San Joaquin Magazine September 2021

Page 44


home museum littered in ribbons, stables filled with award-winning stallions and mares, a prestigious lineage dating back nearly a century—these attributes are what set Jack Tone Ranch apart from other horse breeders in the country. A

long line of aristocratic horses carrying the highest national distinctions (including U.S. National and International Champion and Top 10 Mares and Stallions) takes up residence on a family ranch on the outskirts of Stockton. Over the years it has transformed from a family farm home with a few well-bred horses to today, a fully active ranch offering boarding, sales, riding lessons, training, and more. The breeding practices, however, are what set Jack Tone apart—and it all started with a horse named Fadjur. Marjory F. Tone—the mother of Kathleen Hammer, 79, the family’s living matriarch who runs the ranch with her family today—always loved horses. Marjory’s father used to tell her stories of gorgeous Arabian horses and said he hoped one day she would see one in person. When Kathleen was five, Marjory bought her and her siblings a pony and began breeding. A trainer she worked with took in a half-Arabian and Marjory immediately saw a difference in temperament. She started renting out her barn space in trade for an Arabian horse and saved up money from selling chicken eggs to buy the horses’ sister, who became one of the world’s most accomplished Arabian mares. “Her record still stands,” Kathleen says. The mare, named Fer-Natta, had three daughters that each produced five champions. “My mother had an eye for a horse.” While Marjory’s mares were bringing in plenty of championships, it was her first stallion that put Jack Tone Ranch on the map. Fadjur was just a six-monthold colt when Marjory found him in Bell, California. She begged her husband, Jack, to purchase him as a match for her mares. Finally, for her birthday, Fadjur was brought home for Marjory. With Marjory’s gentle hand and unique training intuition, Fadjur became a one-of-a-kind horse and was eventually inducted into the Arabian Horse Hall of Fame. A leading sire of champions, Fadjur graced the covers of many horse magazines, heralded for his distinct look. His sons, grandsons, and granddaughters all followed in Fadjur’s footsteps. “A dynasty in the Arabian horse breed,” Kathleen says. Some of the top breeding and performing horses in the breed today are descendants of the late Fadjur. “His look is recognizable.”



Breeding Champions

Marjory deserves much of the credit for Jack Tone Ranch’s success. Kathleen, her husband, Jerry, and her sons and daughters inherited the ranch and its operations, but Marjory’s influence remains as the family uses her breeding program to continue turning out champion horses. The family stays true to her original mission—breeding the most beautiful Arabian horses possible without sacrificing intelligence, heart, strength, athletic ability, or hereditary disposition. “Our breeding goal at the Jack Tone Ranch is to produce horses with the incredible Arabian type, beauty, and power of our ideal horse: The fabulous Fadjur,” Kathleen says. “We’re using some of the techniques that were used to create and develop new breeds,” Margie says of the program her

grandmother developed. In the case of Fadjur, the family wanted to pass on the attributes that made him a champion. Although his high, arched neck, beauty, and conformation made him a star, his presence is perhaps what won judges over. “He was so loving that never once in his life did he fail to say hello to a visitor, no matter how many had come before them,” according to a Jack Tone Ranch pamphlet. He was known for having an “almost-human intelligence and understanding.” To keep Fadjur’s influence prominent, sisters, half-sisters, and granddaughters of Fadjur were bred to him. When looking for mares to breed with Fadjur, Marjory specifically chose those that bore the strongest resemblance to him. Direct descendants of Fadjur are given their own name but Fadjur’s or Fadjurz comes before their given name to indicate their connection to his legacy. In all of his years of breeding—up until the age of 30— Fadjur was only bred naturally;

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