Ruth Elizabeth Tankersley was an American breeder of Arabian horses and a newspaper publisher. Her father was Joseph Medill McCormick, part-owner of the Chicago Tribune and a Senator from Illinois. Her mother was progressive Republican U.S. Representative Ruth Hanna McCormick. She bought her first purebred Arabian when she was 19.
About Bazy Tankersley in brief
Ruth Elizabeth Tankersley was an American breeder of Arabian horses and a newspaper publisher. Her father was Joseph Medill McCormick, part-owner of the Chicago Tribune and a Senator from Illinois. Her mother was progressive Republican U.S. Representative Ruth Hanna McCormick. She was described as having “inherited a love of politics and horses, not necessarily in that order. She died from Parkinson’s disease in 2013 and bequeathed her Tucson ranch to the University of Arizona and placed the Hat Ranch in a conservation trust. She had become a strong supporter of environmental causes and backed Barack Obama for president in 2008. Her love of horses in general and the Arabian horse in particular came from those years when her stepfather bought her a pony and I wore it out. So my mother got me a part-Arabian that I couldn’t wear out. So I wore that Arabian out… So I wore my mother’s pony out. She also showed horses on the East Coast in the 1930s. Her interest in Arabian horses led her to meet several major Arabian horses in the 1920s and 30s. She bought her first purebred Arabian when she was 19, and began her horse breeding operation, Al-Marah Arabians, in Tucson, Arizona, in 1941. She purchased her program’s foundation sire, Indraff, in 1947, while living in Illinois. By 1957 it was the largest Arabian farm in the United States. She later ran a newspaper in Illinois with her first husband, Peter Miller, and then in 1949 she became the publisher of the conservative Washington Times-Herald.
In her final years, she downsized her breeding operation to about 150 horses, and most remaining stock went to her son, Mark Miller, who moved the Al- Marah Arabian farm name and horse operation to his home base near Clermont, Florida. When she was four, her father died by suicide, believed to be partly attributed to his defeat for renomination in 1924. When her mother remarried, the family moved to the southwestern United States where she spent considerable time riding horses. She returned to Tucson in the 1970s, where in addition to horse breeding, she created an apprenticeship program to train young people for jobs in the horse industry. In the 1990s, she set up a second horse operation, the Hat ranch, near Flagstaff, Arizona. Over her career she bred over 2,800 registered Arabians and was one of the largest importers of horses from the Crabbet Arabian Stud in England. She died in 2013 at the age of 89. She is survived by her son Mark Miller and daughter-in-law, Garvin Tankersleys, a lawyer and banker from Byron, New Mexico. She leaves behind a son, John Tankersles, and a daughter, Katherine Tankersly, who is married to a former congressman from New Mexico, Albert Gallatin Simms.