Jack and Marilyn McReynolds
If you stop and think about it, there are numerous “words of wisdom” to be gleaned from the speed horse industry. For instance, “behind every great horse there stands a great man”, or maybe that should be “behind every great horseman there stands a great horse. But you have to put this one into the mix: “behind every great man stands a great woman”.
All of the above perfectly describe Jack and Marilyn McReynolds. The horses that made Jack career needed Jack’s master hand to become the premier individuals they were–Jack’s work with those horses led him to become the living legend that he is. Jack needed Marilyn to work by his side, build their family, lend her intelligence and grace along the way, and stand beside him into greatness.
They have been married for 61 years, together through thick and thin.
Jack McReynolds was born on the Horse Camp Ranch, one of the Scharbauer Ranchs near Midland, Texas. Marilyn McReynolds was born in Pecos, Texas. Jack’s father worked for Clarence Scharbauer, Sr for 17 years, handling both cattle and horses, so horses have an integral part of his life since birth.
Jack and Marilyn were married in 1952. During their early life, Jack was on the rodeo circuit as a roper for a time.
He worked at La Mesa Park, at Raton, NM, on the starting gates and as a trainer from 1963 to 1966. Jack was instrumental in starting the Kansas and Texas HBPA to protect the horsemen’s interest in the industry. He served on the OQHA Board of Directors in 1977. He is a lifetime member of AQHA, and has served on many other boards of directors over the years.
Jack and Marilyn moved to the 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, TX, in 1966, where Jack ran the Quarter Horse breeding program for two years. While there, Jack worked on and improved the extender solution which preserved a stallion’s sperm for use in artificial insemination.
Jack also became a student of pedigrees, researching and becoming a master of genetics. If you research Jack McReynolds, you will find two pedigrees that pop up under his name: “Our Boudior and “Kastrida”. Daughter Jan is sure her mom named them, as she did many over the years.
While at the 6666, Jack was one of the original “Marlboro Men” in a TV commercial that was shot on the ranch — his 30 seconds of fame as an actor!
In 1974, Jack and a group of some of the greatest horsemen of the era built Oklahoma Stud in Purcell. That group included Dr. John Beall, World Champion Cowboy Louis Brooks, Oklahoma racing insiders Joe L and Joe F Gary, highly regarded race horse breeder Clarence Scarborough, Jr from Midland, TX, and McReynolds.
Oklahoma Stud was the first of its kind to bring together a group of owners and breeders to stand a group of outstanding stallions in one place.
The group purchased almost a section of raw land in the soft, rolling hills southwest of Purcell. Managing partner McReynolds built what is still considered one of the most beautiful breeding facilities in the racing world.
Oklahoma Stud looked more like a country club than a breeding farm. Most of the plans for its layout and efficiency were ideas that Jack had carefully worked out in his mind during his many years in the horse business. The farm opened in 1975 and was immediately recognized as the elite of breeding operations in the Quarter Horse industry. It was widely publicized, and race fans and industry insiders both came from all over the country to see this state-of-the-art facility.
The stallions that stood at Oklahoma Stud were some of the most famous and important in the history of AQHA. With stud fees starting at $1,500 and ranging upward to $10,000 for the 1976 season, Oklahoma Stud broke new ground in the racing world. The stellar roster included Victory Stride, Double Bid, Tiny Charger, Alamitos Bar, Fleet Kirsch (TB), Hy Lucky Jay (TB), Bolductive, Nativo (TB), and Go For Two. These stallions, each a headliner in his own right, put Oklahoma Stud on the map as one of the premier breeding programs in the country.
These stallions were joined later by Twin Jet, Fols Native (TB), Flaring Dancer, Gold Seeker Bars, Jet Charger, and Decka Center.
Some of Jack and Marilyn’s horses are buried at Oklahoma Stud: Alamitos Bar, Double Bid and Go Josie Go. Their graves are on a picturesque hillside overlooking the pond and acres and acres of rolling pastures.
It is fair to say that Jack McReynolds has touched, bred, raced, or trained every pedigree known to the horse industry. AQHA presented the McReynolds’ and Oklahoma Stud a historical marker for their role in creating some of the best crosses in AQHA history.
Jack sold Oklahoma Stud in 1990 and built another farm close by where he raised, trained and raced Thoroughbreds until he retired.