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In around 1975 my father bought a yearling quarter horse stallion named tontos light he showed in him in some  county and club halter quarter horse shows there he met gary hellan and gary started showing tonto in bigger class shows where tonto went to win a first in the congress in 1975 and a 2nd at the world show my fathers name is wa'll ter essig at the time we had a little hobbie farm in waverly mn. Im walters oldest son jim I took care of tonto on my dads farm tonto was a very beautiful horse with a lot of spirit he made my dad very happy maybe someday I'll write the whole story on tontos light he was just an ordinary yearlin with jerry wells experiences jerry made a true champion tonto was a very beautiful stallion jerry made a true grand champion with tonto tonto grew to fame in a very fast time. Once of the fastest high point stallions in history if it wasn't for the meeting of these dedicated horsemen tonto would never of been what he became I thank you gary hellon and jerry wells for the great work they did with tonto and a special thanks to these great horsemen for makin my fathers all time dream come a reality im not sure if gary or jerry are still with us but because of my father's last stroke I know my dad gives special thanks in makein and believing in my father dream to bring the dream to real life in my prayers and many thanks to these two real life horsemen for believing in my father and all the help and hard work these two cowboys did for my father could never of done such a great job making tonto true grand champion.

Walt's oldest some Jim.

I was a visiting with Kenny Eppers a few weeks ago and we sharing stories of horse shows past and he asked me share with you an experience I had with Jerry many years ago it was at the Congress back in 70s I was about 10 or 11 I'm 54 now anyway my halter gelding was eating me up trying to get him ready to show out of nowhere Jerry stepped in got hold of my horse straightened him out gave me a quick lesson and walked away I got to thank him in I think 2001 at the paint world I was taught a lesson that day that changed my life always take time to look for and help others I never really had a dad but that day my direction in like changed I went on after training horses for years I've been in the pastoral ministry for the last 30 years I have never forgotten that day or the lesson I learned I loved Jerry for helping a kid he never knew I am better man from that one day God bless you you and the family are in my prayers

Mike Seay
Yoakum TX

It was the summer of 1967. Jim Fuller and I pulled into A.B. Greens late one August afternoon. Jerry was mowing the grass with a push mower along the fence.

I will never forget spending the summer with Betty and Jerry. I was only 16 that year, and Jerry took me under his wing and helped teach me what I needed to know to become a better horseman. Jerry was always my idol. Not only was he a great horseman, but he was even a better human being. From that day foreword every time I saw Jerry he would go out of his way to speak, and offer assistance if needed. Thank You for the influence you have had in my life. I hope someday I can be half the man Jerry was.

Michael Allen
Houston, TX.

I believe I met Jerry at the World Show in the early 80’s soon after I had come to work at AQHA.  The following January I was walking through the barns at the Denver Stock show.  I hadn’t seen Jerry yet, but he saw me from way down the alley.  He waved and said, “Hello Doug” pretty loudly.  I was caught a little off guard.  I sure knew who Jerry Wells was, but I couldn’t believe he would remember me or, for that matter, care enough to say hello.  But he always did and from that day on he would.  I was so impressed that a guy with his credentials, an icon in the Quarter Horse world, would take time for even me.  I was just a young guy that didn’t grow up in the horse show world, trying to sell ads for the Journal.  

He was one in a million.

Doug Hayes

 

Jerry Wells and Betty...were always kind to everyone that ever meet them.  Jerry was one of the best horsemen .....ever and showed a stallion for me..”Tontos Light”. He made him reserve world champion and reserve Congress winner. What I remember most about him, was...he was a very polite and easy going gentleman. His connection with people made him great ...over than being a great horseman.

Gary Helland

 

 

Best wishes to the Wells Family, my name is William cook and I worked for Jerry wells in the early 1970,S to 1978, Jerry was always so very good to me and my family working for him gave me a strong start in live I traveled with him on many shows and have lots of good memories of the good time we had his wife betty and kids, marty and Nancy will always have a special place in my heart one time stands out in my mind about him I was staying up watching mares at night to make sure they did not deliver and their babies at night and this one night I fell asleep well Jerry being a slick one cone out found me asleep in the back of the trailer bed I was sitting in turned me around was I was facing the other stall and when I awoke I looked in and seen the horse and her baby colt in the stall so I go running up to the house about 2 or 3 in the morning yelling shes having it shes having it, he got up saying I will be right there so I go running back to the barn being fully awake now going to the right stall looking in only to find that the mare had not had her baby and then here comes Jerry and I looked at him and hejust busted out laughing at me saying William did you fall asleep?

Heres toyou Jerry, I will aLways love you and miss you!
William C. Cook,
Purcell, OK

 

 

There are so many wonderful stories I could tell that it would take days to cover.

I first really got to know Jerry when we were at the Denver Stock Show January 1977. He brought out this Bay horse, and there were 2 AQHA inspectors in from Amarillo. This was the best and prettiest horse I have ever seen and he drew a crowd. The horse Te N’ Te got his permanent number but couldn’t show in Denver and Jerry went on to show him at Tucson, AZ  Sun Circuit where he went Grand every day.  My Brother Donald and I were both In Denver and I told Jerry I wanted to breed 2 mares to Te N’ Te.  The results were fantastic with the arrival of Te Two Eyed and Roll On Te.  When Jerry Syndicated Te N’ Te my brother and I each bought a share. Te N’ Te was the first non race quarter horse syndicated for $1 million dollars.

When I brought my first 2 mares to breed I told Jerry that I knew a lot about show cattle but very little about horses and asked him for a “rule of thumb.”

Those statements are on wooden plaques hanging in my office and I refer to them often.

Jerry said:

  1. Buy the BEST horse you can afford to buy WORTH THE MONEY!
  2. You’ll never pay too much for a good one; you’ll ALWAYS PAY TO MUCH FOR A POOR ONE.
  3. Who are they by, what are they out of and what have they ever done?
  4. You must be completely COLOR BLIND.  Some of the best horses have been passed up on because of color.

As the years went by he truly became a friend and answered any question I asked.  My success in winning is largely the result of his great advice.

Three weeks before JT Walters died I stopped and asked him to tell me one more time about Jerry buying Te N’ Te and he just smiled and told me again how Jerry & Betty came from Ruidoso, NM in that big “BUMBLE BEE’ motor home and how he had Te N’ Te facing the front of his aisle, Jerry walked in looked at him from the front, then the profile, and as he walked to the back to look at his hind leg JT said his eyes dropped and I knew I had him sold.

As the years went by Jerry always rooted for the little guylike me and I will never forget his sound advice and true friendship.

God Blesshis memory ~ Ivan Harder
Ivan Harder Quarter Horses

 

 

Many years ago, I called Jerry up on the phone from Brazil about a Palomino Horse called Quinarius Chance that I understood, he had won the World Championship with. We discussed the selling price and I told him that I would be flying in from Brazil to see this horse and if everything was ok, I would buy it. Three weeks went by  and I showed up at Jerry's Ranch together with a Brazilian Friend called Eduardo Moura. It turned out that the horse had just been sold at the morning we arrived from Brazil. Jerry was so sorry about this situation that He gave me a beautiful leather and silver halter just to compensate the trouble we had gone through. On that same night, we, Eduardo and I, acquired from Jerry a 4 times world champion halter mare and three other outstanding individuals including the World champion Coolgratulations. Jerry was so kind and considered that caused the best impression on me. He was may roll model, someone that I looked up to in all professional matters.

We miss you Jerry.

Waldemar Cardoso
Campinas/ S. Paulo/Brazil

 

 

One year Jerry and Betty brought some weanlings down to Florida for the Futurity.  They had not been shown or ever had their manes banded.  Betty and I worked all day to band and trim their manes so they would just suit Jerry.  We put slinkies on all of them and hoped for the best.  The next morning when we came in, all of their slinkies were off and their manes were standing straight up.  We asked Jerry what happened and he said that he did not think they would rest well with the slinkies on so he took them all off at last barn check.  Needless to say Betty and I had a lot of work to do before the show started.

Patty Shortino
Lutz, Florida

 

The first time that I was Jerry wells is when he came to NY to show a halter mare that was leading the honor roll.  Stretch Bradley was there too with Valarina Miss. That was the first time that I saw the best of the best at that show.  I walked by as Jerry was going in the ring and I was amazed at the horses that he had.  I first saw Betty ride on Windchester at the arizona circuit.  What a team they made. I later got to know Jerry though Ross Roark, who was working for Jerry and Betty at the time.  I banded a lot of Congress and World champions.  I was banding the aged stud at the congress when Jerry walked up to me and said a side bet had been made and he needed a perfect banding job and if the stud went grand I would get an extra $100.00. I told him he was going to win that side bet, and he did go grand with the horse.  Ever since those days, I could be any where and Jerry and Betty would always say hello. I put Jerry and Betty at the top of my list for sincere people.  I was at the Keenland TB sale a couple of years ago and Jerry's brother was there.I asked how Jerry was doing and he said still fighting!  The next day Jerry's brother walked up to me with his cell phone and said someone wants to talk to you..it was Jerry..he made my day.  I'll never forget get what me said..Girl, what are you doing in Keenland?  He asked if I was still in NY.  I was so honored that he remembered that I had to move from OK. back home because my father was ill. Someone so high up in the horse industry remembering me and my life...I was truly honored.  That conversation at Keenland meant the world to me and I will never forget it. I heard the news from Ross, while I was testing for my AQHA card that Jerry was losing his fight.  That day I scored extremely high in the halter classes...I contribute that to Jerry educating me on halter horses over the years. I got my AQHA Judges card.

Nancy Wilde
Seneca Falls, New York

 

 

December 2008

As I was reading the AQHJ last night, I was thinking just how much Jerry Wells' life with horses has affected our horse life for the better.  I only wish that I had thought of it before, so to thank him in person.

Most of the horses that I have loved, or the bloodlines of the horses I now own, are 'grandchildren' of stallions that Jerry made.  

We have one AQHA mare that has the breeding of Otoe, Boston Mac and Impressive.  Mattie,(barn name) is the love of Tara, my niece's life.  This little mare would never have existed if it wasn't for Jerry, and the work he did promoting his stallions.  At 4 years old this little mare is proving to be worth her weight in gold for Tara.  Mattie is a finished reiner, with a huge stop, jumps, and does whatever is asked of her. A truly all around mare, plus kind enough for a 12 year old girl to love on. (Tara likes to do a bridleless routine on her too!)

I'm sure Mattie represents just one of the thousands of horses out there, that because of Jerry Wells, these great horses are here now.

The work Jerry did was/is so far reaching into the future, and the lives that have been touched because of what he did is hardly fathomable.

While I have a hard time putting my thanks into elegant words, know that there are many people who think about all the hard work it takes to make a horse, and how much harder it is to make a horse great.   Jerry had that ability! I just wish that I could have met him in person to tell him thank you.  It has taken me three months to write this, I hope you understand my heartfelt gratitude.

Sincerely,
Karrie Osburn
Gaston, Oregon

 

 

I've thought a long time about Jerry Wells and what I wanted to say.  He was an icon in the quarterhorse business to say the least.  It will be a long time before another Jerry Wells comes along.  He had such a hugh presence.  He was a quiet man but when he walked into a room he very presence oozed integrity and excellence.  When I think of Jerry I am reminded of the story in the bible of the man that was given the talents.  He took them, developed them, and when his master came to see what he had done he said "Well done, thou good and faithful servant".  I'm sure that Jerry Wells heard those same words when he went through heavens gates.  He took his God given talent, his love for horses and left a legacy for his family that few men ever attain.  He left a hope for the young children in this industry to dare to dream and your dreams can be realized.  I am honored to have known this man, Jerry Wells, his wife Betty and their children.  My life has definitely be enriched by his life.

Rick & Bonnie Opitz
Yukon, Oklahoma

 

 

I came to know Jerry around 2000 or so, I bought a mare named IMA PERPETUAL GAL.  Then Jerry came to let me work in the barn for while with Trainer Lisa Fair.  I had a blast and learned so much.  I show and train professionaly Appaloosa Horses.  I showed him my photos of horses I fit and he said little gal, you should be showin quarter horses.  I lauged of course thinking how I would have to show against him, turner, haverty etc.  But he said I fit a horse like him and I could do it.  I haven't yet but never forgot his kindness and the way he treated me like I had a million dollars even though I only paid $2500 for pg.  Everywhere I go I always tell people of his kindness to me and the way he treated everyone at the barn when I was working.  I learned of his passsing through a customer of ours and a mutual friend of Jerry's.  Tommy Sims.  Anyway, god bless your family and Im going to miss him terribly.  There will never be anyone like him.  Other trainers don't give you the time of day but he always did.

Helen Cox-Chedester
Marlow, Oklahoma

 

 

I was never able to meet Jerry, but I met a number of people that did know him and know him well. I used to hear many stories about him from the late Charlie Petty. I was fortunate to see Jerry's office the week before it was moved from Oklahoma Stud and I just stood there in awe. I could not believe the number of trophies that he won. They were stacked 3 deep and 6 feet tall everywhere you looked. What an impact he made!

Russell Gilliam
Rome, Ohio

 

 

Betty,

    You know our story...but you probably don't know the impact that you and Jerry had on our lives and our business.  When we purchased Dawns Knight in 1999 we had no idea how special he would become and how special you and Jerry would become.  The funny part of this story is that I didn't think I was going to get Doug to get that last bid on that colt...  We went to the World Show sale that year with hopes and not much cash...but all we had was enough to get him bought.  

The summer of the next year is when Jerry called us in July to see how qualifying was going and he sent Lisa to Kansas the last week in July to see the colt and help us if we needed it.  We got the extra point we needed and well the rest is kind of history as they say.  We dropped "JW" off at the barn in August and Jerry gave us the tour and said this won't cost you all anything other than the show expenses....pretty amazing if you ask me about that kind of offer.  I am pretty sure I cried all of the way home...but I knew he was in good hands.  We were 3rd at the Congress in Open with him and Jerry didn't want a picture...not unless you were first or second...but we twisted his arm and he did it....needless to say you could tell he wasn't real thrilled.  The world show came and Jerry was confident we would get a trophy in the Amateur...and we did.  I was just thrilled to be there (it was my first world show...) but I was so nervous and in tears before we went down the alley...  Jerry asked me what was wrong and I told him that I didn't want to embarrass him...he just grinned and put his arm around me and said, "Lana, if I was worried about that we would have stayed at home......now go show your colt.”  

We sold JW after my class and the next year Sheila was grand at the Congress....  We might have sold the colt...but we didn't sell the friendship....it carried on and is one that we both cherish and will forever.  We love you, we loved Jerry and we both wish you and your family the best with everything that life hands you from here on out.

Doug Landon and Lana Brooks
Clark, Missouri

 

 

Hello Betty and Family,

This is Darolyn Butler, I was the producer of the video on "The Winning Halter Horse" that Jerry did back in the early 80's.  I just read all the wonderful memorial stories on your web page and have to say I totally agree with the fabulous things people had to say about Jerry.  

Jerry's training video was only the 3rd one I produced and even though I thought I knew everything back then, & now I know I knew "not much".... Jerry was wonderfully patient and kind through the whole production with a greenhorn.  His professionalism was amazing to work with and made my job very easy... in fact the professional look of the video can certainly be attributed to his outstanding performance, not much that we did.  

The world was certainly a better place with him in it and we've all lost a great person and horseman.  I'd like to send you some copies of the video if you would like them.  Perhaps you could award them along with your scholarships or to deserving Jr. Competitors.  We continue to market both the video and DVD version of his very thorough training if you would like to suggest it to any of his fans.   

I'll look forward to seeing you sometime when I'm up in Oklahoma as my sister and mother still reside in Pauls Valley.  My sincere condolences on your loss.

Darolyn Butler
Humble, Texas

 

 

I WAS A NEW COMER TO THE HALTER WORLD, AND TRAVELLED TO TEXAS FROM NEW YORK ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS. I WAS IN FORT WORTH SHOWING WITH HARVEY SPICER, I HAD SEEN JERRY ON A FEW OCASSIONS WHILE SHOWING, AND AT ONE TIME HE WALKED OVER TO ME AND SPOKE TO ME WITH HIS GENTLE TONE AND SAID "GREAT JOB", I WAS AMAZED THAT JERRY WELLS WOULD CONGRATULATE ME BEING NEW AT HALTER. I WAS SO PLEASED THAT HE MADE A BIG EFFORT TO SAY ANYTHING TO ME. THAT IS WHEN I KNEW I WAS IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND DOING WHAT I LOVED TO DO WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE. FOR I KNEW JERRY WAS SO RESPECTED BY ALL AND FOR HIM TO MAKE A EFFORT TO SPEAK TO ME MEANT THE WORLD TO ME FOR I NEEDED THAT BOOST BEING NEW, SO I THINK JERRY FOR THE KIND WORDS AND GIVING ME THE COURAGE TO GO ON. THANK YOU JERRY YOU WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED IN OUR HEARTS

A FRIEND
KATE FLEMING
LAND O LAKES, FL

 

 

While as a youth exhibitor my son Tyler's hero was Jerry.He qualified for the Youth World at Tulsa at 10 years old, while there a family friend introduced Tyler to Jerry. That was a highlight by itself for him, but when Jerry came to his stall before his class and confided that he still got nervous before big shows, Tyler was wowed! Now up to this point Tyler hadn't slept, and threw up behind the barns several times due to nerves! Well he showed his horse in halter and even though he didn't place in the top 10, he was still proud he made it through the class without throwing up in the arena! Jerry met him after the class and gave him praises for the job he did. On a quiet day during the show Jerry drove Tyler to the ranch for an afternoon that will always remain a special day. Tylers delight was that Jerry had hair under that cowboy hat that he never saw removed!

Tyler is 32 years old now, no longer showing halter horses but raising bucking bulls. That memory of Jerry Wells will always stay with him, when told of Jerrys passing Tyler sighed, and reminised of this memory, and for years after, how Jerry always remembered him when their paths crossed at different horse shows, and while at the Congress 2 years later shared a couple of steak on a sticks. He still states that Jerry Wells will always be his hero!

Judy Stark
Tyler Stark
Emporia, Kansas

 

Dear Betty,

Words can't describe how sorry I am for your lose, I met Jerry back years ago when we owned Marlow Livestock Sales, my first impression of Jerry was "he is a class act". In the horseman dictionary if you lookup a true gentleman I would expect to find Jerry Wells name beside it, in my opinion he is one of the finest men I ever knew, Betty I'm so sorry I didn't know he had passed, but remember he is looking down on us and he is feeling no more pain.

Steve A. Patterson
Branson, Missouri

 

 

Our friendship with Jerry and Betty goes back a long, long way.  We had the very rare privilege of being their first employees the year they struck out on their own. Their first facility was just getting off the ground, mud and all.  There was much activity as the house was being remodeled, landscaping done and barn and pens were built.  Betty kept borrowing the Mexican workers for projects and Jerry would hustle them back to the barn for his tasks.  That barn in Purcell became a beautiful show place and one that we will always remember.

It was not unusual for us to take 10 or more horses to the shows.  We arose early on Saturday mornings. Ken and Jerry would tie all the horses in the allyway and hoof black their feet.  They were then loaded into the van which Jerry and Betty drove and we would follow with with a 2 horse trailer. I can not quite remember how we got it all done but showing was much simpler in those days and we thought nothing of it.  We have many, many memories of that time and hopefully if Betty writes her book we can help her with some of those very early day rememberances. One expecially fond memory was a spring show in Albert Lea, Minn with the snow falling and the horses housed in tie stalls in an open sided barn.  Again, we did not think too much about it. The horses survived and so did we.

Oh, the horses that went through that barn in those days.   They are the foundation of what the Quarter Horse industry is today.  We had no idea of where it was headed but we were a part of it and we remember how it all started.

We had maintained our friendship with Jerry and Betty for all these years even though were busy with our own family and business.  We always found time to visit with them especially at the World show.Ken and Jerry spoke often on the phone. When Jerry became ill he asked us to pray for him.  He fought a valiant battle and remained with us for many years until he did not have the strength.  When Betty asked Ken to be a pallbearer we were so honored even though it was difficult to carry our dear friend to his grave site. The procession with the horse drawn carrage was just beautiful and befitting of the wonderful person that Jerry was.  Even though it was an extremely stormy day, the rain held off and not a drop fell on the procession as if devine intervention was playing a part.

We will miss Jerry.  The Quarter Horse industry will miss Jerry.  But most of all Jerry will be missed deeply by his loving family.  He would be proud and honored to see how much their love has been displayed.

Another World Show is just around the corner.  We will gather and celebrate this wonderful experience but one of our most beloved will not be there other than in spirit.   

We Love You Jerry

Ken and Harriet Link
Woodville, Wisconsin

 

 

BABO AND I LIVED ON LAKE TEXOMA IN NORTH TEXAS AND HAVE KNOWN JERRY AND BETTY SINCE THEY WERE KIDS AT MATLOCK'S AND AT GEORGE TYLER'S.

OUR STORY IS ABOUT MARTY AS MUCH OR MORE THAN ANYTHING AND IT WAS TIME TO GO TO OHIO TO THE QUARTER HORSE CONGRESS.  WE HAD A PRETTY GOOD GRAY MARE BY WINCHESTER THAT WE HAD MADE A .."SUPERIOR CALF HORSE".. AND WE WERE TAKING HER.

I"LL NEVER FORGET, RICKY SHELLY WAS RIDING .."SKIPATIP TEXAS".. AND MADE A VERY OUTSTANDING RUN AND IT PUT US IN FIRST PLACE AND IT LASTED UNTIL HERE CAME MARTY. MARTY WAS PLAYING FOOTBALL IN SULPHUR, OKLAHOMA ON FRIDAY AND THE ROPING WAS AT 8:00 AM THE NEXT MORNING IN OHIO. GUESS WHO TOLD BETTY HOW TO GET HIM FROM THE FOOTBALL GAME IN SULPUR TO ROPING IN OHIO?  ............. I DID ..............AND THAT IS WHAT FRIENDSHIP IS ALL ABOUT AND GUESS WHAT, "MARTY" DID MAKE A LONG NICE RUN AND WE BECAME SECOND.

BABO AND I HAVE ENJOYED BETTY, JERRY AND THE FAMILY SINCE THE EARLY 60'S.

GOD BLESS THEM ALL.

BABO & C.D.

C. Dewitt Loe, Jr. & Babo Loe
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

 

 

Jerry Wells was a great man. I have known he and Betty for 36 years from when I showed Quarter Horses in the 70s. My dad took me to their horse sale at the ranch and I showed at the QH Show held there as well. They really rolled out the red carpet for everyone and it was great fun. Jerry was one of the most gracious, soft spoken, kind people I've ever known. The fact that he was a great horseman is just a bonus.

People never forget how you make them feel. And Jerry was the best at making you feel great! I was in Ruidoso when Merganser won the All American and had stopped by their family's table to congratulate them and they invited us to get in the win picture. That is documented history that we were a part of!

Also, Jerry was great at supporting and helping out trainers that he believed in. I was dating a pleasure horse trainer in Oklahoma back in the 90's and the boyfriend called me one day to tell me that Jerry stopped him at the Congress and asked him if he'd take an appendix registered mare, get her broke to ride and the points she needed to get an AQHA number so that Jerry could register her colt and show him at the next years Congress.  And oh by the way, we only had 6 months to get it done and the mare would fight the trailer so bad she'd stay sore about half the time!  She was a problem child to say the least!

My friend was so honored that Jerry even knew who he was and believed in him to get it done. He was a little intimidated and not sure if he should attempt it but he did and said he couldn't let someone like Jerry down if he thought that much of him to send him a horse. My friend got the job done and then when he and Jerry were visiting at a show, Jerry was introducing my friend and bragging on him to everyone how he got the mare broke, trained and registered in less that 6 months.  We had a professional photo of her made under saddle (just for us) and Betty saw it and wanted to put it in their ad in the Journal.  They were not even promoting the mare at all, just the colt. But that's the kind of people they are, always trying to help out trainers getting started and giving them encouragement and opportunities to succeed.

I introduced Jerry to some Paint clients of mine and they hired him to show a mare at the Paint World. He did and he ended up showing for them a few years more.  I remember the client was just amazed that Jerry was so down to earth and kind and encouraging.  He was star struck with Jerry and said that he was worlds apart from other World Champion showmen that he had met.  It's funny that everyone was so star struck around Jerry and Jerry couldn't understand that.  Jerry thought of himself as just an Oklahoma cowboy, nothing special!  But Jerry was wrong about that...Jerry was and is a very special person.  He made you feel great about yourself, about the horse industry and about the future and he wasn'e even trying. Jerry was just being Jerry.

Yes, he is a legend in the horse industry and has probably done more for the breed and people just starting out whether amateurs or trainers than anyone, but the true legacy he leaves behind is his family. Jerry was most proud of his wonderful wife and his children and grandchildren, more than any World Championship he ever won. When you stop by to visit and ask how he's doing, Betty and the kid's accomplishments was all he would brag about!

And the absolute most important accomplishment he ever did was accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and share that love and faith with others and his family.  He was a bold and passionate witness in the past few years of his life, and I know that Jerry's proudest moment, more than any World Show trophies or Congress wins, was when Jerry was met in Heaven by our Lord Jesus and heard Him say to Jerry "Well done good and faithful servant".

Jerry, I love you and miss you my friend, and I look forward to seeing you again one day in glory. Until our trails meet again...blessings from your sister in Christ,

Jackie McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

 

 

I will always remember Jerry as the legend horseman, who was a wonderful family man who was always such a polite, friendly, gentleman. He gave so   much to the Quarter Horse Industry. May God comfort and bless his family  and friends.

Rogalyn Whistle,
Hernando, Mississippi

 

 

Jerry, you have been my friend for at least 40 years and our friendship always seemed to grow stronger each year.  You lived in Oklahoma and I lived in Florida but I admired you and enjoyed you no matter where our paths crossed.  Someday I'm sure we will once again see each other and I sure hope I will be doing something ridiculous to make you laugh again.  In the meantime, get things organized up there, check out the judges and be sure to let me know what I'm gonna have to do to win a blue.

Your friend,
Carol Harris
Reddick, Florida

 

 

My grandpa jerry wells was one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. I have been blessed to have ever had a grandpa as great as him. he was one of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life. I am sad to see him go but I know I’ll see him again. A few weeks before my papaw passed away I started showing his horse named Ms Passion and at that time he was too sick to see me show, so we took a photo with my first place ribbon and when I went back to the hospital and showed him the picture and I saw great joy come to his eyes and I knew he was proud of me. I’ve made it to the AQHA world show with Ms Passion and I’ll have something that no one else in the world has... I’ll have a guardian angel known as Jerry Wells on my shoulder. My horse buddy passed away the same week as my papaw and I was very upset and I asked my mom why was God doing this to me, why was god taking away two of the most important things in my life? She said Brittney your papaw needed something to ride into heaven on and God thought that your horse was the perfect fit. So now I’m honored that my papaw is riding my horse in heaven and one day my papaw and I will be able to ride together again. I’ve found a new horse now and every time right before I go in the gate I look up in the sky and I see my papaw and buddy cheering for me.

Brittney Barr
Ada, Oklahoma

 

 

I was a young horseman, pretty much on my own, heading to the state fair shows in the midwest. Jerry and Betty needed some horses hauled. So I stoped by to pick up the horses and follow them to all the shows. Much to my dismay Frank Merrill decided he would ride with me. Well I was not happy about that because at that time I was not interested in Frank.

I am pretty sure Betty and Jerry were both in on it. It was a very long ride for Frank because I did not talk to him all the way to Indiana. We stoped at Dr. Woods over night and low and behold only one room left for the two of us. Again Frank had to sleep on the floor. Betty and Jerry kept saying he's a good guy give him a chance.

Well the rest is history, we just celebrated our 33rd anniversary.

I can still hear Jerry say "Robin Sue" he is ok.

Frank and I have many more stories, but I guess Jerry and Betty can share in the fact that I did give in and started being nice to a wonderful man.

Robin Merrill
Purcell, Oklahoma

 

 

The very first Quarter Horse show I ever attended was in New Castle Indiana in the late 60's.  Jerry was there with I believe Kid Meyers to get his final roping points for his Supreme Championship.  Jerry was driving a pick up and a regular old two horse trailer.... I was 9 years old, yet he took the time to talk to me and answer all my questions....

Several years later after I had put myself through college and could afford a little better horses,I am in Lufkin,TX getting my horse ready to show and he ties up ... I mean can't walk ...stuck !!! Jerry walks up and says can I help you?  I said sure I don't know what's wrong but my horse can't move...  Jerry went to his trailer and came back and give my horse a few shots of something ( he could have been killing him for all I knew) but in a few minutes he was better and could walk. I thanked him and tried to pay him and he wouldn't take any money, he just smiled and told me he thought he would be okay now.  

I will never forget how somone who was one of the greastest horseman that ever lived stop to help one of the little guys.

Barry Kerns
Yorba Linda, California

 

 

Long before the horses, spouses and children, Jerry Wells and I became life long friends.  I don't remember when we did not know each other. I've attempted to put a number to the years of our friendship, but it's an impossibility. When we were growing up in Murray County none of us had any money, and I don't think we ever thought we lacked anything.  We had family and friends as well as wonderful places to go.  Going to Little Niagra in Platt National Park or Turner Falls was all the entertainment we required.  The Tavern at the falls, was really a place only for teens and sold nothing alcoholic.  It was our place to dance, meet with our friends and have a wonderful time.  I can close my eyes and see Jerry standing in the double doors in his starched Levi's and white shirt; his shoulders looked as wide as those double doors.  He was, as kids say now, HOT!  To me he was my special friend.  However, don't think that he couldn't or wouldn't dot someones eye in a second!  There was always someone wanting to fight on Saturday night at the Tavern, especially during football season. Davis and Sulphur have always and will always be bitter enemies on the football field, but great friends all the other time of the year. I can't remember Jerry ever starting a fight, but he sure could end them and in a hurry. When Betty and Jerry moved back to Sulphur, their son, Marty and our son Trey, became the best of friends. If I wrote about their escapes, it would be much too long!  Marty was a pall bearer for Trey's infant son who died from cancer.  The day of Jerry's funeral, Trey told me he would always love Marty like the brother he never had. Jerry took them deer hunting and Russell took them snow skiiing. Nancy will always be so special to me.  It came easy to love Betty and Jerry's children because I loved them, also.  I know Jerry was a wonderful grandparent because, like me, he had a love for his grandparents that was never wavering.  I remember the two of us talking about being grandparents and agreeing that if we could be to our grandchildren like our grandparents were to us we would be happy.

To know Jerry, was to love him.  I will miss my special friend forever.

Mert Oakley Lewis
Yukon, Oklahoma

 

 

There is a vacancy not only in the arena where World Champions are made but  also in the heart of every person that knew, loved, and respected Jerry Wells. This was very hard for me to write. I mean how do you put into words how some one has left a impression on you so strong that you feel like you have known him forever.

My husband Dennis went to work for Jerry during breeding season of 1998. We had just moved here from California and didn't really know any one. The second day of working in the breeding barn my husband came home set down on the sofa and just shook his head. I ask him what was wrong and he replied I will never judge a person with out knowing them first again. He said Jerry was not only the most professional horseman he had ever met but one of the most down to earth person he had ever met and the love he had for his horses was like none other.

Well I couldn't wait to meet Jerry so he took me over there a few days later and I not only met Jerry but I saw every horse on the property, saw all the awards and also met Betty. I mean you would have thought I was someone real important.

Later I would be at a show and just watch how Jerry made every one feel that way. He always had time for the little guy and many times I would see a person walk away from his stalls or down a isle way at a show looking like they had just won the lotto.  I often wondered why he had that effect on people then I came to realize that he was a special person that had a special way with everyone.

There will never be another Jerry Wells. He paved a path in the horse world that others will only be able to follow and I know in my heart the next time we are at a QH show if we look real hard Jerry will be standing there at the front of the line just as he always did. Until we meet again Jerry.... We will always remain your friends Dennis and Vickie DeShields.

Dennis & Vicki DeShields
Byars, Oklahoma

 

 

During the highschool basketball season of 1958-59, I was the equipment manager.  Jerry was a senior and one of the leaders on the team.  In a game in, I think, Wynnewood (could have been Pauls Valley)an unusual series of events unfolded.  Jerry and a player on the oposing team both came down with their hands on the ball trying for a rebound.  For a couple of seconds neither player could take the ball from the other.  The refree blew his whistle for a jump ball, but at almost the same instant of the whistle blowing Jerry gave another strong jerk on the ball and succeded in taking the ball from the other player.  However the jerk was so hard and was directed in an upward motion and although the ball was still in Jerry's hands, the back of one of Jerry's hands hit the other player in the nose and blooded his nose.  The refree did not see exactly what happened and thought Jerry hit the guy on purpose.  He ejected Jerry from the game.  Jerry and Coach King both tried to explain, but the official would not accept the explanation and ejected Jerry from the game.  We were all upset, but Jerry was so upset that on the way to the dressing room he kicked the wall.  If I had done this it would probably have broken every bone in my foot.  Jerry didn't break any bones, but he kicked a hole in the wall and had to have help getting his foot back out of the wall.  It was like superman didn't know his own strength. I always wanted Jerry on my side.

Hershel Higgins
Duncanville, Texas

 

 

I most remember Jerry Showing My Horse "Can't Be Denied" for me at the A.P.H.A  World Show in 2006. He showed Can't Be Denied to a World Championship title despite the fact that was very hot and he was very ill. A few year's prior he sold me a truly amazing horse by the name of "Imagine It" who I showed at the A.Y.Q.H.A. paint show in the 2 year old gelding's and finished 8th overall with. The year he showed "Can't Be Denied" for me I showed him in the Amatuer 2 year old gelding's and was named Reserve World Champion after the class Jerry met me and told me that I did in outstanding job showing my horse. To be told I did in out standing job showing my horse by a man who is a ledgend meant the world to me. I am sad to hear that we have lost such an outstanding indvidual in the horse industy. I will always remember him telling me that I did such a wounderful job showing my horse "Can't Be Denied".

Crystal Busch of Busch Family Farm
Cypress, Texas

 

 

I grew up on my Papa' s lap watching Jerry show horses,(Quarter Horse Journal) I love Halter Horses, he was like a famous movie star to me. I had a goal to meet Jerry one day. Well, 25 years later I finally got my chance. I went to the Lufkin Furt. In Sept 1997/98. We pulled into the parking lot and saw his rig, I was so excited to see him in person. We unloaded our horses and I was constantally looking around looking for him. I went and found his stalls, He had Perpetual Mystic there. The next morning we got ready to show and I went over to his stalls, he was there and I MADE myself meet him, I told him how long I had wanted to meet him, I thought he would think I was some kind of a nut, but he handed me a brush and said lets these horses ready, I could not believe it. I WAS ON CLOUD NINE. He was so nice to me. I had a picture taken with him that day and the next year I came back to the same show and ask him to sign it for me and he did. I treasue that picture. To this day it is still on my wall. From then on I saw him at shows he acted like we had known each other for years, he was still a star to me. I think the world of him and his family and will miss him at the shows.It is strange knowing I will never see him again. I have numerous more stories about him but this is the cool one meeting him for the first time. God Bless His Family & Friends.

Becky Manderano
Conroe, Texas

 

 

Jerry Wells as been a friend of my family as long as I can remember. After Jerry recovered from his mercedes surgery he came by our shop to drop off his truck to be worked on. I had to take Jerry  back to the ranch in Wayne. On our way we got to talking about how painful his surgery was and how big of a scar it had left on his chest. Jerry asked me if I knew why it was called a mercedes surgery. I didn't.. The next thing I knew Jerry tore open his pearl snapped shirt to show me his scar.. It was just like he said. The mercedes symbol was on his chest. The funny thing is while we were stopped at a red light, Tyler Merrill was the truck next to us. He called my cell phone wondering who the cowboy with no shirt on was. Jerry and I laughed about it all the way to Wayne. I dont know who was more embarrassed me or Jerry..

Amanda Elliott
Purcell, Oklahoma

 

 

I have known Jerry and Betty Wells for over 40 yrs. They were not only our customers they were our FRIENDS as well. My family has owned and opperated PURCELL AUTOMOTIVE since 1968. We serviced the Jerry Wells fleet of vehicles. One afternoon in the late 1980's, Jerry brought his red and white Lincoln to our shop to be serviced. I told Jerry if you ever get ready to sell that Lincoln I want the first option to buy it. A short time later Jerry came by our shop to show us the newest member of Wells fleet. Which just happened to be a new silver Lincoln.. I asked Jerry "Well, where is the red and white Lincoln?"  Jerry broke my heart when he told me that he had traded it in on his new one.. All I could say was to him was "but I told you I wanted to buy it from you!!!!" The last thing he told me when he left was let me call Eagle Motor Company and see what I can do.. A few days later a cowboy driving a red and white Lincoln pulled into our shop.. Jerry drove to Texas to get MY car back!!! I could not have been any happier..  That's just what kind of a man Jerry Wells was. A persons word was everything. That couldn't have been more true with Jerry. That car has always been my favorite to this day.. The world is at a loss without Jerry. He will truely be missed forever. With deepest sympothy to his family...   Evlyn Elliott of Purcell, OK.

Evelyn Elliott
Purcell, Oklahoma

 

 

As I reminisce and remember the passing of my friend, I would like to share some thoughts and memories that many of us who were privileged to know him, experienced by knowing Jerry Wells.

Jerry's expertise in recognizing, developing and marketing the American Quarter Horse is unprecedented in the past and in my opinion will be unparalleled in the future, Jerry was definitely a visionary in the quarter horse industry.

He was a great horsemen.  And his record will stand for years to come. But instead of his record as a horsemen I would like to remember Jerry for never forgetting where he came from and never forgetting those who helped him along his way. I first met Jerry in the early 70s, I had just started training horses on my own and I will never forget how Jerry took time to show me his horses and share his ideas of what a good horse looked like. I remember clearly how Jerry made me feel like I was somebody, how special he made me feel at the time and I was just a want to be horse trainer, yet he treated me like I was a champion. He easily and openly shared his time and thoughts about horses with me and when I left his presence I felt like I was on top of the world.  Now I am not the only one to have this experience, I'm sure he had this effect on many other horsemen over the years. I can't help but try and remind people though of how unique Jerry was in those early years of the quarter horse industry, he had a vision and an eye for where the industry could go years before anyone else. At the time he was larger than life to me and he's certainly larger than most in the horse business today. Jerry was tuff enough to stick it out till his vision took shape, Jerry wasn't just physically and mentally strong, he was tuff, he was a man's man but he was more than physically strong, Jerry was tuff in character, kind of like John Wayne, he had a man's integrity and backed it up with his honest effort. Jerry was tuff enough that he didn't need to kick anybody when they were down, he never sabotage someone to prove he was better than they were or to make himself look better, that just wasn't Jerry's makeup at all. Jerry's passion for a good horse was so strong, yet he had that unique quiet enthusiasm in his passion and his quiet confidence gave strength to all those around him, his friends, family, coworkers and even his clients were strengthened by his confidence.  If Jerry told you it would be all right, it would be all right! Jerry didn't need a committee to decide whether a horse was good enough to buy, breed or promote.  Yet he enjoyed sharing what he knew with those around him and he easily gave credit to the people who helped him find or develop those horses. Jerry never had to be loud to make himself heard either, in fact that quiet confidence of his made his words seem almost deafening some times! There was one type of horse I never heard Jerry talk about though, it is a horse many of us seem to like to talk about, but Jerry just wouldn't mess with this horse....You know which horse I'm talking about? DON'T YOU? I'm talking about that old horse called Is-Me, You Know Old Is-Me?.. That horse the old testament prophet Micah rode, in the Bible..Old Woe Is-Me!..You know Jerry didn't waste his time messing with him. Jerry didn't go around complaining about what life threw at him, he went around changing what life put in front of him. Jerry understood that being a champion was not determined as much by your talent, as it is by your tenacity of character and your individual spirit...That's What Makes A Champion!.. Jerry was a champion and he exemplifies this saying; Winners Never Quit... And Quitters Never Win. You see Jerry Never Gave Up..His Body Just Gave Out. Jerry also understood that when the worst happens to a child of God... The Best of God still remains and is still in store for him. I see Jerry now on the back of a good horse traveling through paradise. He's gone through the doorway of deliverance... And he's walking down the pathway of peace... He's jogging down the roadway of righteousness... He's loping down the highway of holiness... And he's galloped through the Gateway to Glory... He's on the streets of gold where the walls are Jasper and tears never flow.... He's got a heavenly home now where the Lamb is the light... Jerry has no more sorrow... He has no more strife...Now he has joy unspeakable and eternal life.

We have only buried Jerry's work clothes... Now he's got a new garment, without wrinkle or tear and his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

Remember to pray for my friend Jerry's precious wife Betty and the family.

Sincerely

Dale Livingston
San Antonio, Texas

 

 

We will always remember Jerry Wells as the consumate gentleman of the horse industry.  It was always a thrill to watch him walk a horse into the ring.  His calm and elegant demeanor overshadowed anyone else.  Any horse he handled recognized him as a special handler even if they had not met him before.  He will be missed. Our prayers are with his extended family.

Carl & Martha Coppola
Harwinton, Connecticutt

 

 

One saturday afternoon coming back from sale my brotherlaw and I stopped at Jerry Wells ranch to see and admir the new barns.   We walked in the office, no one around so we just kept walking through the barn an hawlered, and from the back of the stall we heard, come on back.  Mr Wells , sawdust head to toe was working with a 2 yr old. " I" would have to say that  we were treated like real people'  Jerry was so nice to us, showed us every horse in the barn.  My brother-in-law and I talk about our visit at Jerry's ranch every time we think about oklahoma.  Jerry can not be replaced.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Wells family.

James Johnson
Brady, Texas

 

 

To The Wells Family

I wish to express my deepest condolences to your family on the loss of your beloved family member. I would love to share a story with you about him that pays tribute to the kind of person he was. My husband Dan was working with Alex Ross as a trainer at the Congress in 1990. I was there with our 4-month-old son and often arrived at the show grounds later in the morning. I will never forget the first mornings I arrived and had to park our van on the roof of the building housing our horses. I had a baby, dog, stroller and large diaper bag. Needless to say I had my hands full. I approached the stairwell and was trying to come up with a plan to get us all to the bottom safely.  Suddenly this kind gentleman approached me and offered his assistance. I remember his friendly demeanor, smile & kind voice. We soon came up with a plan to get us all to the bottom of the stairs. He carried my stroller and diaper bag while I carried our son and held on to the dog. Once on the ground he set up my stroller and made sure I was all set before smiling and tipping his hat as he walked away. I briefly explained the help I had received from a fellow "trainer" to my husband once arriving at the stalls. I didn't know who he was but he was very helpful and friendly. Later that day I was walking through the exhibits with my husband and ran into him. He said hello and smiled at our son, once again tipping his hat as he walked off. My husband asked me how I knew him, and I told him that was the gentleman that helped me out earlier that morning. He said that's Jerry Wells! He couldn't believe I didn't recognize him! I knew the name well from Dan and Alex as well as being around the shows, however having never met him I didn't realize I had been assisted by such a "celebrity". To say the least my husband was more than just a little jealous that he didn't get to meet him too. We continued to talk about what he had done for me earlier,& that it shows you just what kind of a person he was. I often tell this story to horse friends because its fun to brag about my encounter and I think its important for people to know about someone's special qualities.

I felt compelled to share this story with you all. I am sure there are many, many more stories just like mine, however its acts like this that truly tell you what kind of man he was.  

From Our Horse Family to yours, May God bless you all in your time of need.

Our Prays are with you,

Dan & Kelly Northrup
Quispamsis, New Brunswick

 

 

I remember arriving at the farm with a mare with a foal at side to breed to Perpetualism. I had bred a mare before and had one filly and wanted to breed again. The mare I arrived with had come from another farm and had been caught in the middle of one of those deals gone bad that we all experience in the horse business!! She was covered with mud and had travelled 800 miles and looked terrible. I felt in my mind the only way to recoveer from a bad deal was to take a gamble and breed her to Perp and maybe get lucky enough to salvage something. My worry was that when Jerry saw her he would say ,no way!! When he walked around the corner and saw the mare he said " Bryan, this is a five hundred dollar mare!! To which I answered, you obviuosly dont understand the situation Jerry . She is way more than $500.00 , to which he started to laugh. Long story shortened, we bred her ,she had a stud colt which my wife and I fitted and showed,qualified for the world show and placed in the top 10 in 2000 yearling stallions wearing the Varney show halter that Jerry loaned us.We will never forget this man and his family and never be able to thank them enough for for their kindness. The Quater Horse has lost its champion and we have lost in my opinion the greatest horseman in our history. Quiet,unasuming, loyal, athletic, caring and dependable. Jerry exemplified the American Quater Horse.  God Bless you Jerry.

Bryan & Linda Hookenson
Invermere, B.C.

 

 

I stopped to visit my dear friend Dave Page today and he told me about the passing of Mr. Wells.

I'm so very sorry for your loss, and it makes me so very very sad.

In 1986 I made my first trip to the AQHA World Finals. The high light of the show was not myself showing there, as much as it was to sit up in the bleachers watching the Famous Jerry Wells enter the arena. I had read about him in the Journal, saw pictures of him, and then finally seeing him in person was the THRILL OF MY LIFE.

After one of his many classes, and many World Titles, I followed him around until I finally had the nerve to introduce myself to him and tell him how much I admired him.

He looked at me in such a friendly and kind manner and made me feel like I was important, and that no one else existed at the moment but he and I. After a while I excused myself and tried to catch my breath as I ran back to the barn to tell my husband I had talked to Jerry Wells.

From that time on, when ever I would see him, I would always give him a hug and we would talk for a few minutes.  I still admire him as much 22 years later as I did the first time I met him.

The Quarter Horse Industry has seen alot of changes in those 22 years, some good and some not so good, but one thing that will never change are the people who made AQHA what it is today, people like Jerry Wells.

Ed & Judy Patton
Sawyer, Oklahoma

 

 

Where to start about my friends Jerry & Betty.  So many years ago when I met them in Tulsa at The Youth World Show where my brother Ron Shalz introduced me to them.  From then on whenever I saw Jerry he always had time for a hug and to ask how I was.  When I was going to get my stud Mr. Illusive Man from Jerry and Ron his concern was that I could make him mind and I had to go in the pen with Mr. and show Jerry that he had taught me well.  As my daughter got old enough to show he was always there with praise and pointers, I will never forget two instances, one in Duncan when he told Gayla you have an exceptional gelding you just have to MAKE him stand still, then in Tulsa the last year she qualified SOX to go to youth world nationally and they were in the same open class and he told her he was so proud of her because she smiled the whole class and SOX stood still.  Jerry was and to me will always be a inspiration to youngsters growing up in the horse world.  He is now with all of his horses that have been with him through his years of showing so that he can show in the biggest show of all and everyone is the winner.

Betty you were always at his side and I can't imagine what it is like but you know he will always be with you telling you to gone on and enjoy life.

Both of you have made such a difference in my life as well as my daughters I just can't think of going to a show and Jerry not being their.  After all of these years of having stud colts out of our IMA Cool Skip mare we finally had a filly that I wanted Jerry to see she is just awesome and I know he would have been proud to have been the breeder of our mare and what she has produced.

Your whole family has made a difference in my life and it is for the better so looking forward to seeing everyone soon.  I have my picture of the All American win to look at everyday to remember what a great horseman Jerry was and will always be.

With love.

Pat
Owasso, Oklahoma

 

My first story is about my daughter, Jennifer...three yrs old at the time, and I visiting with Jerry and Betty at the ranch in Purcell in 1979. Jerry was walking out to the pasture to get some yearlings for me to look at as dusk was setting in. I looked up and Jennifer was not to be found. I panicked but then there she came with Jerry holding her little hand as he came back from the pasture....she had just walked out there wanting to see the horses.  My daughter remembers that to this day and also remembers how kind Jerry was to her.

My second story is about the time Jerry, Dennis and I were going on a trip to Sioux Falls, SD and stopped on the way at Wayne Jordan's in  

Nebraska to put up the horses. It was a freezing cold night. We searched the town to find there was no vacancy. We finally found one room available. Here we were three of us guys for two beds. Since Dennis weighed about 350lbs and snored like a freight train, Jerry and I decided to share one of the beds for the night.  It was quite an interesting experience to say the least!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jerry was a great friend of mine and we did many trips together showing horses. Even though I grew up on a ranch, he taught me a lot about what a halter horse was supposed to look like. He taught me so well that when he first saw Sierra Te at 15 days old and offered me $50,000 for him I wouldn't accept.  I told him "Jerry you taught me too much and no he's not for sale".  As most of you know, I won the world with Sierra Te in 1984 and he went on to become one of the great sire's in AQHA history.  I sold him to a group of investors for $500,000 all thanks to the teaching of my great friend JERRY WELLS.

I could tell many more stories but these were two of the best!!

God Bless Your Family and Rest In Peace My Friend,

Jerry Bailey
Flower Mound, Texas

 

 

The first time I met Jerry, I was shaking like a leaf. Here before me stood my childhood hero, in the flesh. Almost exactly one year later, he hired me over the phone on a Friday. By Sunday, I was an Okie.

There are so many memories that I have stored in my mind. The sound of Jerry popping his gum while we drove to a horse show without the radio on, no matter the distance the radio was off. How his biggest thrill always seemed to be sneaking up behind you and making your heart skip a beat. He got me and Betty several times.

But I think I will always remember his voice when he used to say, “Don’t tell Betty.”

I remember one day when he took the 550 and the flatbed trailer to get big square bales of hay. As usual I went to the hay barn to help him back the trailer inside. I froze when I saw the rear drivers’ side fender. Well, it was practically gone. When I asked what happed, he told me that he forgot about the dual sticking out and hit a parked car at the farmers place. But it was when he asked me if I thought Betty would notice the damage, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at him. And yes, she noticed.

Jerry taught me a lot about life and the art and finesse of fitting halter horses. He will always be my hero.

Trudy Deming
Canyon, Texas

 

 

Jerry and Betty gave me the thrill of a lifetime when they allowed me to purchase a mare, Miss Baron Jack.  When I spotted the mare in their show barn located in Purcell, OK, I said, "Jerry, I have to have that horse."  He spoke with his soft drawl and said, "Marilyn, I can't sell you that horse because I just bought her for our daughter, Nancy."  I just kept badgering him until he gave in and sold me the mare.  She won the 3 year old World Champion title 16 days later!  I was in seventh heaven and that began my wonderful relationship with both Jerry and Betty.  I bought more show horses and then broodmares along with syndications into Windchester and Te n' Te.  What a ride I was on for a long time.  What can you say about Jerry other than he is a true legacy and always will be in my heart.  He was nothing but good to me and I respected and admired the man greatly.  He sure knew a horse!!

Rest in peace my friend.  You will be so missed but we will all see you again someday.

Grace and Peace,

Marilyn Myerscough
Purcell, Oklahoma

 

 

Jerry and I were highschool classmates and were friends.  Jerry was always big and strong, and was a great athlete.  I admired him for his strength and athletic ability.  Jerry was an excellent football player and could do things on the athletic field that I only dreamed of.  We graduated from Sulphur High School in 1959 in a class of 59.   

We parted ways on graduation from highschool.  I entered the military, attending West Point in New York.  Jerry went to work on a quarter horse ranch in Purcell according to what he later told me.  Jerry was a hard worker who worked his way up from the bottom of the quarter horse industry.  Those of us who were fortunate to grow up in Sulphur during the 40s and 50s gained a work ethic that we have carried with us throughout our lives. Jerry’s strong work ethic carried from cleaning out stalls on a horse ranch to the top of the industry.

I remember the night in 1969 of our first class reunion at the Arbuckle Hotel in Sulphur.  This was an exciting night because many of us had not seen each other since we graduated.  Jerry came to the reunion with a framed aerial photo of his horse ranch in Purcell and there was no doubt that he was a proud man.  We were all quite impressed with his accomplishments.  Jerry was on cloud 9 that night!

Throughout the years, Jerry was always very supportive of our class and he always tried to attend our class reunions.  Jerry and Betty often hosted our class at their ranch north of Sulphur.  Jerry never forgot his friends and classmates.

Jerry made a special effort to attend our 45th reunion in June, 2005.  I understand that Jerry and Betty came straight to Sulphur from Houston where he was undergoing cancer treatments.  Jerry took time to talk to each of us that night.  We all knew that he was telling us goodbye in his own special way.  I will never forget my conversation with him that night.

I have lost a friend and a classmate with Jerry’s passing.  He was a good man who worked very hard throughout his life.  He will be greatly missed by his family, his SHS classmates and his many friends.  Jerry, my friend, may you rest in peace.

Richard Schwake
Wellston, Oklahoma

 

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