Froelich Ranch

Froelich Ranch


Inducted 2024

Matt J. and Katherine (Fitterer) Froelich started the original Froelich ranch in Sioux County (on the Standing Rock Reservation) in 1928. Matt was born September 4, 1881, at Speier, Russia, but was of German descent. Matt immigrated to the United States and arrived in Mandan, ND, on June 9, 1910. Five children were born to this union with a son & daughter dying in infancy. Mike Froelich was born on in 1915, Matt (M.W.) Froelich in 1918, and John J. Froelich in 1920.

Matt sold his interest in the ranch to his son, John J. Froelich in 1957. John married Barbara on November 3, 1945. John and Barbara have seven children: Warren (1945), Terry (1947), Rodney (1949), Gayle (1953), Kurt (1961), Kay (1963), and Kelly (1966).

The ranch has grown over the years but is still owned by descendants of Matt J. Froelich. John J. Froelich had a great affection for horses but the draft type he was raising did not have speed or versatility to his liking, so he exposed a U.S. remount stallion to his remaining draft-type mares. Soon after, he heard about the Quarter Horse, which offered more speed and quickness. In the late 1940’s he purchased a palomino stallion, WR’s Commanche Boy, a grandson of Old Man by Old Sorrel (the foundation sire of the King Ranch Quarter Horse breeding program and an early inductee into the AQHA Hall of Fame). John then purchased three mares, which began a breeding program that developed beyond his wildest dreams. As years passed, John purchased sons of King Trumpet x Cotton Mac’s Star, Blackburn 90, and Tuffernhel. John also leased a son of Smutty Bill from Harold Schafer.

In 2009, the Froelich program was recognized as an AQHA Legacy Breeder for registering at least one foal for 50 consecutive years. In the fall of 2010, AQHA recognized it as the first AQHA Heritage Ranching Breeder in North Dakota and, in 2023, John was inducted into the North Dakota American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

The Froelich Ranch is also known for its sustainable cattle operation, producing highly sought-after feeder cattle with attention to genetics and nutrition.

The Cannonball River snakes through one end of the ranch, and the Pamplin Hills give a rugged beauty to the original homestead. Over the years, Froelich Ranch expanded its land mass and operation. A large horse-training barn allows the family to host special horse training clinics and a feedlot allows the family autonomy when marketing cattle.

Within all the history of ranching, horses, cattle, and raising families in North Dakota, one overall philosophy has prevailed: breed livestock that the family loves and protect the land for future generations.

World Finals held in Las Vegas, NV. Brody also earned the right to compete at the Jr. High National Finals Rodeo held in Des Moines IA in 2020.
Please note that a tragic fire occurred at Rodney Froelich’s home on March 10, 2022, which was part of the original homestead of Matt Froelich. Many artifacts, photo albums, and award certificates were lost.