Marthas Mega Jac was a kind horse with a style all of his own.
The 30-year-old stallion was recently euthanized due to infirmities of his advanced age at long-time home – Scott McCutcheon Reining Horses in Whitesboro, Texas.
“His mind was still good, he liked his treats, Lindsey [McCutcheon] always liked giving him a bath and my girls liked brushing on him. He looked forward to that,” Scott McCutcheon said.
According to McCutcheon, the stallion remained spunky in his senior years. When Texas and Oklahoma experienced an uncharacteristic snowstorm in February of 2021, Marthas Mega Jac ran and played in his winter wonderland of a pasture.
Known as “Mega,” in the barn, the 1991 stallion was bred by Sally Brown of Wayzata, Minnesota. Sired by Hollywood Jac 86, Mega was said to have a leggy build McCutcheon was initially wary of. His maternal grandsire was Mr Joe Glo, and his second dam was by Pat Star Jr – a sire of champions who pre-dated Two Eyed Jack on the stallion roster of the famed Pitzer Ranch in Nebraska.
“[He had] old blood and there just isn’t old blood like that anymore,” McCutcheon said.
Before His Time
Mega was initially trained and ridden by Craig Johnson, advancing to the 1994 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Open finals where he won more than $15,000. When the horse was 5, McCutcheon took over the reins and guided Mega to the rest of his $103,088 in lifetime earnings.
“He was so consistent at a high level. He was so easy to horse show, If I was late to a horse show, I could back him out of the trailer, throw a saddle on him and go horse show him. He was great to show all the time,” McCutcheon said.
Mega’s accolades included a 1999 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Reserve Championship and 2000 USEF Nations Cup Championship alongside Trashadeous, Sailing Smart and Hangten Peppy. He and McCutcheon also were the 1997 NRHA Open Reserve World Champions.
Mega’s low-headed stopping style was unusual for the time period and according to McCutcheon, Western pleasure riders contacted him in the 1990s to request video use of Mega’s small slow circles as an example for their discipline.
“He was ahead of his time. He would be competitive today, with the style of horses,” McCutcheon said.
During one of the USEF competitions in New Jersey, McCutcheon recalled the ground being terrible and fellow reiners struggling to stop in the practice pen.
“I ran and stopped [Mega] maybe three times and he never did stop. I got off him and all the trainers go ‘What are you doing? You can’t stop.’ And I said ‘Trust me, he’s felt this ground and he’ll be fine tomorrow.’ I ended up second in that event with a 229,” McCutcheon said.
According to McCutcheon, the family let Mega’s career as a stallion grow organically. To date, Mega has sired 105 earners of $795,966, according to EquiStat.
“We never bred a large quantity of mares to him. Now, his daughters seem to be doing extremely well as producing broodmares,” McCutcheon said.
His leading earner is My Mega Ditto (out of Okie Dokie Dunnit x Hollywood Dun It), who earned $138,087 including a third-place finish in the 2001 NRHA Futurity Non-Pro with rider Sally Broten.
Two other standout progeny include stallion Mega Watt Shine (out of Bella Della x Shining Spark) and Megas Sugar Baby (out of Dry Sugar Rose x Primary Pine). Mega Watt Shine earned more than $65,000 in the show pen and Megas Sugar Baby produced two 2021 The Run For A Million competitors – National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) Level 4 Open Reserve Champion PS Mega Shine Chic and NRBC Level 3 Open Champion Spooks Gotta Crush.
“It was fun at The Run For A Million to have two of the 15 best horses the world out of the same mare compete,” McCutcheon said, “[these horses] have a lot of longevity.”
As a maternal grandsire, Mega has racked up $1,154,311 in earnings with PS Mega Shine Chic (by Shine Chic Shine) and NRHA Derby Level 4 Non-Pro Champion and multiple American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Champion Mega Maggie Mae (Magnum Chic Dream x Cinco De Mega x Marthas Mega Jac) leading the pack $219,655 and $186,664 in earnings, respectively.
“We’re so thankful for the outpouring of affection we’ve gotten after the passing of this horse. People we don’t even know that remember him being shown and what a great horse he was. I’ve had ten people, maybe more, tell me they can’t believe this horse never made the [NRHA] Hall of Fame,” McCutcheon said.