the Southwest for a number of years, but it's time to move on and do other things."

Founded in 1968 in Madisonville, Texas, primarily as a Quarter Horse facility, McDermott Ranch moved to its current location near Waller in the early 1990s and focused exclusively on Thoroughbreds.

McDermott Ranch's 2000 stallion roster featured The Prime Minister, Mi Selecto, Secret Claim, Texas City, Ruhlmann, Hickman Creek, and freshman sire Western City. According to The Jockey Club statistics, those stallions were represented by progeny earnings of $4,570,237 and 23 stakes winners in 1999, topped by The Prime Minister with earnings of $1,276,291 -- seventh-best in the state.

McDermott said the farm's two syndicated stallions, The Prime Minister and Secret Claim -- the latter a full brother to leading sire Gone West -- have been moved to Woodswitch Farm near Navasota. Mi Selecto has been relocated to Cook's Farm near Tuttle, Oklahoma, and Ruhlmann is bound for Fox Hollow Farm near Seguin, Texas.

Western City, a stakes-winning son of Carson City whose first foals will be yearlings of 2001, will take up residence at Ward Animal Clinic near Nacogdoches, Texas, and negotiations are still ongoing for Texas City and Hickman Creek.

Though he won't stand stallions, McDermott said he would remain active as a Thoroughbred breeder. He will retain the farm, keep a small number of broodmares, and race the resulting foals.

"I'll keep my homebreds and race some, and I'll just see if we can raise a runner," said McDermott. "I've owned horses since I was a little boy, and I'll own them until the day I die."