Leroy and Pat Sellers raise  registered horses, commercial cattle

Leroy and Pat Sellers run both registered Quarter horses and commercial cattle on 450 acres in the Morrow, Ark., area and an additional 300 acres outside of Stilwell, Okla. Leroy’s father was a successful cattleman in Farmington, while Pat came from a tobacco farming family from Kentucky.
The couple met at a hamburger drive-in in Fayetteville when Leroy spied Pat eating and thought she needed some company. They dated for a couple years before marrying and raising five children, who have produced eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren so far.
Leroy and Pat bought their current residence in Morrow about 15 years ago because it was centrally located among their Arkansas properties.
“I’m pretty spread out so I can’t get to every piece every day, and time is my biggest challenge. Right now my cows are grazing the lawn because I don’t have time to use my lawn mowers. With all the rain, the lawn is thriving and I can’t keep up,” Leroy said ruefully.
Leroy runs 250 mommas with seven bulls. Some bulls are pulled from the cows to provide spring and fall breeding seasons while others remain year-long depending upon where the land is located. Leroy prefers mostly Angus cows and bulls mixed with some Charolais because he believes the Charolais is a good breed that produces a profitable cross with added milkability and muscle.
Because of his many years of experience, Leroy uses a vet only when necessary. When a calf’s leg was recently broken while being pulled, Leroy treated it with a system that has worked well for him in the past. He wrapped the leg with cotton and then heavy tape. Next he sliced a piece of PVC pipe slipping it up around the leg and leaving about 3 inches below the hoof. Healing took about three weeks with the calf now no longer even limping. Health protocols in the Seller operation include castration, a six way vaccine and worming as well as dehorning on the rare occasions when needed.
Leroy sells his calves between 500 and 600 pounds, mostly at the Stilwell Livestock Auction. This year, however, he retained 60 heifers which he brought to pastures closer to his home to calve so he could keep an eye on them.
Registered Quarter horses are a passion Leroy learned from a horse racing and training uncle.
He loves competition and winning even more, of course. While now he races only rarely, he does raise racing stock and has a herd of 20 broodmares and three stallions with an additional 20 colts and fillies he usually sells as yearlings, the time when racing stock buyers like to start training.
Although Lee Roy sells the yearlings throughout the middle section of the country by word-of-mouth, he looks forward to attending the Tulsa Heritage Sale at least once a year. Each sale is a premier sale for Quarter horses and is one of the biggest in the industry sometimes offering more than 1,000 head from across the country.
Leroy normally breeds by live cover but will occasionally use AI if he finds a particularly good combination.
When Jess Tambian, a successful AAA racer with an excellent pedigree was injured a couple of years ago, Leroy bought the then 4-year-old stallion at a good price.
“That was a smart buy and he throws good stock,” Leroy said.
Whether feeding horses or cattle, Leroy believes in custom mixed feeds.
For his horses, he starts with oats, corn and some pellets to bring up the protein content and then adds minerals. For cattle, he starts with a basic commercial mix and tinkers with the formula. He often changes the balance of 40 percent protein cottonseed meal and salt according to how much additional protein his livestock needs as determined by hay quality which varies year-to-year.
Leroy harvests and stores 1,500 large bales for his herds as well as square bales. He currently stores his hay in old chicken houses that came with the Morrow house purchase. Nonetheless, he needs more space and is accumulating lumber to build another barn. Leroy’s horse fields are mostly Bermuda with an abundance of clover while the cattle fields are Bermuda, Fescue and Johnson with clover as well.
To keep the fields productive, he spring fertilizes with a commercial fertilizer because he can’t get enough chicken litter and sprays for weeds.
“I hate thistles the worst and will spot spray whenever I find the time,” Leroy said.
Just to make sure he has enough to do, Leroy also has residential rental properties, which are constantly needing maintenance.
“I’ll retire when they shovel me in. I’m not one to sit still and (I) always need to be doing something,” he said.


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