A lifelong dream of Frank and Robin Merrill, Windward Stud began in 1972 with the purchase of 100 acres of cow pasture in Purcell, the heart of Oklahoma. Transformed into the Quarter Horse industry’s foremost breeding and training facility, Windward Stud stood a battery of top racing and performance stallions including Boon Bar, Boston Mac, Casady Casanova, Docs Sug, Gallo Del Cielo [Rooster], Jim J (TB), Lady Bugs Moon, Last Hurrah, Mr Impressive, Mr Melody Jac, Peponita, Rebs Policy (TB), Shorty Lena, and others.
At the height of its operation, the Merrill’s Windward Stud spanned three ranches and 600 acres, and supported 30 employees. Among those were Bill Witman, current owner of Whisper Wind Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, and Rick McLin who owns and operates an Elmore City, Oklahoma, cattle ranch and also manages a large recipient broodmare band. Witman and McLin were key to the operation in the early ‘80s when the Purcell outfit stood 17 stallions, bred 1,000 mares and foaled 800 horses a year on rotating 12-hour shifts.
The Federal tax reforms of 1986 and sudden downturn in the oil industry took many people out of the horse industry. While farms around them pushed up weeds, Frank and Robin held on, and by the 1990s, successfully switched their operation to performance horses. As the Merrill children, McKenzie, Megan and Tyler chose to follow their parents lead showing in the cowhorse and cutting industries, Windward Stud reflected the family’s pursuits standing stallions from those disciplines until 2003 when the couple decided to focus their talents on the development and sale of young performance prospects.
On October 17, 2003, horsemen across the nation gathered to bid on the horses and equipment offered in the Windward Stud dispersal sale. For many, it was an opportunity to obtain a piece of history more than 30-years in the making. For others, it was the chance to visit the beautiful grounds of Windward Stud, which during its commercial breeding operations had stood 92 stallions and bred 25,000 of the industry’s top mares. Frank and Robin stayed at Windward Stud managing it for Cowan Select Horses LLC until 2012.
In late 2012, Frank and Robin moved to Poolville Texas where they could be just down the road from their kids and grandkids! Please contact Frank and Robin to see how M5 Performance Bloodstock can help your equine program.
*50 years of Equine Experience
*Certified Equine Appraiser & Expert Witness
*Bloodstock Consulting and Representataion
*Stallion Promotion Strategy
*Farm and Ranch Construction Consulting
*Financial Modeling and Budgeting
*Author of Frankly Speaking, bi-monthly column in QH News Member
Frank Merrill has been involved in the horse industry at it's highest level for over 50years. Along with his wife, Robin, he established and built one of the most famous stud farms in the Quarter Horse business, Windward Stud, in Purcell, Oklahoma in 1972.
The Merrill's owned and operated this facility for 34 years, standing many of the industry's most noted stallions before selling the farm to the Cowan Family of Havre, Montana in 2006. Frank and Robin stayed on to serve as the CEO's for Cowan Select Horses LLC at Windward Stud until the fall of 2012 when they moved to Poolville, Texas in order to pursue their own interests.
Frank was recently manager of Bob Moore Farms Group, LLC in Norman, Oklahoma, and was responsible for management and oversite of Bob Moore Farms, LLC, NFL, LLC, Broad Acres Polo Club, LLC, H9,LLC, and the Moore Family's 25% interest in Heritage Place Inc., the Southwest's most prestigious equine sales facility located in Oklahoma City.
The late Bob Moore was one of the leading breeders in Quarter Horse racing history before his death in 2004. The Moore Family has hired Frank to bring their interests in quarter racing back to the pinnacle it once enjoyed. The Moore project was completed in January, 2017, but Frank remains on the board of Bob Moore Farms as well as Heritage Place.
During Frank Merrill's tenure in the horse business he has owned, managed, or syndicated over 100 stallions and bred and cared for over 25,000 mares. He has acted as sales agent and sale prepped thousands of horses for clients all over the world, earning a reputation for honesty and integrity.
Horses from the famous M5 brand have accumulated many championships and titles in cutting, racing, halter, cowhorse, reining, and roping. Two horses owned and shown by Merrill, Miss Jim 45 and Royal Santana have been inducted in AQHA's Hall of Fame. All of the imediate Merrill family have won AQHA Championships.
Frank competes as a Non-Pro in NCHA cutting events and has life time earnings of over $440,000. As well as pursuing his personal, and owner/management, interests in the horse world, Frank has been and still remains very active on the political scene with AQHA, NCHA, and the United States Equestrian Foundation having served on many and various committees within these organizations. Along with his various committee responsibilities Merrill has served on the executive committees of the AQHA and the NCHA, serving as AQHA's President in 2007. He was also President of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association in 1988. Currently, he serves on the Hall of Fame committee, a current Trustee of the USEF, is currently Chairman of the Competition committee as well as a trustee of the NCHA Foundation. Merrill continues to serve as a Director at Large for AQHA and a National Director for the NCHA.
Frank was inducted into Oklahoma's Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in March 2013 at the annual AQHA Convention in Houston, Texas.
Merrill operates M5 Performance Bloodstock, an equine consulting and appraisal business and serves as manager for the Dogwood Foundation, a private family foundation.
Frank and Robin have three children, Mckenzie who lives in Dallas, Texas, Megan Miller married to famed cutting horse trainer Matt Miller who have two little girls, Emery and Harper, living in Poolville, Texas, and son Tyler and his wife, country and western singer, Katy Keenie Merrill who also live in Weatherford.
All the Merrill's and Miller's have and remain heavily involved in the horse industry training, exhibiting, and raising registered American Quarter Horses.
We proudly recommend:
Matt Miller Cutting Horses of Poolville, Tx - 817-629-6858
We also recommend M/M equine Spa and Rehab operated at Matt Miller Cutting Horses - 817-382-1960