Debra Donnelly, IQHA Ex-Officio, presents Luke Jones with the AQHA Most Valuable Professional Horseman Award • Photo by Bar H Photography

Luke Jones Honored Through Most Valuable Professional Horsemanship Award in Iowa

Though Luke Jones has won many awards since he began Jones Performances Horses back in 2002, winning the Iowa Quarter Horse Association-appointed American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Most Valuable Professional Horseman Award was an honor because of how he was selected for it.

His fellow professional horsemen, who also sit on the Iowa Quarter Horse Association (IQHA) board, nominated Jones for this award.

“Luke Jones is a very active participant at the [Quarter Horse] shows held in Denison, Iowa,” said Rosalie Carlson, IQHA District 7 Director. She and the June Denison Shows went up to bat for Jones to be nominated for a number of reasons, including “Luke’s work ethic, professionalism and support of our shows, even if it means having horses at our show and another large show held at the same time. He is always friendly, he leads by example, and he encourages his customers and fellow exhibitors.”

“For me, it means a lot to have the respect of your fellow peers,” Jones said. “That part really means a lot to me.”

Jones spent his childhood in Allerton, Iowa, which is where his current ranch is located. Growing up, he won six Iowa State Championships in roping. He did well at the high school rodeo in Iowa as well, and then went on to college with a rodeo scholarship.

“A professor told me that I should start showing horses if I wanted to make a living training horses,” Jones said, who then was motivated to show after watching the World show. “In 2002, I started my own training business. I started showing horses, and it evolved from there.”

Now, he and his wife, Erin, have three boys, all of whom are involved with horses from roping to competing at AQHA shows to junior high rodeos. As for Jones himself, he trains both roping and reined cow horses full time. In 2017, he earned the title of National Reined Cow Horse Association World’s Greatest Horseman Reserve Champion.