Warden Dudley

Warden Dudley

With the United States embroiled in World War II, coffee, sugar and gasoline were all rationed and tires were almost impossible to get. Therefore, when someone told Warden Dudley to “get a horse,” he did just that. Although he’d always had horses, he acquired his first Quarter Horse in 1944.

It was during that summer that Dudley saw the prettiest little roan filly on a mare that was in such poor condition that he was sure she’d be on her way to the canners. It took just one look before he knew that he had to have that filly, and so he purchased both of them. Everyone told him that he’d paid way too much for the duo, but that was one purchase he never regretted despite the fact that it took a lot of searching all over Colorado to find the filly’s breeder and obtain her papers. The filly, which he named Roan Queen, eventually became the foundation of his breeding program, and her dam eventually got better and raised a number of other fine foals, many of them by Thoroughbred stallions.

Dudley had married his wife Marjorie in 1923. In his eyes, she was his “star” and so many of Roan Queen’s early foals had “star” in their names. However, whether or not this name was included, they all ultimately became “stars” in their own right.

And stars they were. . . many of them went on to become AQHA Champions and Superior Halter Horses. Among the AQHA Champions raised by Dudley were such notables as Sonny Starduster, Kansas Duster, Starlita Creek, Miss Monsieur, Watch Jo Jack, and Vallerina Missy. Superior Halter Horses included Watch Jo Jackie, Vallerina Miss, Watch Joe Jack, and Vallerina Missy.

Dudley was also the breeder of multiple AQHA High Point winners and World Championship winners.

Dudley actively showed many of his own horses over the years. While showing, he thoroughly enjoyed visiting with horse show friends and learning all he could about Quarter Horses. He exhibited in western pleasure, reining, western riding and halter classes. He also showed many winners in Get of Sire and Produce of Dam classes.

Throughout the years he followed the philosophy that “if you breed good mares to good studs, you’re going to get quality horses. Obviously, his philosophy paid off. Many of the mares in the present breeding program trace back to his very first set of mares, and the Bar Broken Bar brand is still recognized a sign of quality horses.

Dudley also served as a director for the KQHA for several years, and also helped manage the Quarter Horse shows held in conjunction with the Osborne County Fair.

In addition to his contributions to the Quarter Horse industry, Dudley owned and operated a feedlot and a cow-calf herd and was actively involved with the Osborne Christian Church.

Many people know Dudley as half of the Dudley and Osborne ranch. This came about when Dudley’s daughter Ramona married Bob Acre in 1954 and joined her parents in managing the operation. Dudley and Acre is still operated by Bob and Ramona Acre along with their daughter and son-in-law, Melanie and Greg Zable, all of Osborne.

Craig Cole and family nominated Warden Dudley to the KQHA Hall of Fame. Craig started working for Dudley in 1967, after graduating from high school. Craig, along with his wife, Rosanne and their son Ryan, still manage Dudley and Acre Quarter Horses.