“If Jackie Bee had been a man instead of a horse, he’d have been the kind of man you’d like to partner up with; the kind of man you’d be proud to call a friend.” Duane Walker said of the horse he shared 23 years of life with.
Foaled in 1962, the gray stallion was by Jimmy Mac Bee by Sonny Day Bee and out of a Jack R mare named Jackie Diane. He stood 15.2 hands and weighed about 1,300 pounds at maturity.
Duane Walker and Jackie Bee, with the help of some outstanding foundation Quarter Horse mares, started a new family of Quarter Horses that were unique in their look and consistent in their size, structure, muscling, and color.
Walker saw the colt on the day he was born and made several offers to buy him, but was turned down for five years. By the time Walker purchased Jackie Bee, the stallion was past the age for a halter career, but he was convinced the big gray was just the horse he needed to take his breeding program to the next level. “We never won any halter classes with Jackie, but we did accomplish what we set out to do. We wanted to get him out before the public. They liked him, they bred to him and they bought his foals, and that enabled us to build up our breeding program and stay in the horse business.”
Over the next decade – from the early 1970s to the early 1980s – Jackie Bee foals became a fixture in the halter ring. Some of his champion foals during that time included: Tee Jay Janie, Te Jay O’Hara Miss, Jay Kay Billy Jack and Tee Jay Jackie Sue. In the 1980s, Jackie Bee foals were sought out for their performance ability.
“Jackie liked people,” Walker said of the stallion. “He’d come up to anyone, anywhere, to be petted and scratched. He didn’t like to be treated rough, but then, there never was any reason to.”
Jackie Bee’s legacy came to an end in October of 1990. The stallion had lost the muscle tone in his esophagus and would choke when eating. His owners were able to work him through it for a while, but after time it became worse. After Jackie Bee’s death, at the age of 28, the Walkers buried him in front of the pen that had been his home for most of his life.
Jackie Bee was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.