Cutting horse rider, breeder and owner James F. “Jim” Holmes, of Longmont, Colorado, died Thursday, May 23, at the age of 82. A successful entrepreneur and businessman, Holmes was passionate about his cutting horses and the cutting horse industry. He served as president of the Western States Cutting Horse Association and was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame in 2002.
The son of Frank and Helen, Holmes was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1936. Holmes married Virginia Ann (Hill) in 1958, and the couple had seven children together: Gail, of Fort Worth, Texas; Steven James (deceased); David, of Longmont; Linda, of Hygiene, Colorado; Jay, of Longmont; Jeff, of Longmont; and Kara, of Denver.
While attending school, Holmes participated in a number of sporting activities, including football and boxing. He remained active throughout adulthood in athletic activities that included recreational league basketball, flag football, racquetball and golf.
After college, Holmes joined his father and brothers in their family’s Michelin tire franchise business in Madison. In 1971, he moved to Colorado and ventured out on his own, purchasing two Michelin tire stores. Holmes eventually owned and operated nine Michelin stores between Pueblo and Cheyenne, Wyoming, before he began selling off the stores and became involved in the oil and gas business. He started the Colorado Gas Compression business and operated it for nearly 20 years.
Holmes loved being involved with small companies in a variety of industries and continued as an entrepreneur for the rest of his business career — going to his office daily until he was 80 years old. Among the businesses he co-owned and operated were trucking, residuals management, janitorial services, contract manufacturing and real estate.
Holmes, who had $41,026 in Equi-Stat lifetime rider earnings, began his lifelong love for horses while in high school, when he competed in tie-down roping. Eventually, he migrated from the roping pen to the cutting arena. Along with his two daughters, Linda and Gail, the Holmes family has bred cutting horses that have won millions of dollars. Their most noted performer and sire is Dual Rey, bred by Holmes’ daughter, Linda.
The stallion (Dual Pep x Nurse Rey x Wyoming Doc) was shown by Equi-Stat Elite $8 Million Rider Lloyd Cox to $105,038 in lifetime earnings. An Equi-Stat Elite $42 Million Sire, Dual Rey has sired 1,414 money-earners who have won a total of $42,857,842 for an average of $30,310. His daughters have produced 728 money-earning performers that have won $18,302,749 for average earnings of $25,141.
Holmes is survived by his children; seven grandchildren; sister Ann Mary Boberschmidt and her husband, Joe, of Longmont; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers George and Will. A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Friday, May 31, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, followed by burial at Mountain View Cemetery in Longmont.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made to: The Steven Holmes Fund, c/o Longmont Community Foundation, 636 Coffman St., Suite 203, Longmont, CO 80502.