Legendary horseman Johnny T.L. Jones died November 16.
Jones was born in Quanah, Texas, on July 7, 1934. He graduated from Abilene Christian University, and then worked as a manager and trainer for Walter Merrick from 1966-1970.
In 1977, he became the owner and manager of Walmac Stud International in Lexington, Kentucky, where he developed such legendary Thoroughbred sires such as Nureyev, Miswaki and Alleged. He was a founder of Thoroughbred racing’s Breeder’s Cup, served as the vice chairman for the Kentucky Racing Commission, director of the Association of State Racing Commissioners, Director for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, and is a former member of the executive committee of the Texas Horse Racing Association. He is a member of the Texas Racing and Ruidoso halls of fame.
Jones also spent a lifetime working to improve the racing American Quarter Horse, and his work is highlighted by all-time leading money earner Ochoa, whom he bred and co-owned in the name of his Quanah-based ranch, J Bar 7 Ranch LLC. Ochoa earned $2,781,365 in his racing career, winning the 2011 All American Futurity (G1) and three additional Grade 1s as well as being a four-time champion.
Among the many other top horses he was involved in was training top runner Jet Smooth, and co-breeding and -owning champion Noconi ($1,356,400).
Jones was predeceased by his first wife, Janice, in 2003. He married Brenda Kinsolving in 2007. He is survived by sons (and their spouses) John III (Mia), Hutton (Paula), Levi (Paula), and a daughter, Julie (Guy); eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren; three stepchildren, and seven step-grandchildren.
Graveside services were held Tuesday, November 20, at Noon, at the Quanah Cemetery. According to John Jones III, a memorial service for his father will be held in Lexington at a date in the future to be determined.