Merrick, Walter F. | 1981
- Birth and Death Year | 1912-2006
- Induction Year | 1981
- Profession | Horseman
- Oklahoma Connection | Merrick was born and raised near Texola, Oklahoma.
- Hometown | Sayre
Walter Merrick was the first in history to hold a registered quarter horse sale and was the first to infuse thoroughbred horse blood into existing quarter horse lines.
“Walter Merrick has had a greater impact than any other human on the horse industry.” - Frank Holmes, 2001
Oklahoma native Walter F. Merrick first worked as a cowboy in the short grass country on the Hugh Davis Ranch. After he had saved sufficient money to acquire breeding horses, he began building his own business in 1936. His first sale was at Nash, Oklahoma, but the biggest break in his career, and for the entire Quarter horse world, came in 1951 when he brought the famous Three Bars Thoroughbred horse to Oklahoma, in the hopes of breeding a Quarter horse of popular bloodlines to a sprinting Thoroughbred stallion. It was the beginning of the famous Merrick breeding formula called “Hybrid Vigor.” Merrick was inducted into the Western Heritage Hall of Fame in Elk City and was recognized by OSU with the Master Breeder’s Award in Genetics in 1979.