Cowboys in the 1930s and ‘40s needed good horses to work and compete on, and Bert horses were among the best.
Born in 1934, the brown stallion was bred by Bert Benear of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sired by Tommy Clegg, Bert was out of Lady Coolidge by Beetch’s Yellow Jacket. Barely broke to ride as a 3-year-old, Bert nearly cut off his right front foot with wire. Afraid to ride the stallion, Bert’s owners decided to use the brown horse for breeding purposes.
If Bert had one downfall it was that he did not have a pretty head, and he passed that less-than-fancy mug on to his babies. He also passed on a grand amount of muscle and tremendous back ends – just what Eastern Oklahoma cowboys wanted.
Not many of Bert’s sons were kept as stallions because people wanted the colts for using horses. Also, it was said if a horseman had a Bert mare, he was in the horse business. Bert produced four AQHA Champions and his daughters produced 25 AQHA Champions.
The stallion’s four AQHA Champions were Bert’s Lady, Janie Bert Watts, Sutherland’s Dwight and Thomas Bert. Another well-known Bert horse was Jeanne’s Patsy, 1955 AQHA high-point tie-down roping horse.
One of the most famous Bert granddaughters was Baby Doll Combs, known as the legendary “Baby Doll” in the rodeo arena. In the 1950s, nearly every steer wrestler who rode the mare placed in the money, and more than one cowboy cried when Baby Doll died.
Bert died in May 1956 at 22, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007.
Biography updated as of March 2007.