jack-grimes-dwayne-selby-cookie-parton
The remains of cow horse and reining horse owner Jack Grimes, left, were found last weekend near Tulsa. His friend, Dwayne Selby, center, and Selby's mother, Glenda "Cookie" Parton, right, remained missing Friday. Investigators ask anyone with information to contact authorities. • Photos courtesy of Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.

Oklahoma Cow Horse Owner Found Dead, 2 Remain Missing

The search continued Tuesday for one of two Oklahoma horse owners reported missing after they didn’t arrive as planned at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity. The mother of one of those men is now also missing.

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said Jack Grimes, 76, was found dead of a suspected homicide on Sunday, Oct. 31, in the 2000 block of East 59th Place North in Turley, Oklahoma. Deputies had been searching for Grimes, who owned and bred reining and reined cow horses, and his friend, Dwayne Selby, 59, since they were reported missing Oct. 25 after they did not arrive in Fort Worth for the Futurity.

Officials say Grimes and Selby were last seen on Oct. 22 in Selby’s red Ford Taurus, a vehicle that was found three days later parked near a pond in Mohawk Park, a sprawling area near the Tulsa Zoo. Investigators say Glenda “Cookie” Parton, Selby’s mother, is also missing and was last seen on Oct. 25 in her red Kia. Her car was found abandoned the next day on Highway 75 in Tulsa County.

The two men, as well as Parton, were involved in the Western performance horse industry through CDJ Performance Horses. They owned and bred reining horses, reined cow horses and performance Paints over the years, and in 2015 won the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Level 1 Limited Open Championship with Roosters Pistolena (Gallo Del Cielo [Rooster] x Mss Boomerchex).

Jack Grimes: A Big Heart

Reined cow horse trainer Lee Deacon, who rode Roosters Pistolena to the mare’s Snaffle Bit Futurity win, said Grimes was his first client when he began training in the United States. Grimes has remained a client of Deacon’s for the past several years now, and the trainer said many of the horses he showed early in his career were horses that the Oklahoman either bred, raised or bought.

“He believed in our program and he did what he could to support us in the start of our cow horse career,” Deacon said. “So you know, I owe a lot of the start of our business to him. He was a big influence in my career.”

Deacon said he and his wife, Ashley, mostly dealt with Grimes as opposed to Selby or Parton, describing Grimes as “just a good old boy, good-hearted and very passionate about the horse industry.”

“I don’t even know if he ever really rode — he just liked to breed and raise horses,” Deacon said. “And he’d go to the [National Reining Horse Association] Futurity for Thanksgiving every year, even if he didn’t have a horse in the competition. They’re just horse enthusiasts. They liked to come down, watch the Snaffle Bit finals. Even if we weren’t showing a horse for them, they would come down to watch the show and, you know, give us a call.

“[They were] just great people.”

Lee and Ashley Deacon both said Grimes was the kind of person who was willing to give people a shot, or to lend a hand to people who were down and out, needed work or could use some kind of help.

“A lot of the people that he had work for him at his ranch were down and out, homeless, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts … you know, he’d take in people that no one else has given a shot and take care of them,” said Deacon. “He’s just that kind of guy.”

Another friend from the horse industry, Sharon McLeod, saw the same thing. However, she said, her friend wasn’t into doling out charity.

“He did not give anybody a handout, but he would help anybody with a hand up,” she said. “If you were down and out, and you wanted to work, he had [manure] for you to shovel, and he’d pay you.”

He had a big heart, she said, and loved the Western performance horse industry.

“He’s just a good guy,” she said. “He tried, he studied, he loved his horses … loved his horses.”

The Deacons and McLeod said they became concerned when Grimes and Selby didn’t meet them as planned the weekend of the Snaffle Bit Futurity finals. CDJ didn’t have any horses in the finals, but the men had still planned to make the trip for the big event at the Will Rogers Memorial Center.

CDJ Performance Horses

Over the years, the three friends owned the winners of more than $32,000 through CDJ Performance Horses, which was reportedly named for the trio’s initials, and Grimes had another $2,212 on his own EquiStat ownership record. Roosters Pistolena earned the partnership’s biggest win in the Western performance horse industry, but CDJ also found success in roping events at the American Paint Horse Association World Show with horses such as full siblings A Tru Thunder Bar (PT) and A Tru Sunny Bar (PT), as well as the mare Shez Impressive Gold (PT) and her son Drummin To The Beat (PT).

Roosters Pistolena and Lee Deacon won the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Level 1 Limited Open for CDJ Performance Horses.
• Photo by Primo Morales.

In addition to show horses, CDJ Performance Horses at one time owned the mare Best By Benz, a Smart Starbuck mare whose $68,693 in progeny earnings include 2017 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Non-Pro Champion Best Nite Ever ($50,281, by Gunners Special Nite). McLeod confirmed that mare, along with Roosters Pistolena, transferred into her name in May of this year.

According to McLeod, CDJ Performance Horses was still going strong despite the transfers, which she said were among a number of moves Grimes made to put things in order after a cancer scare last spring.

CDJ Performance Horses at one time also owned the $140,669-winning reining stallion I Spin For Chics, a son of Tangys Classy Peppy it owned for several years and sold last year. CDJ still owns daughters of the stallion, which McLeod said Grimes was now pairing with other stallions as he continued to move his breeding program forward.

McLeod, who said she met Grimes nearly two decades ago while they were both members of trainer Clinton Anderson’s No Worries Club, said her friend absolutely loved the challenge of trying to breed good horses.

She said he was determined to learn as much as he could about Western performance horse pedigrees and bloodlines with the goal of finding the cross that worked.

“He knew about how important breeding was. So, boy, he could tell you about every line of horse, and he studied,” said McLeod, who did ground work with CDJ’s colts at her place in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before they went to trainers. “He studied this craft. Who’s going to mix well with some? Who won’t?”

Mystery Remains

Though officials say Grimes’ death was a homicide, details such as the cause and time of death remain under investigation. They also have not released a motive.

Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Communication Director Casey Roebuck asked anyone in the horse industry who has information about Grimes’s death or the trio’s disappearance to contact investigators.

“In terms of possible leads or motives, we are interested to hear from anybody in the Quarter Horse business who may have knowledge of their business dealings, or may have known somebody who had a reason to want to harm Jack or Dwayne,” she said, adding investigators are very concerned about Selby and Parton’s safety. “We don’t know that there’s any kind of connection to the business, but the fact that all three of our missing persons, and our victim, were in this business together, it does lead to the fact that we need to at least investigate that avenue to see if there was some connection to the Quarter Horse business.”

McLeod was at a loss when it comes to what happened to her friend, though she didn’t think it had anything to do with the horse industry. Grimes was the most involved of the three, and he wasn’t the kind of person to make enemies, she said.

“It’s just a mystery right now,” McLeod said by phone Thursday evening. “It’s like I said … we are living one of the Dateline/48 Hours mysteries. We don’t know anything.”

Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado asked anyone with information about the last time Grimes, Selby or Parton were seen, or who knows someone connected with the trio who is acting strangely or suddenly left town, to reach out to investigators.

“Anything that is out of the ordinary,” Regalado said in a news conference posted by Fox 23 News. “Sometimes those things, although they seem trivial, may be something that breaks open a case.”

Anyone with information can send details to sheriff’s deputies via a tipline at 918-596-8836 or via email to [email protected].