Junker of Stillwater, Minnesota, got his start with Appaloosas
as a family activity. His daughters Kim and Kelly began riding
in 1969, showing on the regional and national levels. The girls
competed for seven years, winning numerous awards with their Appaloosa
After Kim and Kelly finished showing, Jack maintained his interest
in horses. He eventually began volunteering as a ring steward
at a regional Minnesota show. His calm demeanor and knack for
getting people and horses where they needed to be led to ring
steward duties at regional shows in Minnesota, New Jersey, Florida,
Georgia and Alabama; the Paint World; Pony of the Americas International;
St. Paul Minnesota Reining Derby; and the Minnesota State Quarter
Horse Show. Jack's extensive knowledge of show rules and procedures
and his professionalism in the pen made him a highly sought-after
ring steward throughout the horse industry in general.
In 1989, Jack, an insurance agent by vocation, accepted an invitation
from then- ApHC Racing Coordinator Lex Smurthwaite to serve as
ring steward at the World Championship Appaloosa Horse Show in
Fort Worth, an honor that Jack says is his greatest Appaloosa
moment. Since then, Jack has been an influential part of the professionalism
and efficiency of both the National and World shows for nearly
20 years. Not only does Jack keep the shows running smoothly,
he greets exhibitors with a friendly smile, calms their nerves
with his easy-going charm, and encourages them with kind words.
A true ambassador of the Appaloosa breed, Jack personifies what
the Appaloosa industry is all about-a caring person who loves
the Appaloosa horse and welcomes fellow Appaloosa enthusiasts,
both new and old, to the Appaloosa family.
Because of Jack's enthusiasm for the breed, his outstanding service
as a top-level ring steward, and his contributions and loyalty
to the Appaloosa industry, Jack received with the Appaloosa Horse
Club's prestigious George Hatley award in 2000. The Appaloosa
Youth Association also honored Jack with the Youth Supporter Award
in 2001 and 2006, the 2001 award being one of Jack's fondest Appaloosa
Jack also contributes to the success of the ApHC's judges' program
as an ex-officio member of the APHC Judges' Committee. The high
regard and respect the board of directors has for Jack's opinion
led to his appointment to the committee in the late 1990s. The
directors wanted to ensure Jack's long-term and consistent input
on applicants, procedures, judging policies, rule changes, show
procedures and related matters.
Jack is also an instrumental part of the Color Breed Council,
International Equine Judges' Seminar. Jack serves on the ApHC
committee that evaluates judge applicants, assists with various
aspects of conducting the seminar and assists the Color Breed
Council in conducting the ring stewards' seminar.
Whether shepherding nervous exhibitors in and out of the arena,
or assisting with the judge and ring steward programs, Jack goes
about his business with a friendly smile and cheerful, upbeat
attitude. His outstanding commitment and leadership have contributed
immensely to making the National and World shows polished, quality
events, and improved the judge and ring steward programs' standard
As for what winning the award means to Jack, he says humbly, "It's
a great honor, but it's not just about me. It's about all of the
ring stewards and show staff that I've worked with over the years-and
my family: my wife, Jean; and my children, Julie, Beth, Kim, Kelly
and John-they all share in this with me.
"It's been a labor of love for me," Jack continues.
"It's been a tremendous ride-the people and the horses-my
every work effort as a ring steward has been directed toward the
betterment of the exhibitors and the horses."
Jack says that his greatest Appaloosa accomplishment is his longevity
as a ring steward. Performance Department Supervisor and longtime
friend Keri Minden-LeForce agrees, "Jack is passionate about
what he does and about improving his part of the greater equine
industry. He loves the Appaloosa breed and sees his job as ring
steward as his opportunity to give back to the people and the
organization who've been good to him for many years. Jack's greatest
contribution isn't one or two big things he's done. Rather, it's
years and years of little things that have positively impacted
the organization and how we do things."