Wal-Mart billionaire heiress Alice Walton is selling off her prizewinning herd of cutting horses at her Rocking W Ranch near Millsap, saying it’s time to pull back and focus on other things.
Walton, 65, the daughter of late Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, will conduct the sale Sept. 21 and 22. She will also sell all the ranch equipment, according to the ranch’s website. In the last 16 years, Walton has owned six championship horses.
“It’s called realigning my priorities,” Walton is quoted as saying on the website for Western Bloodstock Ltd., which will conduct the sale. “I have loved this business and this way of life. … But it is time for me to pull back and focus on other things that really matter to me.”
On the website, Walton says she wants to focus on the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., the city where Wal-Mart is based.
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“This move has been some time in coming,” Walton is quoted as saying. “I’ve been stretched in too many directions and I want to get focused. I’ve got a house in Fort Worth, so I’m moving to town.”
Millsap is about an hour west of Fort Worth in Parker County along the Brazos River. A call to the Rocking W Ranch by the Star-Telegram seeking comment was not returned.
Walton’s worth was estimated at $34.5 billion in the recent Forbes magazine list of the richest people. She was No. 11 overall and No. 8 in the U.S.
Forbes’ website says that Walton has long focused on curating art and that the museum’s collection includes works by Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Georgia O’Keeffe. Some of the art that she has donated from her personal collection is valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the magazine reported.
In 2014, she also reportedly agreed to buy a New Jersey home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and have it moved to the museum’s campus, Forbes said.
Walton has owned more than one ranch in the Fort Worth area. In 2006, she sold another ranch near Mineral Wells — also called the Rocking W Ranch — to a partnership that included ESPN broadcaster and former SMU running back Craig James.
While the website for the current Rocking W Ranch does not mention that it is for sale, McAllen Coalson, a broker at Coalson Real Estate in Weatherford, said the firm has been in discussions with Walton about the 1,400-acre property for 10 days.
“It’s going to take some serious money to buy it,” Coalson said. “It is a serious place … one of the higher-end properties” in cutting horse circles. “We hope to have something pretty soon.”
He said the ranch is diverse, with not only the cutting horse operation but also Brazos River frontage as well as hunting and hay land.
Walton is switching gears, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be hanging around cutting horse events. Just last week, her horse Boon San Spoon clinched the open division title in the Classic/Challenge at the National Cutting Horse Association’s Summer Spectacular.
“Tell everybody they’re not rid of me,” said Walton, who is quoted on the Bloodstock site as saying she has been involved in cutting horses since she was 14. Walton is an active member of the national association.
“I’m keeping my box [in the Will Rogers Coliseum] and I’ll be there with bells on,” she said.
Max B. Baker, 817-390-7714