R.I.P. Jess Jackson: 'He Liked To See His Horses Run'

More

The famous owner of many fine racing horses has died at the age of 81

Cohen_Jess_4-21.jpg

Word came to the world of Thoroughbred horse racing Thursday morning that Jess Jackson, the man who founded the Kendell-Jackson winery, had died at age 81 of complications from cancer. Stomping on the terra wherever he found it as one of the world's richest men, Jackson owned and raced many fine racehorses, including the magnificent Curlin—perhaps the best American racehorse of the past decade—and Rachel Alexandra—a brilliant filly whose exploits in 2009 brought nothing but honor to the sport of kings.

In the next few hours, and days, tributes to Jackson no doubt will pour in from all over the world from both the wine set and the horsey set. My favorite so far comes from Ray Paulick, in Kentucky, who covers the sport from the ground up. This morning, Paulick wrote of Jackson:

He liked to be in control of things and loved the spotlight, issuing press releases and holding teleconferences and giving rambling speeches when accepting Eclipse Awards for his horses. But more than anything else, he liked to see his horses run. He kept Curlin and Rachel Alexandra in training as 4-year-olds when conventional wisdom would have said to retire them to the breeding shed a year earlier.

After all the tough talk, the litigation, the posturing, and the bluster, that's what I'll remember the most. He liked to see his horses run.

And, really, could any horseman ask for a better epitaph?

Image credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

Jump to comments
Presented by

Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, 60 Minutes' first-ever legal analyst, and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. He is also chief analyst for CBS Radio News and has won a Murrow Award as one of the nation's leading legal journalists. More

Cohen is the winner of the American Bar Association’s 2012 Silver Gavel Award for his Atlantic commentary about the death penalty in America and the winner of the Humane Society’s 2012 Genesis Award for his coverage of the plight of America’s wild horses. A racehorse owner and breeder, Cohen also is a two-time winner of both the John Hervey and O’Brien Awards for distinguished commentary about horse racing.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In