National Day of the Horse

December 13, 2021

A Boy with a Dream

Stories about great Quarter Horses like Steel Dust (born in 1843) filled a young boy’s head with dreams of one day owning his own Quarter Horse.  Born into a prominent Osceola County, Florida ranching family, that boy, Edward L. “Geech” Partin grew up working long days on the family ranch with his father and brothers.  The Partin Ranch was well known for its prize-winning Brahman cattle.

Partin boys

The Dream Becomes Reality

In 1934, Geech bought Kip, a 1-year old colt from W.T. Wright of Alice, Texas.  Kip, the first Quarter Horse brought to Florida was loaded on a train and put in the same car as some Brahman cattle, also headed to the Partin ranch.  By the time the train arrived in Kissimmee, the cattle had eaten the hair off Kip’s tail.  When telling the story of Kip’s arrival, Geech said “He was a ratty-lookin’ buggar when he got here”.  But Kip soon showed he was worth every penny.  After working cows on the ranch all week, he would win match races on Sundays.

Partin with quarter horse

The Legacy Continued

The sire of fifteen foals, Kip produced Adios Kip who sired Little Dick Priest, who sired Go Dick Go, a 2-year old colt who won the 1966 All American Futurity.  Geech was one of the founding members of the American Quarter Horse Association when it was formed in 1940.  An active member of the association for fifty-four years, Geech served as a Director numerous times and was Director Emeritus when he died in 1994.  He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1996.

In conjunction with the Silver Spurs Rodeo and Kissimmee Valley Range Show in the mid-1940s, demonstrations were held showing Quarter Horses working cattle, barrel racing with flag and relay races added in later years.  A proposal for a horse racing track was presented to the Osceola County Commissioners in 1981.  Discussions continued for several years but the track never became a reality.

Written by Anza Bast

Sources:  American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame website; “Orlando Sentinel June 29, 1967, November 27, 1981, August 6, 1986, March 3, 1996; Orlando Evening Star November 10, 1947; “Osceola County Centennial Book”