News October  24, 2021

Claude W. Boutte, Jr., Feature Mr Jess To Be Inducted Into The 2021 LQHBA Hall Of Fame


Induction ceremony will take place Saturday, July 10 at Delta Downs.

© Photo by Coady Photography

ALEXANDRIA, LA—JULY 3, 2021—Prominent Louisiana Quarter Horse breeder and owner, Claude W. Boutte, Jr. and legendary racehorse and stallion Feature Mr Jess will be inducted into this year’s Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) Hall of Fame. This is the sixth year that LQHBA has named its recipients, who will be honored at Delta Downs on Saturday, July10.

CLAUDE W. BOUTTE, JR.

Claude W. Boutte, Jr. played a very pivotal role in the history of the Louisiana Quarter Horse industry. He was one of the founding members of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) and served as president in the early years of its formation.

Born in Alexandria, Boutte grew up around horses and began a career as a mechanical engineer. He and his wife, Frances, raised four children.

Hall of Fame Inductee Claude W. Boutte, Jr. stood a number of Louisiana's influential sires at Pleasure Time Farms.
© Courtesy Boutte Family
Boutte opened Alexandria Pleasure Time Farms in Alexandria. His early stallions included Streakin La Jolla, who began his stud career on his farm as well as Mr Jess Perry, who stood for several years before his tenure at 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas.

The Louisiana native also felt it was important to build a stallion roster and brought an impressive roster to the farm including Pie in the Sky, Twin Jet, Midway Drive and Dashing Encounter.

In addition to breeding horses, Boutte also loved watching his horses run and had a goal of having one of his homebreds win the state’s premier futurity.

Sadly, Boutte died in 1992 at the age of 66. But hopefully he was watching from heaven when Hez Not Too Shabby won the 2000 LQHBA Futurity at Evangeline Downs.

Claude W. Boutte, Jr. was instrumental in starting AQHA
Hall of Fame sire Streakin La Jolla's stallion career at Pleasure Time Farms in Alexandria. © ca. 1989
The Estate of Claude W. Boutte Jr. bred son of Mr Jess Perry out of the Moonlark mare Shez Not Too Shabby. He was owned by Bob and Jerry Ann Gaston, winning seven of his 18 starts and qualifying for the Rainbow Derby(G1) at Ruidoso Downs as well as the Texas Classic Derby(G1) at Lone Star Park.

His son Rick continues to manage the farm his dad established. His other son, Brad, owns and operates Boutte Veterinary Clinic in Alexandria.

Rick applauded his father’s passion for horses which he deftly combined with some very good business sense.

“He was instrumental in starting the Louisiana-bred award program,” said Rick. “The incentives for Louisiana breeders to keep their horses in state has really helped our industry.”

All American Futurity finalist Dashing Encounter began his stallion career at Pleasure Time Farms.
© Courtesy Speedhorse Magazine
Boutte also served on several committees for the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) throughout the years.

Rick paused before responding to a question about the accomplishments of his dad and his commitment to Louisiana breeding and racing, “He loved horses and promoting Louisiana racing,” he said proudly. “His goal in the beginning was to make sure that the mares and stallions in Louisiana were as good as those in any region in the country.”

FEATURE MR JESS

Grade 1 winner and multiple champion sire Feature Mr Jess is the newest equine inductee into the LQHBA Hall of Fame.

The son of leading AQHA sire Mr Jess Perry out of the Truckle Feature mare Brenda Feature was born on February 8, 1998. A true home bred for the farm, J.E. Jumonville purchased Feature Mr Jess' granddam, Brenda Beauty, for $52,000 in the 1983 November Keeneland Sale in Lexington, Kentucky.

Louisiana-bred Feature Mr Jess became one of the industry's leading all-time sires. © Don Shugart
The stakes winning daughter of Cornish Prince was consigned by Johnny T.L. Jones' Walmac International, Agent for Royal. In 1986, Jumonville bred Brenda Beauty to the world champion Quarter Horse Truckle Feature and got Feature Mr Jess' dam Brenda Feature SI 94, a winner of three races at 2.

Feature Mr Jess made his racing debut at Remington Park in April, 2000, winning his trial for the Remington Park Futurity (G1) and running third to Celeb in the final.

Feature Mr Jess defeating world champion Whosleavingwho and Heza Motor Scooter in the 2001 Grade 1 Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs. © Quarter Racing Journal
Three months later, he was victorious in the Rainbow Futurity (G1), earning a 101 speed index under jockey Jacky Martin. First trained by Rodney Reed and then Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath, the talented colt went on to capture the Rainbow Derby (G1) in 2001 and made his last start that year in the Texas Classic Derby (G1).

He was the only Louisiana-bred to win a Grade 1 race at Ruidoso Downs (he won two), completing his racing career with 7 wins from 16 starts and earnings of $539,327. Jim and Marilyn Helzer joined Jumonville in the ownership of Feature Mr Jess midway through his 2-year-old campaign.

He stood at JEH Stallion Station and embarked on an exceptional stallion career. From 10 crops to reach racing age, Feature Mr Jess sired 436 winners (67%), 128 stakes horses (20%), 7 champions with earnings of $24.9 million and Average Earnings Per Starter of more than $38,000. His offspring have won some of the biggest Quarter Horse races including the All American Futurity(G1) and Champion of Champions(G1) and he is the only Quarter Horse sire with two earners of more than $1.8 million.

Four-time AQHA Racing Champion Heartswideopen winning the 2007 All American Futurity(G1) at Ruidoso Downs.
© Ruidoso Downs
Feature Mr Jess' seven champions who won 13 championship titles include 4-time AQHA Racing Champion Heartswideopen SI 104 (11 wins to 3, $1,885,283, All American Futurity-G1Ruidoso Futurity-G1, Rainbow Derby-G1, Ruidoso Derby-G1, etc.), 3-time AQHA Racing Champion Jess You And I SI 109 (19 wins, $1,851,691, Gelding, Golden State Million Futurity-G1, Champion of Champions-G1, Remington Park Inv. Championship-G1, Los Alamitos Winter Championship S.-G1, etc.), 2-time AQHA Racing Champion Feature Mr Bojangles SI 103 (8 wins to 4, $899,434, Rainbow Futurity-G1, The Championship At Sunland Park S.-G1, etc.), AQHA Racing Champion Stylish Jess Br SI 103 (11 wins to 6, $804,298, Mildred N Vessels Memorial H.-G1, AQHA Distaff Challenge Championship-G1, Charger Bar H.-G1-twice, etc.), AQHA Racing Champion Brenda Beautiful SI (4 wins to 4, $337,176, Southwest Juvenile Championship-G1, etc.), AQHA Racing Champion Jesscuzican SI 97 (5 wins, $252,891, Sunland Challenge Championship-G2, etc.), AQHA Racing Champion Wahoo SI 102 (8 wins, $166,425, Pauls Valley Handicap-G3, etc.).

He other top performers include Jess Featureme Quick SI 103 (9 wins to 7, $687,155, Hobbs America Derby-G3, etc.), Priceless Feature SI 111 (10 wins to 6, $641,668, Remington Park Inv. Championship-G1, Sooner State S.-G1, etc.), Jess Send Me SI 101 (3 wins to 3, $361,595, 2nd-All American Futurity-G1) and Jessanotheraffair SI 98 (6 wins to 5, $349,426.

Feature Mr Jess is the #1 siring son of leading sire Mr Jess Perry and the only two sires with an AQHA Racing champion in almost every category. As a broodmare sire he has sired the dams of 20 stakes winners including champion Feature Hero SI 99 ($1,418,960), One Valiant Hero SI 102 ($389,798), Jess Good Reason SI 93 ($280,282). After Feature Mr Jess died, Jumonville purchased the remaining frozen semen in 2017 and started offering ICSI breedings to him from their farm in Louisiana.

Three-time AQHA Racing Champion Jess You And I won the Grade 1 Champion of Champions. © Scott Martinez
J. E. Jumonville, who was inducted into the LQHBA Hall of Fame in 2019, shares what his extraordinary champion meant to the family and the entire racing industry.

Feature Mr Jess was a big horse with incredible talent and could win going short or long,” said Jumonville. “He had a wonderful disposition; a 5-year-old girl could lead him down the shedrow.”

His passing at such a young age was heartbreaking for everyone at Jumonville Farms as his success in just eight crops was comparable to legendary Quarter Horses Corona Cartel, Mr Jess Perry and One Famous Eagle.

“It’s not what we lost, but what we were blessed with for the time we had Feature Mr Jess as a racehorse and a stallion,” stated Jumonville. “What he accomplished was just phenomenal!”

LQHBA Hall of Fame History

This will be the sixth class inducted into the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) Hall of Fame, which was launched in 2016 in celebration of the association’s 50th anniversary. Claude W. Boutte, Jr. and Feature Mr Jess join this distinguished list of past honorees: LQHBA HALL OF FAME HONOREES

INDIVIDUALS

  • Claude & Bessie Jeane
  • Leverne Perry
  • Lee Berwick
  • W.A. Darling
  • J.E.Jumonville
  • Dale Rogers
  • Claude W. Boutte, Jr.

HORSES

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

    "We are looking forward to saluting Claude W. Boutte Jr. and Feature Mr Jess as distinguished members of the LQHBA Hall of Fame,” said Bruce Salard, LQHBA executive director. “Our association takes tremendous pride the selection of both the individuals and equine champions who have contributed to the excellence of Louisiana breeding and racing. Our inductees this year are very deserving honorees.”

    About the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA)
    LQHBA is the state racing affiliate of the American Quarter Horse Association. It is also the official registry for accredited Louisiana-bred racing Quarter Horses and is recognized by the Louisiana Legislature and the Louisiana State Racing Commission.

    Since its inception in 1966, the association has developed many programs to further breeding and racing in Louisiana. Last year in Louisiana horsemen competed for over $21 million in purses, and breeders' incentives for mares and stallions of accredited Louisiana-bred foals totaled approximately $4.8 million.

    LQHBA oversees the annual LQHBA Yearling Sale and Fall Mixed Sale and has raised and donated over $600,000 to support its Louisiana youth scholarship program.


    Courtesy Ses