Weatherford News

Wal-Mart heiress sells 1,460-acre ranch

Alice Walton’s ranch near Milsap included about three-quarters of a mile of Brazos River frontage.
Alice Walton’s ranch near Milsap included about three-quarters of a mile of Brazos River frontage. File

After two years on the market and a reduction in price, the 1,460-acre luxury cutting horse ranch owned by Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton was finally sold to a West Texas investment group.

Walton sold the Rocking W Ranch to the Three Amigos Investment Group of Kermit in late September, Parker County Appraisal District records show. The ranch, about 45 minutes west of Fort Worth near Millsap, includes three-quarters of a mile of Brazos River frontage.

The last price listed for the ranch, its 4,000-square-foot home and 24-stall main show barn was $16.5 million, although two real estate brokers involved in the transaction could not disclose what Three Amigos paid for it. When the property was originally listed for sale, the price was $19.75 million.

A spokeswoman for Walton, who now lives in Fort Worth, did not provide a comment.

Tony Underwood, a representative for the Three Amigos, could not divulge what they paid for the ranch but said they paid cash for it. He said they will run cattle and other livestock on the property. The company has plans for the cutting horse facility, but he said those plans are not finalized.

For someone wanting to buy a little piece of Texas along the Brazos, the Walton ranch is considered a gem. It includes a blend of improved pastures and wildlife-friendly habitat while also being located near major roadways.

“It had varied ecology and topography. It had quite a number of desirable attributes to it,” said Allen Crumley, a real estate broker and farm and ranch specialist with Williams Trew in Fort Worth. “Alice has very good taste in real estate.”

Crumley said the cutting horse operation Walton built was just part of its attraction.

Still for sale is Walton’s much bigger spread, the 4,416-acre Fortune Bend property near Possum Kingdom Lake that boasts “native rolling land, river bottom, sloping hillsides, and scenic limestone hills.” The original asking price for Fortune Bend was $28.7 million. It’s now on the market for $22.1 million.

Walton cut the prices of the properties in 2016 to be more competitive. Depressed oil and gas prices, along with political uncertainty going into the presidential election, made buyers thinking about investing in high-end properties skittish.

While there was increased interest in making this kind of buy after President Trump was elected, it has cooled again with Congress’ inability to reform taxes and health care or pass an infrastructure bill to boost the economy, said Mac Coalson, a Weatherford real estate broker who handled the sale with Crumley.

“There are a few selling, but it’s not a frenzy. It is not booming like you would like it to boom,” Coalson said.

Crumley said he was busy but that properties like this were not “flying off the market.”

Walton, the daughter of the late Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, remains the wealthiest person in Texas with an estimated net worth of $38.2 billion, according to the annual ranking from Forbes released last month. Her riches put her at No. 13 on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans,

Walton cut quite a figure in cutting horse circles when she was active. But in 2015 she announced she was going to devote more time on the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.

“I’ve been stretched in too many directions and I want to get focused,” Walton was quoted as saying. “I’ve got a house in Fort Worth, so I’m moving to town.”

Staff writer Sandra Baker contributed to this report which contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB