About Us : History of Kalpowar Quarter Horses
Kalpowar Quarter Horses is owned by the family of Ellen and Larry Bell of Midland, Texas. The Bells are both from families who have been deeply involved in agriculture since the late 1800’s. Ellen’s family has deep roots in both the cattle and quarter horse industry in both Kansas and West Texas and Larry’s family has its heritage in both farm and ranch country in Eastern New Mexico.
Ellen and Larry have continued that long standing family tradition through their involvement in ranching interests that include the Parks Ranch in Midland and Ector Counties in West Texas, the UU Bar Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico, the Cathedral Mountain Ranch in Brewster County, Texas, Comanche Springs Ranch in Parker County, Texas and the Kalpowar Station and Kalpowar Brahman Stud in North Queensland, Australia. All three of their children, including Matthew and his wife Ann, Brian and his wife Kara, and Amy are all actively involved in various aspects of the families ranching and quarter horse interests. Ellen’s grandfather, Mr. Roy Parks, Sr., was a pioneer rancher and quarter horse breeder in Midland, Texas for 50 years. Mr. Parks served as president of the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association in 1955 and 1956. He was also president of the American Quarter Horse Association in 1960. It is from some of the original broodmare band bloodlines that Mr. Parks was famous for in the 1950’s and 1960’s that the Bell’s began their own breeding program in 1994.
Although Kalpowar Quarter Horses has only been in existence since 1994, the breeding program is built on a solid plan of crossing some of the best foundation bloodlines in the quarter horse industry with the top performance bloodlines in existence today. The produce of this program, although they are just now getting to the show arena, are a testimony to the wisdom and understanding that have been the foundation of this breeding program.
Even the choice of the name “KALPOWAR” Quarter Horses is based on a tested and successful breeding program. It is a carryover from the “KALPOWAR” Brahman Stud that Ellen and Larry were involved with in North Queensland, Australia. Kalpowar Station is a very large land holding in the outback of the Cape York Peninsula of North Queensland. In an effort to develop a superior quality cattle herd on the property, a very unique but well thought out plan was implemented to create a registered Brahman herd for the purpose of raising “superior” herd bulls that could be used to cross on the “native” English bred cattle who inhabited the station before our arrival. The goal of the breeding program was to have “TAME” bulls that would help produce a quality calf that you could actually find, “round-up”, and deliver to market safely, with the least amount of stress on the cattle and the ranch personnel. Our motto was “WE BREED THEM TAME.”
Yes, in the late 1960’s, Kalpowar Brahman Stud was utilizing a program of “IMPRINTING” our baby Brahman calves. Through a process of breeding selection and careful handling, we were producing the top Brahman bulls in all of North Queensland. And they were easy to handle and manage. When the young bulls were reaching sexual maturity at 15 to 18 months, you could literally walk into a pen of the young bulls, halter and lead them out of the pen and into the truck for shipping. Yet, when they reached their intended destination, they were hardy, aggressive, and masterful at handling their appointed duties.
It is from that experience that Kalpowar Quarter Horses was born. The Bell family and their support staff have developed a quality band of broodmares with a solid foundation of the “old” cowhorse bloodlines, including several who are performers or producers themselves. After crossing these mares with some of the top performance horse bloodlines in the market today, quality foals have emerged. Then, through a well designed plan of “imprinting” and “easy” handling, these young progeny are growing into superior young performance horses that respond immediately to “starting” and “training”.
And in that same rich tradition of “WE BREED THEM TAME”, we also “BREED THEM TO TRAIN”.