Born in 1932, known as "Speedy" to ropers for years, the handsome bay stallion is known to the history books as Driftwood.
Driftwood made a name for himself in the late 1930s as a rodeo horse, when he was known as "Speedy". He was owned by a man named Asbury Schell, who calf roped, team tied, steer roped and bulldogged off the stallion he called Speedy, a well as occasionally stock saddle races. In 1941, the Peake's tried to buy Speedy, but since Schell earned his living as a rodeo cowboy, they were only able to talk Schell into letting them breed seven mares to the stallion that spring. The next year, with World War II rationing curtailing rodeo's Schell finally sold Seedy to the Peakes for $1500. There was some confusion about the stallion's pedigree, and it took three years before the Peakes were able to track down the previous owners before Schell and find out enough of the horse's breeding to register the stallion with the AQHA, and by that time the name "Speedy" had already been registered, so the horse was registered as Driftwood instead.
He was a blood bay; not real big and definitely showed his Thoroughbred breeding. And he could run! Driftwood stood 14.3-15 hands and showed adequate bone and foot size. Driftwood was very well balanced and showed and alertness that is still evident to his progeny. He was also an extremely smooth riding horse with an easy disposition.
Driftwood was a tough horse. He stood up under the pressure of rodeoing with the long hauls, numerous riders and changes of climate and feed. Even with all the hard use, however, he never lost his good disposition. "Driftwoods" ability to sire quick speed, performance ability, the mental attitude to retain training, functional conformation and physical stamina to stand up under hard use, and carry the traits on down through the generations, is what made "Driftwood" unique amoung stallions. Many stallions are outstanding performers themselves but are not able to pass the same talent on down through the generations. "Driftwood" did. Generations later, "Driftwoods" are know to be very trainable and excellent at any event they are asked to perform in. Driftwood has had winners in virtually every event possible including barrel racing, reining, working cow horse, roping, cutting and western riding. They are known to be graceful movers and are very cowy. They are also known to be huge stoppers.
During the following seventeen years, "Driftwood" sired a whole arena full of top performers in the show ring, the race track, and the rodeo arena. For over a half a century a bay stallion has passed down his own tremendous performance ability and, in the process given horsemen something that they were proud to ride. An old rodeo adage is, "A man has to be well mounted to win" and with a "Driftwood" he was.
Driftwood sired two horses that earned their AQHA Race Register of Merit, as well as nine daughters that produced Race Register of Merits. He sired nineteen foals that erned a Performance Register of Merit from the AQHA, and one foal earned a year end High Point Award. Many of his offspring competed on the professional rodeo circuit, where Driftwood made a name for himself by siring more top rodeo horses than any other sire of his time. Amoung the outstanding rodeo horses he sired were Driftwood Ike and Firewood. Others included Poker Chip Peake and Henny Penny Peake, who won the 1953 and 1954 Paific Coast Hackamore Championship.
Driftwood Died in 1960 and in 2006 he was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame. In 2007 Western Horseman magazine chose Driftwood as number five on their list of ten ranch horse bloodlines.
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