One of the biggest hits on television is Yellowstone, starring Kevin Costner as the head of the Dutton family. Set on a sprawling ranch in modern-day Montana, the series is like The Godfather set in the world of cowboys, land developers, and First Nations tribes, all of whom are vying for the pristine land that backs up against the famed Yellowstone National Park.
Created by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, Yellowstone showcases Quarter Horses like no other drama series. Reining horses reign supreme (sorry, couldn’t resist), but ranch horses, barrel racers, and wild mustangs all factor into plots. And this appreciation of the iconic American breed is not happenstance; Sheridan is a Texan and lifelong horseman. He even wrote himself the part of horse trainer Travis Wheatley on the show. Yup, it’s really him putting those reining horses through their paces.
Sheridan, being the Texas cowboy he is, has gone big into Quarter Horses with his recent purchase – along with an investor group he put together as the majority owner – of the legendary Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie. At 266,000 acres that sprawl across four counties, it’s one of the biggest ranches in the Lone Star state. While the final purchase price hasn’t been made public, records show it was listed for $341 million.
On the ranch website there is an article from 2020 featuring the Hollywood heavyweight. He tells the writer that “I’m pretty deep into the horse deal…As far as my horses go, I supply most of the horses to Yellowstone… And then I have horses that I show and breed. Right now, I’ve got probably have as many horses as I have cattle. And have too many horses.” No wonder he needed the Four Sixes. If you’re a member of the AQHA then you can read an exclusive story about Sheridan’s plans for the ranch and its horses in the current issue of the AQHA Journal.
The plans are to keep the ranch running and promote the Quarter Horses and Black Angus cattle to the public as never before. Having starring roles on Yellowstone is an auspicious start. The last season of the series featured an entire subplot at the Four Sixes. Sheridan and his actress/model wife Nicole already lived on a 600-acre spread, Bosque Ranch, and she posted a pic of the family on the steps of their new digs (left).
Taylor Sheridan currently has five shows in various stages of production including Yellowstone’s hit prequel, 1883, starring Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The screenwriter, producer, director, wasn’t always this successful. He began his entertainment career as an actor with a regular gig on Sons of Anarchy. But it was his scripts for Sicario and Hell or High Water that put him on the A-list as a writer. And the rest, as they say, is history. It looks for certain that with the Four Sixes Ranch in his hands, Sheridan will continue to make some of that.
Watch a cool video about Taylor’s take on ranching: