Waimea’s first horses, descendents of the Spanish Mustangs, arrived in 1830’s, and as cattle ranching grew, raising horses became a significant part of operations. In the 1900’s, when Alfred W. Carter was Ranch manager, the horses of Parker Ranch were almost as well known as the cattle. And because he started using Thoroughbreds imported from the mainland, and focused additional resources on raising and training horses, the Ranch produced not only working horses, but fine race horses and polo ponies as well. Parker Ranch also supplied many horses to the U.S. Cavalry and the Army, including personal horses to General Patton, and also to the Japanese Emperor and His Royal Riding Stable.
Today’s Parker Ranch horses are still legendary. Primarily AQHA Registered Quarter Horses, approximately 125 are raised on the Ranch, except for the importation of breeding stallions. Using AQHA stallions, about 25 mares are bred each year for good temperament, cow sense, and ranch usability, and all training takes place on the Ranch. The Ranch holds a Horse Auction every year to sell excess stock, in conjunction with the Labor Day Rodeo, which is tremendously successful.