A Rich History

In the late 1800’s John Geddings (Ged) Gray began accumulating property in western Calcasieu Parish between the Calcasieu River and the Sabine River. The lush coastal prairie once known as “No Man’s Land” would now be known as Gray Ranch.

Ged Gray along with his daughter Matilda and sons Bill and Henry amassed land holdings from what is now Vinton, Louisiana southward to the Gulf of Mexico at Johnson Bayou, Louisiana. Large herds of cattle and horses roamed Gray Ranch and before the term rotational grazing became popular, the herds were driven north to Ged for summer grazing and south to Johnson Bayou for winter grazing; a system still used today.

In the very southwest corner of Louisiana; Gray Ranch sits south of Interstate 10 at Vinton, 4 miles from the Texas Border and runs to the Gulf of Mexico. As with most coastal ranches, much of the property consists of tide controlled marshes. Horses, cattle and the men who work them are adapted to this environment. Although freezing temperatures are rarely seen in the winter, humidity ranging in the 80’s and 90’s can create chill factors in the teens. Similarly our summer temperatures of near 100 combined with the humidity will offer heat indexes in the low 100’s. Needless to say this ranch is dotted with Brahman crossbred cattle and quarter horses that must sweat.

John Geddings Gray (grandfather of Matilda Gray Stream: the current owner) purchased the ranch in 1896. Records indicate that horses and cattle were already being raised here at that time. Although documented proof cannot be produced, several of the older cowboys (now deceased) told stories of Mr. Gray raising remount horses for the Army on what is now known as Perry Ridge. So in the early years, ranch horses were produced from these herds. When the Intracoastal Waterway was dug in 1933 to allow ship and barge traffic to come inland for a shorter route to ports and out of the rough seas of the Gulf, it cut the ranch in half. The horse herds remained south of the waterway and became very hard to manage. It appears that it must have been easier to purchase ranch horses than to continue trying to manage those herds. Over the years these horses became wild.

Right This Minnick (Deceased) – (Colonel Freckles x Minnicks Goldie)

Home of Right This Minnick, owned by Gray Ranch manager Kent Ledoux and wife, Becky Ledoux; NMRHA Open Champion; Bronze Trophy winner; NRHA money earner; 3rd in NRHA Open NRHA Superstakes; He has $2505. NRHA and $686. NCHA Lifetime earnings, and 13 performance wins, with 6.5 AQHA points. His get are winners, point earners, All Around Champions and NRHA money earners.

His dam produced TARIS CATALYST, NCHA Futurity Co-Reserve Champion, 3rd-NCHA Derby, 1983 AQHA World Champion Jr Cutting Horse, etc., earning $181,373.