Bill Giles and wife, Chris, of the 3G Galiceno Ranch in Godley, announced they are retiring after 30 years of showing, trail riding, and registration maintenance for the Galiceno Horse Breeders Association.
"We are handing the reins over to a younger couple to promote and carry on the bloodlines and traditions of these fine little horses," he said. "Bob and Glinda Tackett of Jacksboro, we feel, will add their energy and enthusiasm to preserving the traditions of this little horse, doing their part to ensure proper registration and promotion of this breed." Giles will continue to serve on the GHBA Board of Directors.
The GHBA was formed in 1959 to register the small pure-bred horses which were introduced into the U.S. in 1958. Giles served on the Board starting in 1963. He bought the association in 1982 and moved it from Tyler to Godley.
New Association Owners, Bob and Glinda Tackett are looking forward to moving the association to their Jacksboro ranch where Bob raised quarter horses for the last 42 years for ranch work and different types of working cow or stock horse competitions. Now he is raising, breeding, and training Galicenos on his place. Bob and Glinda have four of their grandchildren actively showing and trail riding their Galicenos.
Tackett has been a member of the Wise County Sheriff's Posse since 1974. The association phone number is (940) 342-2025.
He may be contacted at and is also a member of the Chico Masonic Lodge.
Bob and Glinda also participate in the Order of the Eastern Star.
Background Born on the 3G Ranch in Godley, Texas that has been in his family since 1912, B. J. (Billy Jack) Giles has departed from the traditional Texas breeds to devote his life to training, showing, and promoting the Galiceno horses. He is also a widely-known cowboy poet, and over the years Bill and Chris have mentored 61 foster kids.
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Bill Giles and Roy Pepper
Giles began training horses for other people at the age of 23 for Bud Williams, at that time the Sheriff of Hood County. "Most of my learning was by trial and error," Giles said. "However, each time I got the chance I studied the style of some well-known horsemen, such as, Lanham Reily, Punch Oglesby, and Jack Hart. Each had a style all his own. I believe you can learn a little from each and fit it to your own needs."
"My first adventure with the Galiceno horse came in 1963 while riding down the road on a young Appaloosa. Roy Pepper, well-known rancher and horseman from Granbury, stopped and asked me if that was a Galiceno."
This started 40 years of friendship and sharing a mutual interest in this little Spanish horse. Giles then visited Pepper's ranch where he bought his first Galiceno, a stallion named Jig Star that he planned to geld for his eight-year-old son, Lawton. Not only did Jig Star prove extremely gentle with his son, but could carry Giles all day without tiring. Jig Star became Gile's foundation stallion. He soon bought a second horse for his son to show, a filly named Joaquin Gay.
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Breed with a Proud History According to the Galiceno breed manual, many experts believe the first Galiceno horse came from Galicia, a province in northwestern Spain and that the breed was in existence even before Columbus discovered the New World. These little horses, descended from hardy Moorish Arabs left in Spain's mountainous regions during the Moorish invasion, were reportedly among the first 16 horses imported by ship to the American mainland when Cortez invaded Mexico from Cuba in 1519.
Prized in Mexico the Galicenos became the original ancestors to the thousands of wild Mustangs of the southwest. For some reason, the small, but spirited Galiceno never migrated north as did his wild mustang brother, but remained for centuries in the coastal and interior regions of Mexico where they were prized for riding ease, courage, endurance, and functional size.
Through the centuries the Galiceno became a forgotten breed except in certain parts of Mexico and Spain, where they remained until about 1958 when they were first imported to the United States and the breed book was started in 1959.
The Galiceno is small, usually ranging from 12 to 13.2 hands tall, weighing between 625 and 700 pounds at maturity. Their smaller size is said to be the contributing factor in their 'energy efficiency' according to Giles, as it takes less feed to keep them. Their color is solid with no paints, pintos, albinos, or appaloosas.
Giles Show Record
Giles raised six world champion Galicenos on his Godley Ranch, showing each one in halter and various events such as Western Pleasure, Trail, Reining, etc. He has been instrumental in educating and lining up many people, young and older, with the right Galiceno for the person and the job expected for the horse to perform ndash; from trail riding, working cattle, showing, penning, roping, etc.
Always promoting the Galicenos, he has many ties to Johnson County and Hood County, hosting many shows in these two counties, as well as promoting Galiceno shows at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, the Dallas Fair at Fair Park, Waco Heart of Texas Fair, and the Houston Astrodome. These shows were based on Quarter Horse type classes ndash; halter, pleasure, trail, reining, barrels, etc.
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Trail Riding with Giles As far as adventuresome spirit in trail riding, the author of this article can personally testify, that "Over the last 30 years, Bill Giles led Galiceno trail riders on some of the most adventurous rides ever performed by man and beast at Cap Rock Canyon (just over the lip from Palo Duro Canyon) where the Comanches alluded McKenzie's troops for many years in the cliffs and mesas. He also led us along the Fall Creek (tributary of the Brazos river) through some of the historic ranches, once illustrating how to jump a horse off a bluff into the river. We all survived and our horses were fantastic in covering the rough terrain."
Giles said, "These horses came originally from the mountains of Galacia, Spain. It seems that their DNA enables them to instinctively know how to cover mountainous or rough terrain, the right hind hoof following the same movement of the left front hoof for better purchase between the rocks or barriers."
The family participates in the St. Jude benefit ride every year. This year Bob Tackett rode a 4-year-old sorrel Galiceno mare, Scooter. His grandson, Ethan Jeffryes rode a 3-year-old brown Galiceno mare, Bonnie. On the evening of Oct. 14 they camped with the other St. Jude riders at the LBJ Grasslands north of Decatur, in the middle of tornado watches, distant lightening, thunder, and 80-mile-an-hour winds right above them in Oklahoma.
Tackett commented on the St. Jude ride, "We were very lucky despite storms all around us, that a storm never really hit where we were camped. Everyone had a great ride at the Grasslands, the storm went around us, and the only temporary problem was getting the cook tent under control so we could fix supper that night. Where ever we ride these little horses, people are surprised by their stamina and their temperament, commenting on how they travel in a calm manner with the head level, no tie downs, etc., and they never seem to tire out or tire you out due to their easy way of traveling."
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GHBA Plans The Tacketts plan to help Galiceno horse owners search and locate papers as needed, as well as the usual Association services of registration and stud lists. They are planning to provide a web site, monthly newsletter, and hosting Galiceno events such as family trail rides.
The GHBA web site will provide all members with an opportunity to list standing Galiceno studs, Galicenos for sale, inquiries of anyone looking to purchase a Galiceno, etc. To contact the association call 940-342-2025 or send an email to glindarob@Yahoo.com.