Hall of Fame - Horses April  25, 2024

The Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders' Association Hall-of-Fame showcases the many horses and people who have earned the distinction of becoming part of Quarter Horse Racing history in Louisiana. To be part of the Hall-of-Fame, horses and people must have been outstanding over a period of years in a variety of categories. They must have brought exceptional visibility and/or contribution to Quarter Horse Racing and the State of Louisiana.

Hall-of-Fame inductees are chosen each year by a selection committee and are honored at the annual LQHBA Awards Banquet. The inaugural inductee class were announced in January 2016. On April 9, 2016, Leverne Perry and Claude and Bessie Lea Jeane, Oh Black Magic, Rocket's Magic and Royal Bushwhacker were inducted into the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) inaugural Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the association. Owner-breeder Claude W. Boutte, Jr. and Grade 1 winner and industry leading sire Feature Mr Jess were inducted in 20121.

Outstanding Louisiana Quarter Horse trainer Phillip Calais, Sr. and iconic stallion Heza Fast Dash will be honored in the 2022 class.

A special thank you to Martha Claussen for research and writing bios and to Speedhorse and TRACK magazines for helping track down photos of these inductees from their archives.

The inductees have each played a significant role in Louisiana Quarter Horse industry. Inductees into the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders' Association Hall-of-Fame are:

PEOPLE

  • Claude W. Boutte, Jr.
  • Claude & Bessie Jeane
  • Dale Rogers
  • Glenn Fontenot
  • J.E. Jumonville, Jr.
  • John L. Soileau, Sr.
  • Leverne Perry
  • Lee Berwick
  • W.A. Darling

HORSES

  • Feature Mr Jess
  • Go Vicki Meyers
  • Hemp Meyers
  • Hesajoy
  • Jess Louisiana Blue
  • Mr Jess Perry
  • Oh Black Magic
  • Rockets Magic
  • Royal Bushwhacker
  • Streakin La Jolla
  • Vals Fortune

Below are photos of each Hall of Fame member inducted in 2021. Click their photo or name in the left toolbar to read their biographical information. To view previous Hall-of-Fame member bios click on "PEOPLE" or "HORSES" in the left tool bar.

JESS LOUISIANA BLUE

Inducted into the LQHBA Hall of Fame in 2023

Jess Louisiana Blue

One of the most iconic Louisiana-bred Quarter Horses, Jess Louisiana Blue, is the latest equine inductee into the LQHBA Hall of Fame. Bred by Jumonville Farms in Ventress, Louisiana, the son of the great Mr Jess Perry out of the Louisiana Slew mare The Louisiana Girl was foaled on February 18, 1998.

2017 AQHA Champion and LQHBA Champion trainer Kenneth Roberts, Sr. trained Jess Louisiana Blue from 2001-2004.

"I got him as a 3-year-old," said Roberts. "Rodney Reed trained him in his 2-year-old season, and I remember watching his races and thinking that he would get better with more distance. He was fairly laid back in his stall, but all business when you took him to the track."

Jess Louisiana Blue qualified for the Remington Park Derby(G1), Heritage Place Derby(G1) and Louisiana Champions Day Derby(G2) in 2001, but he rose to new heights in his 4-year-old season.

Roberts smiled when he recalled his conversation with Jumonville about running in the 2002 East Championship Challenge (G2).

"J. E. stopped by my office at Delta," said Roberts. "Mr Jess Perry had won 2 allowances races at the start of the meet and J.E. told me he was considering paying him into the Challenge. He asked me what I thought so I told him I felt he was running at the top of his game, but the payment of $20,000 was a lot of money. J. E. did not hesitate and told me he was going to do it."

Jess Louisiana Blue breaking his maiden at Remington Park in 2000. © Remington Park / Speedhorse Magazine

Jumonville was asked about the conversation and remembered his response to Roberts.

"I believe in the horse and believe in you," he told Roberts.

Jess Louisiana Blue faced AQHA Racing Champion Tailor Fit in that 440 yard stakes, and with Gilbert Ortiz in the irons, surged past Tailor Fit at the wire, setting a new track record at Delta Downs of :21.572 second as he earned a 109 speed index.

Janet VanBebber, now Chief Racing Officer for AQHA, trained the intrepid California-bred millionaire and commended Jumonville  on the hard-fought victory by Jess Louisiana Blue.

"Janet  congratulated me on the win," shared Jumonville. "She wanted me to know that was the first time Tailor Fit had been defeated when he had a lead."

Jess Louisiana Blue concluded his racing career with a third-place finish in the 2002 Louisiana Champions Day Classic(G2) at Fair Grounds. In 25 starts, he won four races, three seconds and five thirds, with career earnings of $170,682. He was honored as AQHA Racing Champion aged stallion in 2002.

Jess Louisiana Blue with owner-breeder J.E. Jumonville, Jr. © Jumonville Family

Retired to stud at Jumonville Farms, Jess Louisiana Blue wasted no time showing his prowess as a stallion. Year after year, the handsome Louisiana-bred produced durable runners who were standouts as juveniles and capable of stretching out to the classic distance as aged competitors.

Among his leading runners are Jessa Louisiana Zoom ($637,591), Louisiana Senator ($599,408), Jess A Saint ($537,302) and Blue Louisiana Jolla ($416,359). He produced 16 crops, whose earnings have surpassed the $24 million dollar mark. While his runners were extremely successful in Louisiana, he sired stakes winners in Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, New Mexico, California, Florida and Ontario, Canada as well.

Jess Louisiana Blue died on December 21, 2019 of natural causes. The 21-year champion and Grade 1 champion sire was laid to rest at Jumonville Farms.

Jumonville also owned 2021 LQHBA Hall of Fame inductee Grade 1 winner and multiple champion sire Feature Mr Jess.

"Ben Hudson (founder of Track Magazine) reminded me how rare it is to have just one horse exceed the $20 million mark in progeny earnings," said Jumonville. "How blessed are we to have two in that category, and we are so proud also to have raised the dams of both Feature Mr Jess and Jess Louisiana Blue."

Jumonville did not hesitate when asked if he had any idea that both racehorses would become such prolific stallions.

"You always dream that your horses will have as much success in their breeding careers as they did on the racetrack," he replied. "Their accomplishments are almost  beyond our comprehension, and we are honored with their induction into the LQHBA Hall of Fame ."

Greg Thompson 9:45 PM (29 minutes ago) to me