Who was Peter McCue?
Peter McCue, grandsire of Joe Hancock

submitted by Michelle Thompson

photo of Peter McCue in a recent issue of America's Horse,
published by AQHA and sent out to its members

Who was Peter McCue?

Well he came up out of Illinois
Bred up there by the Watkins boys
Called a Thoroughbred - that's for the sucker:
Of course, he was got by Old Dan Tucker.

And who told you
Of Peter McCue?

Oh, I got a cousin who knows a man
Whose grandpa said he remembered Dan,
And this grandpa's uncle's stepchild's brother,
Wrote a letter to somebody or other

What else could he do,
This Peter McCue?

He could gallop the range with tireless legs.
He could build a fire and scramble the eggs.
Though he never learned to subtract or divide,
He was mighty good when he multiplied.

I wonder, who
Was Peter McCue?

Whenever they tell you some western hero
Ran an eighth in plus or minus zero,
Why, any fool can plainly see,
Peter McCue was in his pedigree.

I know.
But who was Peter McCue?

Stranger I know you must'a read
How the Quarter Horse started the Thoroughbred
To tell you the truth - you'll be discreet?
The Byerley Turk was a son of Pete.

But who, pray tell -
Aw, what the hell!

The stranger turned and last they saw
He was heading east to the Quachita;
Mumbling, stuttering, muttering: who
Was Peter Mcpeter, McPeter, McCue?

Author:  J. A. Estes

I found this poem on the allbreedpedigree.com message board.
It was listed as author unknown, taken from the Western Horse News 1953.

Frank Holmes in the chapter he wrote on Peter McCue, Legends Vol. 2 makes the reference:

"In a poetic tribute to this great horse, penned years ago, J.A. Estes probably described Peter McCue's influence most succinctly when he wrote, 'Though he never learned to subtract or divide, he was mighty good when he multiplied.' "

I am assuming this poem is the original or close to it, written by J.A. Estes.

How Peter McCue Got His Name
by Otto Dover; The Quarter Horse Journal, April 1953

submitted by John Moore

Do you know how come Samuel Watkins (Red-headed Sam) of Petersburg, Illinois, named his famous horse Peter McCue? Well, I'll tell you the way I heard it.

I was talking horse with a friend one day, and the horses mentioned were named Peter McCue and Dan Tucker. A man sat down at my little soda fountain, located on the corner of Twelfth Street and Washington Boulevard, Ogden, Utah and ordered up a coke. As I handed him his change, he said "Did I hear you mention the name Peter McCue?"

I answered, "Yes."

He said, "Well, we used to have a horse in my home town named Peter McCue. I wonder if there is any connection?"

I asked him where he was from and he answered Petersburg, Illinois. When I asked him his name he answered Cyrus Bowles Watkins, and that his father was Sam Watkins, a cousin to red-headed Sam Watkins who owned Peter. I asked him how come the horse was called Peter McCue, and he said that red-headed Sam had many race horses, and one day he asked his neighbour, Peter McCue - an Irishman - to pick out the best horse in his corral. When the old man had made his choice, Sam named the horse Peter McCue after him.

Mr. Watkins visits my fountain every day, and I have had many interesting conversations with him about Peter McCue, Dan Tucker, Hi Henry, Carrie Nation and others.

I thought this bit of history, coming to me as you might say by coincidence, would be interesting to the readers of The Journal.

I'm a drugstore cowboy and admit it. I like to sing western songs, play a tenor banjo, and ride - or smell a good Quarter Horse. I belong to Weber County's Sheriff Posse. Our big event each year is a horseback ride from Ogden to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 240 miles in seven days, drinking sage tea and square dancing in all the little towns we pass on the way.

There is a hitching post at the rear of my store; drop in and have a coke with me.

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