Our ranch legacy is a credit to the vision and commitment of Howard Pitzer. Nearly sixty years ago, starting in 1946, he became serious in his Quarter Horse interests. By taking his early depression-era experience as a stockman and combined with the heritage of his horse trading father, he was destined to make a mark in the horse industry that would last virtually for generations.
In 1944 Howard started the Pitzer Ranch by renting grass for 25 cents per acres and taking in cattle. Any profit went to purchase land and cows. Living expenses in those days came from trading horses.
Howard always believed in selling horses on the truth…and nothing else. Keeping the trade talk to the facts was always important to him.
Representing horses as they were was the only way he would have it. This continuing Pitzer core value is the basis for the numerous repeat buyers over the decades.
The foundation Pitzer stud was Pat Star Jr purchased in 1956. But destined to make the largest impact was the lineage of the legendary Two Eyed Jack that began with Howard’s purchase of this great stud in 1964. Shown aggressively until he was nine, earning 217 halter points, and also in performance events including western pleasure, hunter, reining, western riding and working cow horse. He was even used on barrels a time or two, he worked cattle on the ranch but his best contribution was as a breeding stallion.
By the time Two Eyed Jack was retired, he had sired 1416 foals, 119 AQHA Champions and 30 Youth Champions including 31 Open and Youth World or Reserve World Championship winners. After the adoption of AI, he was bred to as many as 434 mares in one season, proving to be one of the all-time prepotent breeding studs in Quarter Horse history.
Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Hall of Fame in 1997 was Howard along with his pride and joy, Two Eyed Jack, the all time-leading sire of AQHA champions and prominent cornerstone of our Pitzer Ranch program.
The operation has ranged from 10,000 to 30,000+ acres over the years, located in the Sandhills region northwest of the small ranch town of Ericson, Nebraska. With an abundance of both grass and water the ranch today supports both reputation Quarter Horses and Angus cattle.
Since the ranch’s first production sale in 1977, marketing efforts today now include both fall and spring sales that annually draw buyers from throughout the US and frequently with buyers from other countries also represented.
Howard died in 1998 after living a very full and rewarding life. His pride and passion continues today at the Pitzer Ranch that he founded, now through his family and the blood of the fine horses he bred. Today Howard and wife Florence’s only child and daughter, Kay Brinkman-Miller; grandson Jim Brinkman, his wife Tana, and their children, Sam and wife Kendra and daughter Rio; Sarah and husband Lane Larreau, son Kale; granddaughter Jane and her husband Joel Qualm with their five daughters Jayna and husband Kylan Iwanski, children Paisley, Macee & Averey,
Jessica husband Brent Swick, son Aden and daughter Addie, Jenita, Joni and Jentry all live on or help with the ranch in some form.
Keeping Howard’s philosophy, vision and commitment is a constant with everyone involved. We welcome your visit anytime as we always enjoy talking about horses…just like Gramps did!