Potter Ranch History

A lifetime of experience is the foundation for succes at Potter Ranch. The program is a true family affair.


Potter Ranch was established in 1973 when Mel Wendy, and their middle daughter, Jo Lynn moved to Marana, AZ from the east edge of Tucson.  Shortly after that their youngest daughter, Sherry, was born Mel’s interest in Driftwood horses started back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s when many of  the top ropers in Arizona and California were riding these horses to rope on.

He had the opportunity to rope on several of these horses during this time and learned to appreciate what great rodeo athletes they were first hand.  Some of these horses included Poker Chip Peake, Driftwood Ike,  and Speedywood. 

It was soon after that a mare Mel roped on was bred to Speedywood, a son of Driftwood and full brother to Driftwood Ike and several other great rope horses.  He got a colt he named “Charlie” and started roping on him when he was barely 3 yrs old and then started making him into a calf horse.  Unbelievable as it is, after breaking away a few calves, roping 2 large steers to get him stopping hard and roping and tying down 7 calves Charlie was entered in the Tucson Qtr Horse Show (at which time was the 5th largest QH show in the US) and he won the Jr. Calf Roping Class. 

Mel Potter and Clifford Whatley compete in the Team Tying. The pair won quite a bit in this event. They are both riding Driftwood bred horses in this picture.
Mel Potter competing in the Calf Roping on the great Poker Chip Peake. Poker Chip belonged to Dale Smith, and was considered a great mount in the Calf Roping.


Charlie went on to be an outstanding calf horses, head and heel horse and when Jo Lynn wanted to start running barrels he was turned into an outstanding NFR caliber barrel horse.  The barrel training was a time period of 4 weeks and was running times with and sometimes outrunning Wendy’s NFR horse, Auto Dial.  Auto Dial had won the Arizona WPRA title for 6 years and went to the NFR 3 times.  Unfortunately, Charlie died when he was just 6.

 About this time an opportunity arrived that would enable the Potters to acquire a number of daughters and granddaughters of Driftwood Ike, one of Driftwood’s best producing and most famous sons.  These mares were leased out to some of the leading rodeo horse producing ranches in the US, such as Pat Cowan, Craig Haythorn and Bud Tillard.

 Over the years mares that carried the blood of Drifting Sage (full brother to Poker Chip Peake), Easy Keeper, Speedywood, Speedy Peake, Cherokee Jake, Double Drift and Driftwood Ike, all sons of Driftwood, were added to the broodmare bank.  Probably no place in the world can you find this much concentration of Driftwood Blood.  No other bloodlines have carried more rodeo contestants to World Championships than Driftwood.



Roy Alexander making a run at a USTRC with World Champ Jake Barnes. Roy's horse, "Scooter", is a Driftwood bred horse. Ryan Alexander, Mel and Wendy's grandson, competing at an Arizona Junior Rodeo Association. Ryan was the 1999 5-12 age group Champion Calf roper and the 2000 5-12 Ribbon Roping Champion.


When Sherry qualified for the 1994 NFR and had such a tremendous year on her greay horse, “Trouble”, by Lay A Patch and went on to win her 1st World Championship in 1995 riding Troubles and her other outstanding horse, Hawk, Potter Ranch decided to obtain some brood mares that were closesly related to these two great horses.  We had already raised two mares by Leigh Ann Guilkey’s stud “Kid” who had qualified for the NFR 4 times and was runner up to the World Championship twice.  Having seen first hand what a tremendous horse the Driftwood-Sun Frost bred barrel horse, “Bozo” was, the Potter Ranch purchased a full brother, “PC Frenchmans Hayday” aka Dinero.  Over several years they also purchased a number of half sisters to Bozo by the Driftwood bred Sun Frost.


 We hope you will take the time to enjoy the rest of our Web site and will look at the new and updated pictures and pedigrees of our stallions and brood mares.  If you do we think you  will agree that Potter Ranch is the Driftwood &Barrel Horse Blood Bank.









Mel and Wendy Potter • Breeding Mgr. (520) 906-9133
email potterranch@gmail.com



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