Q-Racing Blog: Jones Influence Still Strong

Q-Racing Blog: Jones Influence Still Strong

This New Mexico family has influenced the Quarter Horse for generations.

Chicky Chicky Kai wins a 2021 New Mexico Derby trial

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By Ty Wyant

The Jones family, based west of Tatum, New Mexico, has an enduring influence on American Quarter Horse racing that continues with Chicky Chicky Kai setting the top qualifying time to the $205,940 New Mexico Classic Derby set to run on October 31 at Zia Park.

Mike Parker’s Chicky Chicky Kai is bred by Dirk Jones, son of legendary horsemen Punch and Suzanne Jones. Punch and Suzanne are each in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Chicky Chicky Kai is after her first stakes win in the New Mexico Classic Derby. The consistent filly has started 10 times with four wins and three second-place finishes. Her best stakes finish was a second in the $238,264 New Mexico State Fair Derby (RG3) in her start before her New Mexico Classic Derby trial win.

In her New Mexico Classic Derby trial, the Jess A Chicks daughter drew the outside post position and raced with the leaders before coming through with a game neck win and the top qualifying time of :19.566 for the 400 yards.

Punch and Suzanne Jones were ultimate horsemen. Punch had the keenest eye for a horse. He told me that he always went to inspect a stallion before breeding to him. He was one of those horsemen who could look at a horse for five minutes and see more than about anyone else could see in five days. 

Suzanne was first on a horse at the age of one and was competing in horse shows at age five. She qualified for the U.S. Equestrian Team, won a class at Madison Square Garden and helped build the 4-H horse program in New Mexico. The 4-H horse school in New Mexico is the Suzanne Norton Jones 4-H Horse School. 

Punch and Suzanne were the best, as horsemen and people.

It is impossible to discuss the Jones’ breeding program with putting an emphasis on the Thoroughbred mare Maroon, the seventh dam of Chicky Chicky Kai. Suzanne had Maroon when she married Punch in 1953. So, in a way, it was a three-way marriage.

Punch match raced Maroon in West Texas and she then set track records at 350, 400 and 440 yards at Ruidoso Downs to go with track standards at 400 and 440 yards at The Downs at Albuquerque. When she wasn’t racing, Punch used her on the ranch. What more do you want from a mare?

How about having a vital breeding impact for many generations? Maroon did just that.

Maroon’s descendants bred by the Joneses include three-time stakes winner and $522,165 earner Rule The Deck, four-time stakes winner and $269,079 earner A Roon, five-time stakes winner and $159,925 earner Kuhi Kuhi, three-time stakes winner and $122,934 earner Madam President, the two time stakes winner and $94,068 earner Good Catch. Now we have horses who earn more than $2 million, but these horses — except for Kuhi Kuhi — all raced before 1984, when purses were much lower.

Rule The Deck is Chicky Chicky Kai’s fourth dam. Rule The Deck won 19 of 34 starts while taking the Rainbow Silver Cup, New Mexico Breeders’ Derby and the 440 Ranch Derby. She placed in the All American Gold Cup, World’s Championship Classic, All American Derby and the New Mexico State Fair Futurity.

Maroon joined Punch and Suzanne in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2018. 

It is a pair of wonderful families. The Jones’ family and Maroon’s family.

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