People come to the beautiful white quartz beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama looking for adventure, fun and relaxation in the sand. However less than 15 miles north of world class attractions such as golf, deep sea fishing and historic Fort Morgan, you will find the most amazing ranch-bred working quarter horses in the Southeast United States, if not the world.
I am just an Alabama farm boy, but I have been on horseback a great deal of my life. We can trace our family lineage and see the Lipscomb’s have engaged in farming and raising stock, mainly cattle and horses, at least since the 1700s.
William Lipscomb (1815 – 1898) was farming on a plantation south of Demopolis, Alabama, when the Civil War broke out in 1862. His father, Nathan (1782 – 1862) had just died. William joined the 43rd Alabama Infantry Regiment to fight for the Confederacy. At age 48 he left behind a large family, including his nine year old son, James Phillip (1853 – 1933). He was gone from home for over four years. William participated in battles near Chattanooga, Tennessee, and later was engaged at the ‘Siege of Petersburg”. Part of this time he was detailed on Gooch’s Farm. He was with General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Courthouse when General Lee surrendered to General Grant. After William was paroled by General Grant, General Lee made sure that William had a “good horse” on which he could travel back to Alabama.
James, Ed and Ira all loved working with horses and I remember my Dad searching for the best horses to be found in Baldwin County so that he could add some of their blood to his already fine horses. As good as they were, they did not come close to being equal to our ranch bred quarter horses of today.
I got my first calf when I was two and a half from my aunt for guarding the barn door while she milked her cow. Aunt Theresa gave me her cow’s calf as payment for keeping Daddy’s cows out of the barn while she did the milking. Daddy later sold the calf for me for $42.00 and when I was four years old I gave the money to Mother and Daddy so they could buy our family’s first water heater. About that time, Daddy gave me a heifer calf for my own and that actually started me in the cattle business. Soon after that I got my first colt. Just after I turned seventeen, I bought my first forty acres of land and paid for it in three years. Carole and I still own that forty today. It takes a lot of land to raise horses and cows and I have been very fortunate to live the life I love all these years. It thrills me to see other young families buying their first calf or colt and starting their family on their home place. I hope “Black and Blue Quarter Horses” will become a part of or carry on many families traditions, just as that first heifer calf and colt carried on the Lipscomb livestock legacy.
I love the western way of working livestock and being mounted on one of our top horses is a thrill. I consider myself a ‘livestock breeder” more than anything else. I believe I have some talent in figuring out which animals to cross in order to produce the ultimate individuals for the next generation of offspring. After that, the pleasure is in seeing someone take our offspring and make them champions “WE BREED THE BEST TO THE BEST TO OUT PERFORM THE REST” .