Rodeo Cohorts–Night Jacket

If you ask around bucking horse circles, one name keeps coming up as a top contender for all-time top bucking horse sire–Night Jacket. The big paint stud is made a name for himself as a bareback bronc first, then after retirement, his colts have populated the best bucking horse of the year lists.

Night Jacket was by a stud out of Johnny Morris’s herd. According to Guy French, the stud couldn’t buck a lick but was probably one of the best sires ever. 
“Back in the early ’70s we bought a big brown mare out of a riding stable and named her Nightline,” said Jim Zinser of the J Bar J rodeo company. “That horse went on to be the three-time horse of the year in the International Pro Rodeo Association. She raised six colts, and all but one of them was a world’s champion. Nightline was three times horse of the year in the IPRA, and one of her colts was the great horse, Night Jacket, who has sired so many of these great horses we have in rodeo today.” 
Night Jacket, a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo bareback horse, sold in 2009 to Cullen Pickett of Lancaster & Pickett Pro Rodeo for $200,000, which is believed to be the most money every paid for a rodeo bucking horse.
Night Jacket had a very distinctive bucking style. He got entirely up in the air. He looked like he was floating and had a lot of kick. Lan LaJeunesse teamed up with Night Jacket in the fifth round of the 2001 Wrangler NFR for an 89-point ride to help him win his second world championship. The feature that made him a great sire is that many of Night Jacket’s offspring also exhibit his size and athletic ability and disposition.

J Bar J, previously owned by the Zinsers, was purchased by Mark “Sparky” Dressen in 2007. “Night Jacket was the coolest horse,” said Dressen. “He never really acted like a typical stud. When we took him to Vegas he stood comfortably in the pen. You could put him by mares. You could haul him with other horses easily. He was a gentleman, but when he got in the arena he knew he his job.”
Sixteen offspring of legendary stud Night Jacket competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo during the 2010 season. The bucking horses are owned by five different stock contracting firms and the list includes, a son, 2010 Bareback Riding Horse of the Year Big Tex owned by Classic Pro Rodeo.

Night Jacket’s first colt crop was in 2000 and from then until 2007 he produced 74 colts, 24 of which have been selected to buck at the Wrangler NFR. Those colts have accumulated 75 total WNFR qualifications. At the 2012 WNFR, there was $159,407 won on his 17 colts.

Big Tex and MGM Deuces Night, Night Jacket foals, have been two of the last three recipients of the Pendleton Whisky Let ’er Buck Bareback Horse of the Year Awards. Dirty Jacket finished third in last year’s balloting, and Delta Ship was twice been voted Wrangler NFR Bareback Horse of the Year. These outstanding bucking horses have won numerous awards from PRCA. At last year’s NFR, Delta Ship was the Bareback of the finals. Two of these colts hold the arena record at the WNFR, Delta Ship and Big Tex.  

This was the FB post from Picket Pro Rodeo on July 31, 2013.

“Today we lost a part of our family, a legend in his own time, and quite arguably the best bucking horse sire ever. 
Night Jacket and his progeny have forever changed the rough stock world of bucking horses. His colts have continually impacted and moved our industry a giant leap forward. We are so very proud to have owned him, cared for him, and loved him. Our hat is off to Jim and Margaret Zinser for their dedication to their genetics and breeding program otherwise we would never have been able to experience everything Night Jacket had to offer. No doubt he was one of the special ones that will be greatly missed by so many in the rodeo community. Thanks so much for all if your support and look forward to seeing his legacy perform for the next decade!”

Night Jacket is on a very short list of candidates for the title of best-producing rodeo stud of all time. Most stud horses leave descendants behind when they pass–
Night Jacket leaves a legacy.


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