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Destiny Hills Ranch, Athens, TX - Ron & Colleen Cates


The Rider on the White Horse
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and his name is the Word of God. Revelation 19:11-13


Our Horses

The McCurdy Plantation Horse breed is a historical breed from Lowndes County in Central Alabama, a "Legacy of the Old South" with less than 650 horses in the registry.

Our McCurdy Horses are beautiful, calm, smooth to ride, and extremely versatile. The Cates have bred and sold quality McCurdy Horses to the 4 corners of the USA and one to Great Britain.

Aside from family pleasure and trail riding, Colleen has promoted their McCurdy's in several venues:

  • The Three Phase Event, KY
  • The Extreme Trail Horse Challenge, Alabama
  • The American Competitive Trail Horse Association
  • The National Walking Horse Association
  • The American Endurance Ride Conference
  • The McCurdy Plantation Horse Association bi-annual trail rides in Alabama.

Colleen is an avid competitor and loves to ride with an objective. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the McCurdy Plantation Horse Association and handles their publicity.

Colleen has written numerous articles and assisted other authors of equine books on the history and use of the McCurdy Plantation Horse breed. These include: The Gaited Horse Magazine; Trail Rider Magazine, Cowboys & Indians Magazine, The Lone Star Horse Report, The Fabulous Floating Horses, by Barbara Weatherwax, 96 Horse Breeds of North America, by Judith Dutson, Gangpherde, Pherde Der Welt, by Karin Tillish and Denise Schemel (Gaited Horse Breeds) published in Germany.

Our McCurdy Horses are encouraged and trained to use all of their mind, body, and gaits under saddle, including the trot, to achieve balance and athleticism. Showcased below are our fabulous floating horses, neither which are for sale.


McCurdy's Ragin' Cajun - April 2001

Our breeding stallion from 2004-2007. An Ambassador for the McCurdy Plantation Horse Association.

  • Blue ribbon winner in his division at the gaited 2008 Three Phase Event in KY with highest composite score in dressage, stadium obstacle, and cross-country competition. Trained by Jason Crawhorn, J&T Stables, KY.
  • Performed free-style McCurdy Plantation Horse breed demos at the 2007 Nation Walking Horse Association National Show in TN.
  • 2010 Alabama Horse Fair McCurdy Plantation Horse breed representative, Parade of Stallions, free style demonstrations.

Cajun is a majestic and noble - a perfect gentleman in every way.


June 2020 at 19 years old

June 2020 at 19 years old


Cajun is retired from breeding via AI as of 2022. He was gelded to continue his career as a pleasure or competition mount.

Color genetic pattern for McCurdy's Ragin Cajun from Univ. of California Davis:
Both red & black factors detected. One copy of Agouti. One copy of classic Roan gene, one copy of Gray gene.

Cajun's Papers




2007 at 6 years old






Miss Sante Fe McCurdy, a prime example of Cajun's offspring!


Lightning's McCurdy Lad aka "88"

Direct son of McCurdy's Roan Ligtning

Registerd McCurdy and TWH gelding DOB: January 2006


88 is a sport horse deluxe. In the past he has performed extremely well in competitive trail rides,
25 mile endurance race, and at show.

  • September 2009 88 won high point gaited horse in the ACTHA Athens, TX
    88 placed fifth in the open division of the ACTHA overall.
  • 2010 Alabama Horse Fair McCurdy Horse breed representative. Competed in the Extreme Trail Horse Competition.
  • 2010 AERC Post Oak Challenge endurance ride 88 did his first 25 mile limited distance race. Tied for 10th place.
  • 2010 NWHA Regional Gaited Gala showed in versatility and rail classes. 88 placed in 9 out of 11 classes. 8 English and 3 Western. Placing 4th in the 2 gait Country Pleasure Championship.
  • 2014 July 12, McCurdy's 88 took 3rd place, Open Division, at The American Competitive Trail Horse Association AOC at Henderson County Fair Park in Athens, TX with a total of 45 entries.


88 has a ton of athletic ability and "try." Give him any objective and he will achieve it.

2012: A great year for 88. He advanced in pro western training with Josh Bardwell here in Athens, Tx. Josh started him on working cattle, with cutting, sorting and roping. 88 loved it, and really showed his athleticism. That training also developed his strength, flexion, and body mechanics to start on barrel racing. I took him to a few local barrel races and we loved running in the practice exhibitions.

In Oct 2012 we went to a Charmayne James Clinic (11 times Women's Pro Rodeo Assoc. World Champion) in Branson, Miss. to learn correct technique, skills and drills to be effective at barrel racing. 


My goal in doing this with 88 is to have fun, compete on a gaited horse in a Quarter Horse dominated sport, and to promote the McCurdy Plantation Horse in another venue for our Association.


Destiny Hills Ranch 7450 CR 2800, Athens, TX 75751 903-677-4858