Dr. Glenn Blodgett, known to most as “Doc Blodgett,” died Sunday, Nov. 20, at the age of 73.
In 1982, Blodgett began working for Burnett Ranches, which included the legendary Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie. He served as the ranch veterinarian and manager of the horse division for 40 years.
In a Nov. 21 Facebook post, Four Sixes Ranch announced Blodgett’s death.
“His impact on the performance horse industry, and the quarter horse itself, will likely outlive us all. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him, and deeply mourned by his 6666 family,” the post read.
Four Sixes Ranch spans a whopping 275,000 acres and remains one of the state’s largest ranches. But Blodgett’s extensive contributions to the ranching and equine industries don’t stop there.
Blodgett also served on the board of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and was the Texas Veterinary Medical Association’s equine practitioner of the year in 1990.
In 1991, he became the director of the American Quarter Horse Association and transitioned to director-at-large in 2011. His peers called him a master of his practice and someone who left an irreplaceable mark on the equine industry.
“One of the tallest trees in the horse industry has fallen, and we all feel the void,” AQHA CEO Karl Stressman said in a statement. “To know a man as good as Doc was a blessing, and we are all thankful for the impact he made on us. He left some large boots that we will not be able to fill, but the wisdom he left us with gives us a sense of direction on where to start.”
In 2019, Blodgett was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Texas Cowboy Hall of Famer Patti Colbert met Blodgett in the ’90s when she worked at Texas Quarter Horse Association. She said that he was extremely involved in the passing of parimutuel horse racing and legislative efforts.
“A quiet kind man who loved young people and their passion for horses and industry careers,” Colbert said. “He was a visionary and led the breeding industry with science and compassion. If you worked or interned for Doc, you had a ticket to success.”
A few of Doc Blodgett’s awards and accolades
1982: Began his work for the Burnett Ranches, which includes Four Sixes Ranch
1988: Appointed to the first Texas Horse Racing Commission
1991: Became a director of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)
1993-1995: Serves as a vice chairman for the Texas Horse Racing Commission
1995-2009: Serves as a member of the AQHA Hall of Fame Selection Committee
2011: Became a director-at-large of the AQHA
2011: Recipient of the AQHA Racing Council Special Recognition Award
2015: Became the 65th president of the AQHA
2017: Recipient of the 2017 National Golden Spur Award, the most prestigious honor given to a member of livestock and ranching industries
2019: Inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame
2021: Inducted in the AQHA Hall of Fame
Born in Spearman, Texas, and raised in the Panhandle, Blodgett married high school sweetheart Karen Wright. Blodgett is survived by his wife of more than 50 years.
Blodgett is also survived by their two daughters, Buffie Guynes, married to Michael, and Brandie Mustain, married to Mike. He was the grandfather of granddaughters Catherine, Rebecca, Claire and Myla and grandson Maddox.
Blodgett earned his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University and his veterinary degree from Texas A&M University.
An esteemed alumnus, Dr. Blodgett was an advocate and great supporter of the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine.
He created great opportunities for students and allowed them to come up and learn routine techniques under his supervision, said Noah Cohen, professor of equine medicine at Texas A&M. While Cohen was not personally close with Dr. Blodgett, he and the veterinary program were both positively impacted by his efforts.
“He had excellence in everything he did as a vet,” Cohen said. “He was so down to earth. He wasn’t pretentious. He was kind and generous and really cared about horses. I admire his desire to be quietly excellent.”
Veterinarian Dr. Bob Patterson has known Blodgett since 1972. He remembers when Blodgett was fresh out of Texas A&M and would call Patterson occasionally and ask for advice about surgeries on horses.
“After two or three years of that, he sent me a note asking if he could come down to my practice at the equine Hospital in Canyon, Texas, to look at the surgical suite that I had designed for horses,” Patterson said.
Blodgett later asked Patterson if he could copy that surgical suite to use during his time at Four Sixes Ranch.
“Glenn was a very good businessman and represented the ranch excellently, “ Patterson said. “Anytime I got a chance to recommend either the ranch or Glenn, (I) did it without hesitation.”
His daughter fondly remembers his deep love of animals.
“My dad was quiet, gentle and patient,” Buffie Guynes said. “He had a special love for all animals and had a way of communicating with them like no other.”
She said that her dad would tell her that veterinary medicine is similar to pediatrics because the patients can’t always tell you what is wrong, so you have to use excellent assessment skills. Guynes will cherish the memories of running with her dad and helping her with her show animals.
Granddaughter Claire Guynes said her grandpa’s legacy will live on through the people he knew and loved.
As of now, plans have not been announced for a visitation or a funeral.
“I will remember him as the man that introduced me to my college,” Claire Guynes said. “He took me to my first Texas A&M football game. He has fueled my hopes and dreams. I will always look up to him as the best teacher in my life.”
Izzy Acheson is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter.
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