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 500 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, Head Trainer from 1997 until 2010, Slate River Weatherford became one of the top cutting horse breeding and training facilities in the industry, garnering the distinction of "Top Owner and Top Breeder, All Ages, All Divisions" in 2008 and in 2010 and consistently achieving high honors at numerous 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 $104,893. Slate River Ranch is currently home to the award-winning stallion, Mr Boonsmal to You, by Peptoboonsmal and out of Quick Playgirl. The ranch continues to utilize the latest breeding technology and consistently provides the best possible facilities and training expertise. In the fall of 2010, Darren Simpkins joined Slate River Ranch as Horse Operations General Manager and Trainer, with a strong focus on two-year-olds.
With black type broodmares such as Playin N Fancy Peppy, Bobs Smart Chance, Play Miss, Playin N Fancy Smart, Peptos Stylish Miss, and Sarahs Super Cat 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 more than 2,800 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 to come.