GoHorseShow is saddened to report the passing of legendary halter trainer, Jack Brizendine after a long battle with cancer. Photo © GoHorseShow

Jack Brizendine Passes After Long Battle with Cancer

GoHorseShow is saddened to report the passing of legendary halter trainer, Jack Brizendine of Lincoln, California, after a long battle with cancer. Since the early 70’s, Brizendine showed in several performance events including the working cow horse, reining, western riding, and western pleasure. Later in his career, he switched to the halter events. Well known halter horses under his care included My Tru Luv, A Classic Edition, and Interception. According to The American Quarter Horse Journal, Jack was involved with 22 world champions and earned seven world champions in three different breed associations.

GoHorseShow talked to several of his colleagues about what they will remember about their friend.

wm-6.mailanyone.net“Jack was a great horseman that truly connected with the horse. He was not just ‘a trainer’ but had that sixth sense with the horse that put him into a level that most trainers would love to have,” says longtime friend, Kathy Smallwood of Pilot Point, Texas. “He was a true ambassador for the halter horse with AQHA and WCHA always willing to lend his time on committees and helping solve issues. His big smile and compassion for the horse industry will be sorely missed.”

Friend and competitor Barbara Liska of Scottsdale, Arizona, told us that Jack and she were friends and competitors for over 40 years. “He was a legend in his own time – clear back to the times at the Cow Palace. He was always willing to help when ever asked. He was one of the main stays of the halter industry and helped make it what it is today,” Liska, the mother of trainer Deanna Searles, reveals. “He had so much integrity and a big heart all through the 40-plus years that we knew him. I can’t even guess the amount of miles and hours he had put in over all those years. He was there when I got into the business and still there when I left, with all the same heart and soul he started with.”

wm-2.mailanyone.netFriend and colleague Dale Livingston adds, “Jack always had an eye for a good horse and his horses were always fit and prepared when he came to the show. Jack was always willing to give his opinion, even when it would have been easier not to do so and he didn’t candy coat it when he gave his opinion either. Sometimes people misunderstood Jack because he called a spade a spade. I know this because I have the same problem at times, because people will brand you as coarse or hard just because you tell them the truth. Jack was a great horsemen, a great father and husband, he was a true asset to the quarter horse industry.”

Longtime friend, Pete Bowling, shared multiple stories and memories about Jack. Each helping each other through tough times over the years. “No one could have worked harder, no one could be anymore dedicated to promoting quarter horses on the west coast. I really don’t think anyone even came close to dominating the AQHA Halter High Point Titles like Jack and his customers did. Of all the people who have touched my life, who have helped and inspired me, this man is the strongest, bravest person I have ever known.”

wm-5.mailanyone.netPast AQHA President Peter J Cofrancesco of Sparta, New Jersey said, “Heaven gained a truly wonderful man, and the horse industry lost one of its greatest ambassadors. Ever since I was a young boy, I have respected and admired Jack, not only for the talented horseman he was, but for the way he led his life. He was a stranger to no one, and always willing to lend a helping hand. In the simplest of words, ‘He was an honor to the father.’ His legacy will certainly live on through all the people that loved him. God Bless you my friend.”

Jack is survived by his wife, Pam, and their four children, Jared, Chad, Brittany, and Sean. Funeral arrangements are currently pending and we will provide more information when available.

If you personally knew Jack, feel free to share stories on our Facebook page or in the comments section of this article. GoHorseShow would like to send our condolences to all of Jack’s friends and family during this difficult time.

Cards can be sent to Pam Brizindine @ 2705 Saddle Tree Lane Rocklin, CA 95677.


Photos © The American Quarter Horse Journal, Pam Brizendine