The Quarter Horse racing community suffered a loss today, Wednesday, February 25, when 11-year-old leading sire Feature Mr Jess was euthanized due to complications from laminitis.
Three of the American Quarter Horse Association’s ten 2008 race champions were sired by Feature Mr Jess, who was owned by his breeders J.E. and Bunny Jumonville, in partnership with Jim and Marilyn Helzer.
“Bunny and I were blessed to raise and race such a magnificent animal,” said J.E. Jumonville, on Wednesday. “We hope his genetics will continue to have an impact on this industry and that people will find in his sons or daughters the joy that he brought to us.”
Sired by Mr Jess Perry and out of Brenda Feature, by Truckle Feature, Feature Mr Jess was a G1 stakes winner with earnings of $539,327. From four crops to race, he sired 310 starters, 186 winners (60%), 27 stakes winners (9%), 24 stakes-placed (8%) and three champions. His offspring won $9.3 million, with average earnings of $29,844.
“When I purchased half-interest in Feature Mr Jess, I said to myself, ‘He’s a 2010 model,'” Helzer recalled in an article in America’s Horse. “He’s what I’d like to see all the Quarter Horses look like in 2010.”
Among Feature Mr Jess’ most celebrated offspring is four-time champion Heartswideopen, who ran the fastest 440 yards ever by a filly or mare when she won her All American Futurity trial in :20.921.
In 2008, three-time champion Jess You And I, by Feature Mr Jess, became the first Quarter Horse ever to eclipse the 21 second barrier in a 440 yard race at Los Alamitos, when he won the Champion of Champions in :20.94 seconds.
Feature Mr Jess stood his entire career at JEH Stallion Station-Texas Division near Pilot Point, Texas. He will be cremated and laid to rest at the JEH facility.