King P-234 was the real beginning of the performance horse. Most of the 'foundation' performance horse sires have King blood in them, and a lot of it! Some examples are Okie Leo(a grandson), Joe Cody(a grandson) who sired greats like Topsail Cody, Poco Bueno(one of the greatest horses that ever breathed in my opinion), Royal King(a son who sired lots of greats), King Fritz(a grandson and a great-grandson who has a lot of influence in the horse world still today) and Hollywood Jac 86(a grandson and a VERY influential sire!) to name just a few.
Some more 'modern' horses with King blood in them are Hollywood Dun It(2nd all time leading sire in Reining, offspring earnings almost $6 million), Shining Spark(my personal favorite! a $3 million sire), Topsail Cody (Bob Loomis' famous horse) and Katie Gun(the best broodmare EVER!! She is the dam of Gunner, Spooks Gotta Gun, Dun it Gotta Gun and MORE super Famous horses) and MORE!.
In the kingdom of Quarter Horses, there are many legends, but there is only one King – King P-234.
The bay colt was foaled June 25, 1932, on Manuel Benavides Volpe’s ranch in Laredo, Texas. The colt’s sire, Zantanon by Little Joe, was considered the Man O’War of Mexico. Jabalina, the colt’s dam by Strait Horse, was hogbacked and difficult to handle, and traced to Little Rondo and Traveler.
Hankins used the stallion as a regular cow horse, roping and cutting on his. The rancher eventually quit using King because of the stallion’s heavy breeding schedule.
King sired a few racehorses such as Squaw H, but is best remembered for siring horses with tremendous performance ability and cow sense. A few of the stallion’s better known sons were Poco Bueno, Royal King, King’s Pistol and Continental King.
The grand old stallion died of a heart attack in 1958 at 26. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1989.
Although the body of King may not still be alive, his legend can never die.