Three Hawks - Foundation son of Three BarsMy Dad had grown up with horses as his family had a livery stable until automobiles became common in the northern part of Nebraska. He and his sister both kept favorite lines of those horses into the forties. When I was seven years old in 1941, my Dad gave me a two year old mare for my birthday. Her name was Kit and she was a wonderful mare (of course). I kept her and some of her produce until 1966 when I decided I wanted to have better quality, registered horses.

The Bar M Quarter Horse program was initiated as a systematic family venture in Bozeman, Montana. We purchased four mares from HS Stevenson that were truly FOUNDATION stock bred by Hugh Peltz, one of the early Presidents of AQHA, These mares were granddaughters of King on the maternal side and daughters of Billy McCoy by Harmon Baker Jr., by Harmon Baker, by Peter McCue on top. Later that year we bought a mare, Sissy Jones, by Sobre that was bred to Willy Bueno, by Poco Willy an AQHA champion son of Poco Bueno. We liked the cross on our mares so well we bought Willy Bueno for our own. At that time there was a lot more consistency in what people wanted in a “good” horse and we thought we could raise the ideal mares that could produce speed event, cowhorses, reiners and still look good enough to win at halter. That may seem naïve today but at the time it was a realistic goal.

We bought Willy because his colts were so easy to get along with, as they would really try to please. As we continued our efforts to breed “versatility”, we started searching for a stallion to breed our mares out of Willy. We looked at a lot of really good horses and bloodlines and finally decided on Mr. Showdown Sugar, a two year old son of Sugar Bars, out of a daughter of Showdown, by Wimpy. His second dam was Brenda Lee by General lee by King and his third dam was Penney Waggoner by Blackburn. This combination of the King Ranch, King 234 and other Foundation breeding made him the ideal choice to cross on our mares. The result has been everything we had in mind. However, the industry made some changes and many of the buying public wanted bigger and bigger horses. We thought long and hard about changing our program but in the end we decided to stick with our original goals and continue breeding for versatility. 

Scotch Bar Time, George Stauffer & MartyAnna McDonaldAs we accumulated more super nice daughters of Sugar, it became obvious that we needed a  stallion that could continue our goal of the all around mare. We looked all over the country and finally went to look at Scotch Bar Time. Scotch was the only sire to ever be on all 12 of the AQHA Leading Sire lists at the same time. He managed to do that in 1986 and stayed on all 12 lists through 1999. I don’t believe there will ever be a sire that will come close to matching that performance. Anyway, we started hauling mares to his court and have ended up with ten mares by him out of our Sugar Bars bred mares to complete our mare band. 

Always in our collective thoughts, we agreed that we all thought the ideal horse needs to have a lot of cow in them. As a consequence, we made arrangements to stand an outstanding horse named Montana Lynx. Montana is by Docs Lynx out of an outstanding daughter of Sugar Bars. He has won over $21,000 in NCHA and reining, earned a Superior in cutting with 71 AQHA points, and was Reserve Cutting horse at the World in 1987. His colts are the fulfillment of our 37 year old dreams. They are so trainable, and best of all, they are beautiful. There is no question in my mind that they will impact the industry as future broodmares in a number of events, proving that you can breed for versatility, disposition, trainability, cowiness and still be beautiful. We invite you to visit the ranch and see our program and we invite you to our annual SUGAR BARS LEGACY SALE held in Sheridan, Wyoming to purchase your own Sugar Bars piece of history.Easy Ride

This description of the Bar M Quarterhorse operation was prepared in response to inquiries resulting from being selected to participate as an initial member of the AQHA Breeder Referral Program. We are proud of our operation and we take the Code of Ethics we signed very seriously. That means that you can do business with us with full confidence. We thank you for your interest and hope to share a cup of coffee with you at the ranch or at the sale so we can talk Sugar Bars. 

IN ADDITION: Our operation is owned and operated by Art and Rita McDonald, who have been in the horse business for several decades. Their honesty and integrity in their business dealings has lead to an outstanding reputation as breeders of quality Quarter Horses. They have always stayed true to their dreams, and to the breed. Over the years, our horse program has developed quite an impressive Show record, including some outstanding Rodeo horses. However, people who aren't into showing also enjoy the looks, brains, trainability and bloodlines of our horses.

Only One ScotchKarla is our daughter. Karla has done the training and showing of our horses from the beginning of time, with much help and direction from many of the top trainers, judges and exhibitors across the United States. Karla took three different horses to the Youth World Finals as a Youth. Then has continued to train and show horses to numerous State and Circuit Championships as well as futurity wins since then. 
Karla has two daughters, Aleena and MartyAnna, our granddaughters. Tragically, we lost MartyAnna in an accident several years ago, however she, like Aleena was a very special and active part of our lives as well as our horse program. Aleena helps with the horses, claims them all, and loves them all dearly, even at 6 years old. 

The Bar M Crew, Art, Rita, Karla and Aleena


Bar M Quarter Horses
Art & Rita McDonald
Box 326
Lame Deer, MT 59043
Karla & Aleena McDonald
Home (406)477-8060
Cell (406) 671-5441


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