Known as “Speedy” to ropers for years, the handsome bay stallion is known to the history books as Driftwood.
Born in 1932, Driftwood was sired by Miller Boy and out of a Lock’s Rondo-bred mare in Silverton, Texas. The fleet bay colt became a winner at match races, winning from 220 yards to three-eighths of a mile.
At age 9, Speedy was sold to Asbury Schell of Tempe, Arizona, and became a full-time roping horse. His match-race experience made him a bullet out of the box. Speedy provided a profitable roping horse and stood up under the pressure of lots of runs, long hauls and different ropers using him.
In 1942, Channing and Katy Peake of Lompoc, California, entered Speedy’s story. The couple was looking for a stallion to use as a herd sire for a group of Waggoner and RO mares. The Peakes had certain qualifications their chosen stallion had to fit. First, he had to be a rope horse himself. Second, he had to be attractive.
After looking more than a year, the Peakes spotted Speedy. The stallion met the couple’s needs, but Schell was reluctant to sell. The Peakes asked Schell to give them the first option to buy Speedy.
Gas was rationed with the outbreak of World War II, and the rodeo season was cut short. Schell decided to sell the bay stallion for $1,500 to the Peakes. When the couple went to register the stallion with AQHA, the name Speedy was already taken. So the bay was named Driftwood.
The stallion sired fast, calm-natured, athletic horses with pretty heads that could handle themselves in rodeo arenas. A few of Driftwood’s better known progeny are Driftwood Ike, Poker Chip Peake, Henny Penny Peake and Speedywood.
Driftwood died in 1960 at 28, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2006.
Biography updated as of March 2006.