Former Goldman Sachs exec puts Aledo cutting horse ranch up for sale

A former top executive with Goldman Sachs who had a cutting horse operation west of Fort Worth has sold his herd of horses and put the 343-acre ranch in Aledo up for sale.

Jon Winkelried and his wife, Abby, sold 24 horses last week to David and Stacie McDavid, who made a fortune in automobile sales and have run a prizewinning cutting horse operation in Weatherford for more than 20 years.

Winkelried’s ranch at 740 Dixon Road in Aledo was listed for sale through Martha Williams at Williams Trew in Fort Worth, according to an article about the horse sale on Williams Trew has a ranch division, but the property was not listed on the agency’s website. Williams did not return a phone call seeking comment.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, David McDavid said that he had been preparing to buy some of the horses from Winkelried, a close friend, but that over a cup of coffee recently, Winkelried suggested buying all of them.

“I thought at the time, ‘Why the hell not?’” McDavid said. “He and I tend to think a lot alike anyway. We’re very excited to add their horses to our barn. It’s going to work out well for us. There’s not a bad one in the lot.”

Winkelried was co-president of Goldman Sachs when he surprised Wall Street in 2009 by deciding to retire at age 49 after a 27-year career as an investment banker. According to a Fortune magazine article in 2010, the New Jersey native had tired of the Wall Street grind during the financial meltdown and had become more interested in the cowboy life. Fortune estimated his personal net worth at $500 million.

He and his wife had launched their cutting horse business in 2004 at their Marvine Ranch in Meeker, Colo., then added the Aledo ranch. Winkelried could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The deal with the McDavids marks the end of the Winkelrieds’ involvement in the sport, according to The article called the sale “one of the biggest” in the cutting horse industry in years.

Winkelried told the website that “we’re leaving it in a way that we’ve done good by our horses and by the people we’ve been connected with.”

The McDavids, who operate a cutting horse facility near Lake Weatherford, said they will likely sell some of the horses.

McDavid said Winkelried accomplished “a great deal” during his short time in the cutting horse industry.

In April, The New York Times reported that Thrive Capital in New York had hired Winkelried as a strategic adviser. It also has been reported that Winkelried consults with TPG Capital, the private equity firm run by David Bonderman with offices in Fort Worth and San Francisco.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST