Deal for all 3 divisions to close in July
From Caprock Courier by Barbara Brannon
One of the most storied brands in the West went on the market last December for $347.7 million as stipulated in the will of its late owner, Anne Windfohr Marion. As of today, announced Lubbock-based broker Chas. S. Middleton and Son, the 6666 Ranch is under contract—for the first time in its history.
While principal Sam Middleton didn’t reveal the offer price, he did confirm that the ranch’s three divisions, all in West Texas, sold as a turnkey deal to a group who “are going to carry on the 6666 tradition and stay in the ranching business.” The transaction is set to close in July. And it’s an open secret in these parts that the frontman for the buyers is screenwriter/producer (and rancher) Taylor Sheridan, whose Paramount+ Western series “Yellowstone” shot segments last year on the ranch’s Guthrie and Hutchinson County divisions.
“Sheridan is the face of the buyer group,” said Middleton, who also said that the new owners plan to continue running the working ranch and to offer employment to all employees. “It’s all one deal, 266,000 acres with all three ranches . . . cattle, horses, equipment, furniture, brand, name, everything.” Sheridan, reached by The Caprock Courier through his Los Angeles manager while traveling, said, “I can’t comment on a pending transaction but I will say this: the legacy of the 6666 Ranch and Miss Marion’s vision for the ranch are vital not only to the ranch itself, but the rich heritage of ranching in Texas.” He added, “This legacy is so
important to me I chose to highlight it in the upcoming season of ‘Yellowstone’ and will continue to further the legacy and preserve its operations in a manner consistent with that great vision.”
Founded in 1870 by Samuel Burk Burnett, the historic ranch is known for its quality cattle, blooded quarter horses, and improved ranch land. After a century and a half of continuous Burnett family ownership, when heir Anne Burnett Marion died in February 2020, provisions of her will called for sale of what had grown to three divisions in Texas: the Headquarters ranch of 142,372 acres in Guthrie, the 114,455-acre Dixon Creek Division near Borger, and the more recently acquired, 9,428-acre Frisco Creek Division near Stratford.
The 6666’s true-life story is the kind of saga that has drawn millions of fans to the fictional “Yellowstone” series since its 2018 debut starring Kevin Costner as patriarch of a family that controls the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the U.S. Sheridan co-writes and also plays cameo roles in the series.
Sheridan, born in Cranfills Gap, Texas, is also known for writing the screenplay for “Sicario” (2015) and “Hell or High Water” (2016), for which he received an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay. In February 2020, the Paramount Network renewed the Yellowstone series for a fourth season, and a spinoff based on the 6666 storyline was also announced earlier this year. Since then, reports of cast members and crew spottings have circulated throughout Texas Spur Country, along with speculation about the changing of the guard.
“Taylor Sheridan’s tightly written drama plays out beautifully against the backdrop of the American West,” read last week’s Parade magazine. Now, with the 6666, he’ll have plenty of authentic material to work with.
“The best cowboys will work it,” said Sheridan, “the best horses will be raised on it, and the best cattle will graze it.”