"He was a machine in showmanship and horsemanship and became the standard for what a horsemanship horse hopes to be," Joetta shared. Photo © KC Montgomery

Multiple Congress and World Champion, We Be Jettin, Passes at 31

Some horses come into people’s lives that leave that indelible mark on their heart forever. We Be Jettin, (Jetson) was that horse for Joetta Meredith Bell. After a brilliant show career and a long, happy retirement, Jetson was finally laid to rest on August 28th at the age of 31.

“He was a machine in showmanship and horsemanship and became the standard for what a horsemanship horse hopes to be,” Joetta shared. “Jetson was instrumental in my foundation as a competitor and horseman.”

The 1986 buckskin gelding was by Hotrodders Jet Set and out of Miss Squaw Bud and was bred by Jennifer Zweck of Shingle Springs, California. Over the course of his entire show career, he amassed 1,941 points. Most notably with Joetta, he won three AQHA World Championships in the horsemanship, two in the showmanship, and six Congress Championships. Jetson’s buckskin color, tremendous athletic ability, and intelligence separated him from other top horses.

Joetta purchased Jetson from Peter Briggs in 1994. Briggs told us that he bought him in 1992 from Kristin Weaver from California, who was under the guidance of Todd Crawford, who originally trained him. “In my opinion, he is one of the best all around horses I have ever had the privilege to be around. He will be greatly missed by my family,” Peter says (pictured right with Jetson). “Joetta made him the horse he became. I was just glad that I was able to witness the extraordinary things they accomplished. He will always have a special place in my heart. John and Jill Briggs and Jim and Deanna Searles were all integral in helping us develop as a team.”

Bell remembers the first time she saw him. “I was showing at the youth world when I spotted this gorgeous buckskin. Bobbi Pullin was helping me look for a horse at the time. I remember her saying, ‘Great, I have to call Rick (Joetta’s father) and tell him I’ve found an all around horse for your daughter, and he’s buckskin!’ She was so nervous telling my father since he was partial to bays at the time. We always laughed at that story looking back. The rest was history. He and I became a tough team working with some of the best trainers in the business including Curtis and Kim Reynolds, and Bruce Vickery and Sue Ellen Kaven.”

Kim shared some thoughts about this talented gelding. “He was one of the greatest all-around horses ever and quirky. He had to do it his way a little bit. Jetson taught us it was not always our way or the highway; sometimes you meet them in the middle.”

Joetta and her mother, Marijo and father, Rick, mention some of Jetson’s quirks that they remember back in the day. “He was quirky with his backward ears and obscene disgust for low entry stall doors. We even had to cut the wood off the top of the stalls in Baton Rouge, or he would not go in,” Marijo remembers. “He disliked cows at the world shows, fireworks, and Congress displays in walkways. Even though it took a little more effort to get him to the pen, Jetson always made it worth your while when he got there.”

When they were a team, Bell compared Jetson to Michael Jordan. “Both were great athletes who had the burning desire to succeed. The coolest thing about him was his effortless spins and perfect execution to patterns. He was truly the smartest horse I’ve ever seen, and he will always be the first champion of my heart.”

Rick shares that Jetson was not a trainer’s horse. “He lived at home, and he gave us all he had, and we repaid him with a long, happy retirement. No one saddled or ever rode him after the day he retired,” Rick recalls. “After being separated from his best friend, Dont Ya Just Love It (Lyle), Barbie Evans helped us bring Lyle back home to be with Jetson. They were so glad to be together again. The boys were truly back in town, together and inseparable right up until the day Jetson died. Thanks for the lifetime of memories, Jetson, and for the joy you brought to our family.”

The family would like to thank Paula Diuri who made all of Joetta’s show clothes, the Briggs Family, The Searles, Rick Skelly, Karen Orowoski, Bruce Vickery, Sue Ellen Kaven, Curtis and Kim Reynolds, Bobbi Pullin, Todd Crawford, Sandy McBeath – their long time farrier, and the vets that helped them over the years – John McCarroll, David McCarroll, and J. J. Rushing.