Phil Karr Mixes Cattle Business With Quarter Horses
by Kevin DeBusk
For long time cattleman Phil Karr Quarter Horses are offering him a new challenge. Karr a native of Mt. Pleasant, Mississippi has been raising registered Angus and Charolais since 1986. Now his operation includes approximately fifteen mares and three stallions.
"I had horses till I was out of high school," he reported. "After college I got into the cattle business and really didn't have time to think about horses.
"Right now we're getting our feet wet and going to see what kind of demand there is for these (cow bred) horses. We only got started about a year ago, buying our first mares. This past spring I bought a stallion and over Labor Day I bought two yearling HANCOCK bred stallions from the Leachman Cattle Companies first Quarter Horse sale."
Karrs goal is to produce multipurpose horses. "In the cattle we wanted a balanced trait type cattle and in my horses I want the same thing," he commented. "What amazes me is in our part of the country the horses people are using are real specialized. You go other places and they have horses that they use for whatever task comes about.
"I really think we need to raise these cowboy horses that will do anything you want them to do and that's kind of what we are going to be breeding. The horses we are trying to develop are going to be cow bred to a certain extent but they are also going to have enough running blood in them that they will be fast enough as eventing horses.
"Probably the horses we're breeding are going to be a little bigger than a lot of the horses around here. In order to be versatile you have to have a little more size."
To accomplish this Karr is using knowledge gained from cattle breeding. "I really like horses and like the breeding end of it," he commented. "I like the idea of trying to produce the next great one a lot more than riding the next great one. I want them to be real versatile and be able to do what ever they're asked to do.
"This year we bred our mares to a double bred POCO TATO with a little shot of DOC'S PRESCRIPTION.
In the future on the stallion end of it we're probably going to concentrate on the HANCOCK bred horses we bought.
"Our brood mares, right now, we're not being to selective on, as long as they're out of good proven cow bred bloodlines. We'll even use a few running bred mares to blend it all together."
So where does he hope the future holds? "I foresee we'll get a lot more mares than what we have right now," he answered. "I don't know if we're going to sell weanlings or yearlings or get some of them started. I would like to have enough to justify having someone working some of these horses."
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