Jae Bar Fletch – 1980 to 2007

January 25th, 2007

World champion Jae Bar Fletch, who many regarded as the greatest cutting horse to ever look through a bridle, was euthanized on Tuesday, January 23. The 27-year-old stallion had cancer of the sheath, according to Tom Tofell, Millsap, TX, who along with his wife Jan had cared for the horse for the past year.

“It was the hardest thing to do,” said Tofell, his voice breaking with emotion. “He’d look at you with that big old kind eye.”

The Tofells had hauled Jae Bar Fletch down the road for owner, Ernest Cannon, Madisonville, TX, when late trainer Kenny Patterson and Cannon won the National Cutting Horse Association open and non-pro world championships on the stallion in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Cannon and Jae Bar Fletch also claimed the non-pro reserve world championship with limited showing in 1992.

“The thing that always impressed me the most about the horse was his ability to stop and turn around and you were not quite sure that you saw it happen,” said Cannon. “It was all one fluid motion. It was like he just changed directions and never stopped.”

Jae Bar Fletch, who produced 2000 NCHA Futurity champion Royal Fletch from a limited number of foals, was the star resident at Cannon’s J Bar F Ranch in Paluxy, TX. But last year Cannon, an internationally recognized attorney, decided that the horse should once again be in the hands of the Tofells.

“He wanted him to spend his last years with us because we had taken care of him all those years,” explained Tofell. “We were in and out of our barn all day and he just loved it. He kept up with everything that came in and out. And he had an old sand trap that he loved to roll in and get real dirty. Then he’d come in and get a warm bath. That was part of his ritual every day.”

Jae Bar Fletch was cremated and his ashes will be scattered at J Bar F Ranch, as well as on the grave of Kenny Patterson. “He just meant the world to Kenny,” said Tofell. “That horse touched a lot of people’s lives.”

“He’s the best one I’ve ever had,” said Patterson in 1995. “I’ve never seen a horse that can do what he does. It makes it real hard to get on other horses, after I show him.”

Bred by John Wilkins, Geneva, NE, Jae Bar Fletch was sired by Doc’s Jack Sprat out of Jae Bar Lena, who produced one other foal. Jae Bar Maisie, a full sister to Jae Bar Fletch, was NCHA 1987 non-pro world champion under Kenny Patterson’s sister, Debbie Patterson, who manages DLR Stallion Station, home to current leading cutting sire High Brow Cat.

Look for a feature article on Jae Bar Fletch in the March issue of the Cutting Horse Chatter.

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