Horst Kleinsasser is the patriarch of a ranch empire.
When Horst learned his eldest son, Blake, had been arrested for assaulting Rosie Amaya, he made arrangements to see Blake in jail, pulling strings with the superintendent of the jail. When he arrived, Horst had Blake brought out to him and gave him a handful of dirt, saying it was from the ranch and it was the only piece of the ranch he'd been given.
While Blake remained in jail, the rest of the family had a game night, mandated by Horst. When Rand tried to leave, Horst threatened him with a gun, shooting an elk head mounted on the wall to prove it was loaded.
Horst later caught John Wayne searching his office for something. He told John Wayne the ranch would be going to him now and he needed to start making decisions for himself and get ready to take care of his mother, sister, and brothers, including Blake. John Wayne told Horst that Blake had private investigators poking around and promised Horst he'd take care of that.
Horst interrupted a conversation between Margaret and Jenny and made it clear that Jenny needed to leave the house immediately. Horst then promised Margaret she was taking care of Blake. When Blake was released from Jail, Horst came to pick him up.
With Blake back at the ranch, the whole family ate breakfast together. At breakfast, Horst announced that John Wayne would get the ranch as Blake had violated the moral turpitude clause of the ranch covenant. Blake said he didn't want the ranch anyway.
Later, while riding horses, Blake told Horst that he didn't assault Rosie, though Horst refused to believe it was true. Blake also talked about how what happened with Cole Danvers messed him up. He couldn't just put it in a box like Horst told him to. He wanted Horst to admit that Rand isn't right and never was.
During a later conversion, Horst expressed his upset at Blake asking Jenny and Cassie to look into his case, promising that he'd take care of it himself. Horst said people wouldn't like Jenny and Cassie looking into their business. In response to that comment, Blake promised to tell what was happening on the ranch if Horst went after Cassie or Jenny. Horst laughed it off and began to hit Blake, saying Blake didn't have the balls to hit him back.
One morning, John Wayne led Horst and Rand to Blake's body, claiming he'd found the body below a spot where Blake used to sit. Horst asked both his living sons if they'd seen anything and they both denied it, so Horst said he would call the sheriff.
Horst then told Margaret that Blake was dead, leading to her sobbing outside their home and blaming Horst for his death. Horst told Cheyenne to take care of her mother and then met with Wagy, telling him to declare the death a suicide over Margaret's insistence that Blake didn't kill himself.
Wagy came to the Kleinsasser home and told Horst that there'd been a crash at the motel which killed Angela and injured Jenny. He had witnesses and knew that Rand did it. Unlike in the past, he refused to help Horst cover it up. However, he did give Horst the report he found at the scene that showed that Horst was dumping toxic chemicals on the ranch.
Horst confronted John Wayne and Rand and asked them which of them did it. Rand admitted to it. Horst then said after Blake's funeral, they all needed to figure out what to do with the barrels in the back pasture. He then ordered them to dig a grave for Blake by hand, warning them that if they screwed up again, it'd be the last time they ever saw the ranch.
Before Blake's funeral, Horst and Margaret had a tense conversation where he blamed her for everything going wrong with their children. At the end of the conversation, she told him she was going to kill him, which he expected.
Horst spoke at the funeral. Afterward, at the house, Wagy told Horst he'd have to bring Rand in for questioning. Horst refused to consider complying. When Margaret had their children hang a picture she'd painted of a dark spirit over their house, Horst ordered everyone to leave. Once everyone but the family was gone, Horst said they needed to unite or risk losing everything. Soon after, Wagy called and said Horst had a problem as he'd seen a car in the back pasture. Horst drove out to investigate it.
Horst found Gil out in the back pasture, and made Gil get in the truck with him. Gil claimed he was just checking if any of the barrels were leaking, but Horst told him that wasn't his business. Horst said it was his land and he could do whatever he wanted with it. Gil then told Horst that John Wayne and Rand had beat Rosie and framed Blake for it, but Horst refused to believe it, saying it didn't make sense. Horst then went to see Jenny, whom John Wayne had captured on the property. He insisted on her coming to breakfast with them. At breakfast, he threatened her life. Cheyenne interrupted and tried to get Jenny freed, but John Wayne pulled a gun on her and put her back in the box. Cheyenne then confronted Horst about keeping her captive. She said his sins were piling up and he couldn't keep them hidden anymore. She also told him that John Wayne killed Blake. In response, Horst told John Wayne he wouldn't be getting the ranch anymore. he then told Cheyenne if she wanted to have a say, he had a job for her. He gave her a gun and sent her to kill Gil. While Cheyenne was gone, Margaret came to Horst and told him Rand was dead. She also told him he was the cancer in their house. After Cheyenne refuse to kill Gil, but killed John Wayne accidentally during a brawl, Wagy was called out to the ranch. Horst stood on the porch next to Margaret as he arrived.
Horst and Margaret watched from inside the house as Wagy and Gregor were arrested. After everyone left the property, Margaret gave Horst his meds and told him that marrying him was a mistake as he died in front of her.
Notes and Trivia
- ABC Bio: Horst has run the ranch empire for decades with a petty ruthlessness, buying up failing ranches, making deals, expanding his grip on the small, rural Lochsa County. He's set up his children to compete and screw each other over. This once-powerful man has suffered a stroke and can only whisper, and knows he has to pass the ranch throne on to one of his children.
A more complete gallery with pictures of Horst Kleinsasser can be found here.