The Slate River Ranch story began in the mid-1970s when Glade Knight purchased land in Buckingham, Virginia. The scenic Slate River that follows along the perimeter of the property became the ranch's namesake. Graced with lush green pastures, rolling hills and exquisite views, today the ranch encompasses 650 acres, a state of the art equine training facility and a top-notch Angus cow calf operation.
Slate River Virginia sparked a passion for competitive cutting horse breeding and training, which in 1997 led Glade to the heart of the industry in Weatherford, Texas, where he acquired approximately 245 acres of land. Under the direction of John Mitchell and Darren Simpkins, Slate River Weatherford has become one of the top cutting horse breeding and training facilities in the industry, garnering numerous NCHA distinctions and consistently achieving high honors at competitive events. That Sly Cat (1997–2013) exemplified the success of the Slate River Ranch training and breeding programs. Sired by High Brow Cat, NCHA number one All-Time Leading Cutting Sire, with 1st Dam That Smarts by Smart Little Lena, That Sly Cat achieved lifetime earnings of $104,793. Slate River Ranch was also home to: the award-winning stallion, Mr Boonsmal to You, by Peptoboonsmal and out of Quick Playgirl; Playdox by Freckles Playboy out of Dox Come Back; and Bobs Freckle by Bob Acre Doc out of War of Freckles.
In 2014, Slate River Ranch sold its remaining studs and shifted its focus to quality mares and today, Slate River Ranch is home to Junie Wood, the 2014 NCHA Horse of the Year. The ranch continues to utilize the latest breeding technology and consistently provides the best possible facilities and training expertise. With black type broodmares such as Junie Wood, Planin N Fancy Peppy, Play Miss, Peptos Stylish Miss and Playin N Fancy Smart to name a few; Slate River Ranch has assembled some of the strongest mares in the cutting industry that currently represent more than $1.5 million in combined earnings. Slate River Ranch is dedicated to improving the genetics through breeding of these top-performing mares and has seen great success in the ranch foals since the Ranch's inception.
Today, the Slate River Ranches are home to a beautiful collection of well-bred and trained cutting horses and together encompass approximately 3,000 acres. Guided by a competitive spirit, ranch operations at both locations reflect the longstanding Western ethic of hard work and honor. With an unyielding passion for the cutting horse industry, the Slate River story of growth and progress is sure to continue for many years.