John T.L. Jones Jr. passed away on Friday, November 16, 2018, surrounded by family at his home in Quanah, Texas.
Born in Quanah on July 7, 1934, the horseman most people knew as Johnny Jones was a prominent member of the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred industries in many capacities, as a trainer, breeder, owner, and the head of Walmac International in Lexington, Ky., from 1976 to 2005, where he oversaw the stallion careers of major sires Nureyev, Alleged, and Miswaki.
When John Gaines dreamed up the concept of the Breeders’ Cup and presented his idea to industry leaders in the early 1980s, he credited Jones as the person who got everybody to work together after they’d hit a standstill. It was especially gratifying to Jones when Cajun Beat, a horse he co-bred with H. Smoot Fahlgren, won the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Jones was also involved with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Favorite Trick, the 1997 Horse of the Year whose breeding rights had been purchased by Walmac in August of his 2-year-old season.
Jones is the only person to breed a 2000 Guineas winner, King of Kings, co-bred with Ron Con Ltd.; and an All American Futurity winner, Ochoa, Quarter Horse racing’s all-time money leader who also won the Rainbow Derby and All American Derby.
Prominent among the other Thoroughbred horses Jones bred was top sire Unusual Heat. In the Quarter Horse world, he bred or co-bred champions Ochoa, Noconi, and Brenda Beautiful, all of whom he raced in partnership in his name or that of his J Bar 7 Ranch.
Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame member Jones was a founding partner of Four Star Sales and was formerly on the boards of both the Breeders’ Cup and the Keeneland Association. He also served on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Jones was predeceased by his first wife, Janice, in 2003 and married Brenda Kinsolving in 2007. He is survived by sons John III (Mia), Hutton (Paula), Levi (Paula), and daughter Julie Mogge (Guy); eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren; stepchildren Jenna Decker (Jeff), Ashley Crow (Josh), and CJ Kinsolving (Kaitlin), and seven step-grandchildren.
Visitation will be Monday, Nov. 19, from 6-8 p.m. CT at Smith Funeral Home, 210 W Third Street, Quanah, TX 79252, with graveside service at Quanah Cemetery on Tuesday at noon.