More winners were Mr Jack Prince, Miss Patty Jack, Boots Jack, Miss Della Jack, Pep Up Jackie. The names didn’t stop. They kept coming. Jack kept siring. Now, 30 years after his birth and 10 years since siring his last crop, his name and Pitzer’s still ride at the top of AQHA’s all-time lists and statistics. Jack has 119 AQHA Champions and is the all-time leading sire of open ROM qualifiers with 242. He has 21 youth and open world champions. Accordingly, Pitzer is the leading breeder of AQHA Champions with 77, and the leading breeder of ROM horses, with 180.

“When we first started with Jack,” said Pitzer, “there were some people who said he wouldn’t be able to do anything. Well, we soon killed that because he proved he could do everything. To me, there never was any such thing as a halter horse or a performance horse. They were all horses. As far as I’m concerned, we shouldn’t have such strong distinctions.

“Vicki Lee Pine (Two Eyed Jack/Poco Coed) could do anything. She wound up being the 1978 World Championship Show Superhorse.

Mr Baron Red
The Pitzer family, from left: Joel and Jane Qualm and daughters Jessica, Jayana, and Jenita; Jim and Tana Brinkman and children Sarah and Sam; and Kay Pitzer Brinkman.

“Mr Baron Red (Red Baron Bell/Two Eyed Patti) was the Superhorse in 1983. He and Two ID Bartender (Two Eyed Jack/Prissy Joann) were tied for that title for 2 days during that show. There was a time when we didn’t have so much distinction between halter and pleasure, and it was much better for showing.
“I can remember one 27-day stretch when we made 24 shows and drove 6,000 miles from southern Kansas to Minnesota. We rode and we showed. The horses held up and so did we.”

No one can deny Two Eyed Jack’s prowess in the arena, and certainly no one can deny his contributions from the breeding barn. He crossed splendidly with a number of bloodlines, including Pat Star Jr and Zan Parr Bar.

Today, Howard Pitzer’s daughter and son-in-law-Jim and Tana Brinkman and his granddaughter and her husband–Joe and Jane Qualm–are his partners.

One of the questions they face in their operation is how do you replace a stallion of Two Eyed Jack’s stature?

“We have some good ones,” admitted Pitzer, “some very good ones. But it’s hard to replace the combination we had in Jack. As I said, he was almost too perfect. He had ideal conformation and he was magnificent when it came to riding and performing.

“Jack Eyed was good but he died a couple of years ago. He was 19. To be honest, we think Mr Baron Red is about the finest horse we’ve ever had, next to Jack. He has our enthusiasm at a pretty high level. There’s also Two ID Bartender. We also have a nice son of Mr Baron Red.

“We still believe in horses capable of halter as well as performance. To my way of thinking, we all need to keep an open mind when it comes to horses.

Two Eyed Jack 1990
A 1990 picture of Two Eyed Jack, taken in August by Tana Brinkman.

Each of us has the privilege to like or dislike whatever we please; but on the other hand, let’s not close our minds to possibilities. We shouldn’t be schooled to like only certain bloodlines or certain characteristics. Instead, let’s look at everything. If we don’t, we’re liable to miss the next Two Eyed Jack.

The grand old horse left the world in the same month he had entered it. On March 2 of 1991, he slipped on some ice, fell, and couldn’t get up. One of the few things he ever failed to do was achieve the age of 30. He was 20 days short.

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1 Comment

  1. Jerry Brinkman Reply

    Great article about “Jack” I grew up on the ranch, cousin to present owner Jim Brinkman.
    I have a few of the bloodline that I run today .
    I traveled some with “Gramps “, Howard Pitzer and rode Jack a few times over the years.
    I could tell a few stories of horse trades and many of the great mares from the ranch.))

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