January 30

6666 Ranch: Why Yellowstone’s Four Sixes Ranch is a Legendary Place

When encountering the name “6666 Ranch,” most people would immediately think about the Yellowstone series, especially after it got featured in the show’s fourth season. It’s where John Dutton sends his ranch hand, Jimmy Hurdstram, hoping to turn him into a real cowboy. 

However, the ranch’s connection to Yellowstone doesn’t end there; it runs deeper. On top of all that, it is also a real and functioning ranch. So, if you were captivated by the 6666 Ranch’s appearance in the series, here are some of the most interesting things you should know about it. 

How the 6666 Ranch Came to Be

The ranch’s founder is Samuel Burk Burnett. He built it in 1807 on the land he bought from the Lousiville Land and Cattle Company. 

As for how the ranch got its name, there were rumors about Burnett winning the ranch through a poker game after he scored four sixes. However, he, as well as his descendants, repeatedly denied these rumors throughout the decades.

Instead, the story behind the ranch’s legendary name is much simpler than that. It came from the first 100 cattle that Burnett bought from Frank Crowley. It turns out that each animal in the herd had “6666” branded on them. 

Burnett’s ranch produced Durham and Hereford bulls of the highest quality during his time. Some of them even brought home national prizes because of their exemplary quality. Besides cattle, Burnett also had a passion for breeding pure Quarter horses. 

The ranch did suffer a financial setback in 1918. It was when 2,000 of its cattle perished because of a blizzard. Fortunately, things turned for the better when oil was found on the ranch in 1921, turning it into a lucrative business. 

Who are the Ranch’s Past Owners? 

When Burnett passed away in 1920, the ranch got passed down to his granddaughter, Anne Valliant Burnett Tandy. She continued their family business, buying show horses and increasing the number of Herford Cattle on the ranch to 20,000 by 1936.

In 1980, Tandy’s great-grandaughter, Anne Windfohr Marion, and daughter, Wendi Grimes, inherited the ranch. She and John L. Marion, her fourth husband, crossbred Hereford with Brangus cattle. It resulted in the Balck Baldy, a breed known to be resistant to cedar flies. 

The ranch also continued its horse breeding activities. Around a hundred of the ranch’s Quarter Horse mares are bred annually to the best sires in the country, producing high-quality foals in the process. 

Following the death of Anne Burnett Marion, the Four Sixes Ranch went up for sale after 150 years of Burnett ownership on December 3, 2020. The current ranch owners proudly adhere to Marion’s vision for the ranch, which she wrote in her will. 

The Four Sixes Ranch on Yellowstone 

In the fourth season of Yellowstone, the 6666 Ranch is where the best ranch horses and cowboys come. So in the hopes of making him a true cowboy, John Dutton sends his hopeless ranch hand, Jimmy, there. By the end of the season, Jimmy becomes a competent cowboy, which is a far cry from what he was before he arrived at the ranch. 

Sheridan, the man behind Yellowstone, is also developing a spin-off series focusing on the ranch called 6666. It’s no surprise, given how 6666’s legacy resonates so much with Sheridan’s show. The show is still under development and set to premiere in 2023. 

While no information is available about its story, many fans believe it will feature the lives of Jimmy and Emily on the ranch. There are also rumors that Walker, played by Ryan Bingham, might relocate there too. 

Who Owns the Ranch Now? 

So, who Owns 6666 Ranch now? As of May 2021, Taylor Sheridan and a group of investors are the owners of the Four Sixes Ranch. They bought it for the price of $341.7 million. In addition to being a working cattle and horse breeding farm, the ranch is also a filming location for the Yellowstone series

Upon purchasing the ranch, Taylor Sheridan’s representatives issued a press release expressing the group’s commitment to keeping it intact and preserving its rich legacy. Thanks to Sheridan’s passion for ranching, the 6666 Ranch will continue to produce the finest Angus cattle and Quarter Horses in the country. 

How Big is the 6666 Ranch? 

The 6666 Ranch is 266,000 acres in size and situated in North Texas. It’s one of the largest ranches in the state, spanning four counties. The ranch is estimated to be around a three-hour drive from Fort Worth, where Sheridan graduated high school. 

Its main section is about 142,000 acres in size and is in the town of Guthrie in King County. Dixon Creek Ranch, its other larger section at 144,455 acres, can be found in the Carson and Hutchison counties. Lastly, the smallest section of the ranch, at 9,428 acres, is in Sherman County and is called Frisco Creek Ranch.

It’s believed that the entire property is around 225 square miles in size. It also measures around 12 miles from east to west and 20 miles from north to south. 

The ranch’s original buildings are still on the property, including the 1917 home used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Will Rogers, and Quanah Parker. However, the ranch’s iconic red barn with the 6666 Logo is no longer there. They moved it to Lubbock, Texas, at the National Ranching Heritage Center. 

A Look at the Ranch’s Facilities 

To ensure things run smoothly in the ranch, 6666 has plenty of impressive facilities. It has twenty employee houses and two bunkhouses to accommodate the ranch’s seasonal and full-time staff members. Usually, the ranch has around 50 to 100 employees, 20 of which are full-time cowboys. 

Since 6666 Ranch is massive, monitoring the property is no easy task. That is why they usually do it from the air, which is why the ranch has an airplane hangar and even a private landing strip for the owner. 

The ranch has a high-tech water filtration plant to ensure its inhabitants always have clean water. Since it’s in the southernmost state of the US, water is scarce on the property, which is why the filtration plant is crucial for the ranch’s day-to-day operations. 

The ranch also has a range of veterinary and reproductive services available. Some examples are lameness evaluation, dentistry, diagnostic imaging, preventive care, and general medicine. 

The 6666 Ranch Main House 

The Four Sixes Ranch also has a main house. It is a stunning Texas-Style stone building with luxurious-looking interiors. It boasts thirteen impressive bedrooms, thirteen bathrooms, three powder rooms, three fireplaces, a dining room, and two kitchens.

The Ranch’s Goal to Preserve its Legacy 

Their legendary Quarter Horses and Superior Angus Cattle are the legacies of the Four Sixes brand. That is why they strive to preserve their ability to maintain the high production standards the ranch has been known for throughout the years. Fortunately, they have an expert team and access to state-of-the-art equipment that helps them achieve such a goal. 

6666 Quarter Horses 

The ranch is home to some of the country’s best Quarter Horse broodmares and stallions. Their homebred stock is sold at premier auctions nationwide. They also consistently acquire top results in western and racing events. 

The Four Sixes Quarter Horse breeding program also received an AQHA Best Remuda Award for its success. More importantly, they’ve received an AQHA All-Time Leading Breeder of Performance Horses, Race Money-Earners, and Winners title.

6666 Angus Cattle 

Premium beef cattle production has always been a priority for the 6666 Ranch. That is why management has allocated plenty of effort to preserve the resources necessary to achieve such a goal for the last century and a half. On top of that, tried and tested practices, experience, and modern innovation are used to make its breeding program a consistent success. 

The ranch recently transitioned to breeding Angus cattle after predominantly breeding Hereford cattle for a hundred years. It is so they can continue providing higher-quality beef to their beloved customers. 

The ranch continues to brand its cattle with the iconic four 6s over the ribs to stay true to its legacy. Besides that, they still brand the letter “L” on the animal’s left shoulder if it was an animal purchased outside the ranch. They also brand the year of the calf’s birth on its left hip. 

6666 Ranch can handle around 6,000 to 7,000 Angus cattle at full capacity. The animals get access to 119 different pastures, which, depending on the season, can offer somewhere between a few hundred to 16,000 acres of grazing.

The Four Sixes Ranch is truly an impressive piece of property that is worth preserving. Fortunately, it fell into the hands of Taylor Sheridan and his investor group, who are passionate enough to keep its legacy intact. 


Tags

Taylor Sheridan, Yellowstone


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