Luke Jones receives his award from IQHA President Debra Donnelly. Photo by bar H Photography
A local horse trainer has received the highest non-point-affiliated award possible from the Iowa Quarter Horse Association. Luke Jones, owner of Luke Jones Performance Horses, received the Iowa Quarter Horse Association Most Valuable Professional Award at the IQHA awards banquet on Jan. 13 in Des Moines.
This award is presented to a Professional Horseman in the state that is voted on by peers in the IQHA from all horse disciplines. The American Quarter Horse Association itself has to approve the nomination. Once an individual receives this award, they may be nominated for the award at the national level.
The criteria for this award, according to the AQHA, are as follows: The AQHA Pro Horseman nominated must: be involved in and support his/her state or provincial affiliate; be a current member in good standing of his/her state or provincial affiliate, AQHA, and AQHA Professional Horsemen; be recognized by his/her peers as a fair and upstanding business person who upholds the ethical standards of AQHA Professional Horsemen; be one who has worked toward the future of our industry by being positive and innovative in business endeavors.
An excerpt from the IQHA submission read, “[Luke is] always willing to help members out with questions and assistance at shows, or [will help with] problems they are having with their horses.”
Jones said, “It’s a big honor to have your peers think you’re professional in what you do.”
Jones has been an AQHA Professional Horseman for 15 years. He has been a member of the AQHA itself for 25 or 26 years.
Jones started training horses full time in 2002, building his arena at that time. He has continued to add on to his operation ever since, including building a house. His arena originally had 12 stalls. Jones expanded it to 50. This allows Jones to keep 50 horses in training at a time. He primarily trains reined cow and roping horses. In the past he has trained several world series team-roping horses as well as world champion horses. He also trained horses for the singer Michael Martin Murphy. His clients range from the eastern coast of the country to the western coast.
Jones regularly attends AQHA and National Reigned Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) shows. In 2017, Jones received the distinction of being the Reserve World’s Greatest Horseman from the NRCHA. In 2010, Jones won the High Point Horse in all of the AQHA. He has won second place twice.
Jones stated that training horses has always been a passion for him. He trained his own horses for high school rodeos, where he won six to eight championships.
Jones also said, “I’m not going to say it’s easy, but it’s what I enjoy doing.”
If you would like to see more about what Jones does, his website is http://www.lukejonesperformancehorses.com/. His Facebook page is titled Luke Jones Performance Horses. His farm is located south of Allerton.