UC Ranch Properties Highlighted in Farm & Ranch

For over 20 years, Farm & Ranch Publishing has been providing buyers and sellers with prime rural real estate news. Farm & Ranch print publications showcase only the most exceptional rural properties with stunning photography and detailed property descriptions.

You can find UC Ranch Properties highlighted in the 86th volume with an article on the 6666 Ranch Property and a few listings from UC Ranch agents Ron Kirby and Chris Gravil.

This article originally appeared in Farm & Ranch Vol 86.  View it here. 

buying the 6666

the6666 A Texas Ranch with 150 years of history built by passionate people, pedigreed quarter horses & the cattle brand that started it all. 

The Man

Don Bell, a ranch and land broker with UC Ranch Properties ® and owner of United Country Real Estate | Brazos River Land Company, recently represented the buying team for the historic Four Sixes Ranch operations in Texas. This remarkable sale has been the talk of the ranching industry for some time now, so let’s take a look at the specialist who worked with the buyers to help the deal come together.

Bell’s childhood was immersed in the horse and cattle industries. Bell’s father was a horse trainer, and as a child, there was nothing young Bell wanted to do more than follow in his father’s footsteps. While his parents encouraged him to pursue a different career path, Bell went to college, interned with a successful horse trainer in Gainesville, Texas, and ultimately, found success in his own horse training business. He showed several American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Champions, and even married a highly decorated exhibitor in her own right. After his most successful year, Bell left the World Show with a unique sense of dread. He had the choice to continue what he was doing and try to replicate success he had just achieved, or he could try something new.

He started to pursue another life-long passion of his, Western and equine art. This included art shows and private commissions. His efforts paid off as his work was featured on covers of multiple national magazines and he served as the official artist of the AQHA World Show, NRHA Futurity, and APHA World shows to name a few. Just a few short years ago, Fort Worth Magazine named him the People’s Choice for best artist in Fort Worth. He was also commissioned by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association to sculpt the horse used on the trophy they award at the All American Quarter Horse Congress… the largest single breed horse show in the world. While he was finding great enjoyment from his art, he and his wife were starting a family and needed a new direction. After a little convincing from his wife, Bell began to pursue a career in ranch real estate.

After years of growing up and working in the agriculture industry, he had already garnered much of the unique knowledge and many necessary and useful relationships that allowed him to realize early success. He chose to focus on selling ranches and land not only because it was in his backyard, but because he

also loved that the American West attracts dreamers. He believes that buyers are mainly drawn to ranches and recreational land for emotional reasons, and while those emotions differ from person to person, many times the West attracts people longing for nostalgia of simpler times, a rugged independence and freedom.

Bell said, “It’s a given that we have to be knowledgeable about our trade, but beyond that people have to feel they can trust you personally and know you give them everything you have to ensure the best experience possible. Many of my clients turn into true lifelong friends. I treat people like family and believe that’s the foundation of my client relationships. In addition, I think sellers have confidence in how I portray their properties nationally, and they also know I give much of my own sweat equity into making their property appeal to as many buyers as possible.” It is through these connections and reputation that Bell was connected with the buyers for the historic Four Sixes Ranch.

According to Bell, one of the keys to properly representing a large and historic ranch is understanding its history and unique value outside of the land itself. “It is finding buyers who align with both the history and value of the ranch that make these types of historic deals come together,” Bell said. For example, on the Four Sixes both the family’s history and dedication to their world renowned horse operation, and quality carcass yields were critical to finding the right buyers.

The FAMILY

Bell explains, the history of the Four Sixes Ranch as a rich, adventurous and multi-generational legacy. It all begins when 19-year-old Captain Samuel “Burk” Burnett purchased 100 cattle with the brand ‘6666’ on them. A few years later, during the economic crisis of the 1870s, Burnett sold 1,100 steers in Wichita, which was the beginning of his eventual fortune.

In the 1880s, Burnett rented 300,000 acres of Texas land, and he raised his 10,000 head of cattle there with his son, Thomas Loyd Burnett. Through this acquisition of land came a lifelong friendship between Burnett and Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. As a Native American living in the area, Quanah taught Burnett what he knew about keeping livestock in Texas, and Burnett paid his dues to him and the rest of the Natives. It was clear that Burnett genuinely cared and had great respect for Native Americans. He became such a close ally to the Comanche people that they gave him a nickname, “Mas-sa-suta,” meaning Big Boss.

In 1900, Burnett purchased the 8 Ranch around Guthrie, Texas, which would later become the 6666 Ranch. While he continued to buy ranches and land around the area, this part of the land would be where the historic ranch house would be built. This building would house remarkable visitors while Burnett lived, including comedian Will Rogers and President Teddy Roosevelt. It is said that during one of Roosevelt’s visits, Burnett, Quanah Parker and President Roosevelt went bare-handed hunting for wolves, coyotes and other game. President Roosevelt grew so fond of Burnett that he renamed the Texan city of Nesterville to Burkburnett in his honor.

After Burnett’s passing in 1923, his only living child, Tom, went on to continue and expand on the legacy of the Four Sixes Ranch. In his own right, he was an excellent rancher with a lot of first-hand knowledge and experience with cattle and horses. He became well known amongst ranchers for his ability to move cattle in even the most difficult circumstances.

His daughter, Anne Valliant Burnett Tandy, inherited the ranch from her father. While she spent much of her time on the east coast, she was well-known for her vast knowledge on all things cattle and horses, as well as art. In 1978, she founded the Burnett Foundation that supported projects ranging from artwork to ranching. She also helped establish the AQHA and the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, which she was posthumously inducted to.

Anne’s only child, a daughter of the same name, received ownership of the ranch after her mother. Anne Burnett Windfohr Marion became a highly esteemed and internationally renowned art collector, but there was no argument that she was still a mighty horsewoman and rancher like her family before her. Anne was involved in countless organizations across the country throughout her lifetime such as founding the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and being on the board at The Museum of Modern Art in New York as well as Texas Tech University, and she was a director of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. She passed away in 2020, which is how the historic ranch came to be for sale.

 

The legacy

The legacy of the horses, as explained by Bell, dates back to the early 20th century. While Captain Burnett raised many horses on the iconic ranch, it wasn’t until after his death that the horses with the finest of pedigrees came into play. Ranch Manager, George Humphreys, who took over the position nine years after Burnett’s death, had a mission to breed the greatest horses in the nation. Tom Burnett gifted Humphreys one of his own horses, Scooter, as a stud. However, his favorite was Hollywood Gold, a horse that was raised on Burnett land and became the primary stud of the ranch and went on to breed a lineage of excellent cow horses and contest winners. Humphreys worked at the Four Sixes Ranch for 38 years, and in those years, he only bought one stud: Cee Bar. For three years, Cee Bar bred exclusively with mares from the Four Sixes Ranch. These offspring went on to set records from both cattle work and racing.

While Cee Bar, Scooter and Hollywood Gold were impressive animals who left a significant impact on the ranch, the famous racing stallion, Dash For Cash, is the crown jewel of the legacy. Said to be one of the greatest sires of the ranch, Dash For Cash was a truly gorgeous racing horse, and his offspring went on to earn more than $40 million.

The Four Sixes Ranch boasts some of the best racing, performance and ranching stallions in the world. To keep themselves above the competition, the Four Sixes Ranch Quarter Horses are kept to a specific standard when bred that encourages the livestock to have a strong cow sense, gentleness, beauty and speed. To this day, to honor Captain Burnett’s father-in-law M.B. Loyd, the 6666 horses are branded with an L, and the cattle still receive the now famous 6666 brand.

 

The FUTURE

The buyers Bell represented on the sale of the Four Sixes will write the future story of this historic ranch. Though a lot is still a mystery, Bell states that one thing was certain, “The new buyers are completely dedicated to preserving the legendary reputation of the iconic Texas Ranch.”

RECENT POSTS

FEATURED LISTING

active label
$4,737,500
Crockett Ranch is everything you ve been looking for This 354 44+ acre ranch in Bowie Montague County Texas offers the best of refined Texas equine ranching and recreational amenities and conveniently located 5 miles north of Bowie Texas
354 AC

UC RANCH PROPERTIES

RELATED ARTICLES

UC RANCH PROPERTIES IN THE PRESS

Explore Our Article in Texas Monthly

Texas Monthly has chronicled life in the Lone Star State for half a century. It explores Texas’s politics, personalities, business, true crime, and destinations. You

Look For Us in Private Air Magazine

Private Air Magazine showcases luxury living and reaches out to a captive audience of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Find UC Ranch Properties in the 2023