Joe Queen 11423

Joe Queen

Joe Queen ~~ born 1952. Sire: Joe Reed II   Dam: Queenie.  Joe Reed II also sired Leo, Joak and several other greats of his day. Joe Queen ran AAA, was a great reining horse and yet never found someone like Bud Warren to manage his genetics. 

In the early days of Quarter Horses, Texas was the place where they nested. The bull-dog type rodeo, and ranch horses often evolved out of Texas. When money started to follow the QH racing industry California took the industry to the West Coast where Los Alamitos Race Track was where it happened. The industry was led in the Rocky Mountain states by the Wiescamp horses who were ranch, race and fancy conformation horses. The Quarter Horse Congress pulled the business to the Mid West and Oklahoma pulled a lot of the race industry out of California.  However, with all the migration, in the sixties and seventies, California was where the Quarter Horse made fame and money.  California was also the home of early sliding reining horses.

Joe Queen was a great reining horse ridden in hackamore by Tony Diaz. He was an athlete and had the hot blood as evidenced by the ripple muscle that always photographed well. He was a big horse. As an individual he was far better than his more famous half brother, Leo.

Although photographing horses took me to all corners of the industry, I spent mid April to the last of May annually in California shooting the great stallions.  I first photographed Joe Queen at the Double R Bar Ranch, where Roy Rogers and Dale Evans had lived and shot many of their films.  It was a tight little canyon with no open space for a clean background. The address was 22832 W. Trigger St, just outside of Los Angeles. I think the area was called Chatsworth, CA. Roy and Dale loved kids but gut wrenching things had happened and 3 of their children had died while living at the Double R Bar. Possibly due to some horrible memories, they sold off parts of the very valuable land and little by little the 300 acres was down to a few dozen when I was there.

Audie Murphy had done a Quarter Horse special for Disney, riding Joe Queen in a reining demonstration. Audie Murphy had owned Joe Queen and he was standing him at the Double R Bar. For a breeding farm they did not have a lot of horse facilities, but some of the backgrounds were recognizable from the Roy Rogers films. I did not meet Audie Murphy, but the horse handling people assisted with the photos for Joe Queen promotion. Audie was a decorated US army hero and Hollywood western movie star.   

Author: Darol Dickinson
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