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Obituary: Jim Horton

The Saddlebred world lost a good and loyal participant when Jim Horton passed away on May 3, 2012. While not the most notable personage in the industry, he is fondly remembered by those whose lives he touched.

Jim Horton grew up in St. Simons Island, Ga., and began his horse career with Marvin Long at Sea Island Stables. In his late teens, he went to Atlanta and worked with Temple Stephenson at Jolie Richardson’s Broadlands Farm. After serving a stint in the Army in Viet Nam, he went west and worked for Bud Kinney for many years both in Iowa and at Cynthia Wood’s Stable in California.  He then returned to Georgia where he ran his own Jim Horton Stables in Atlanta for a few years.

Always intrigued by the farrier’s trade, while working in his assistant jobs, Horton perfected his craft and began shoeing on the side to enhance his income. After closing his barn in Atlanta , he began to pursue shoeing more seriously and worked for many years in Tennessee and Kentucky, shoeing and working as an assistant for other trainers, most notably, Lee Shipman and Frank Bradshaw.

Always gregarious, Horton never met a stranger and everyone was a friend unless they proved themselves not to be. He was always ready to reminisce and share stories from his long years in the Saddlebred industry. 

In recent years, Horton had returned to coastal Georgia where he enjoyed a semi-retirement, shoeing for a few local barns, working a couple of horses and doing a lot of fishing. A man who was always happy to help his friends, we will all miss him.

Horton is survived by a son, Justin Brown (Jennie); grandson, Jason Brown and granddaughter, Georgia Brown, all of Stapleton , Ala.; and a brother Larry Horton of St. Simons Island, Ga.

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