Cover Story - Vol. 50, No.5A, Issue #11
Cover Story: Kola J ... Elevating The Standard
by COLLEEN SCOTT
Athletic, beautiful, structured and good-minded ... those are the things Larry Jerome, Jerland Farms, insists upon in his breeding program. “The whole package is what it takes to be successful in today’s Arabian world,” he says.
One way to ensure that, is to rely on what history has demonstrated. Going back decades, one can point to certain bloodlines that consistently produced the “whole package.” Names like Patron, Bay-Abi, Raffon, Bey Shah, Huckleberry Bey, Gazon, Khemosabi, Bay El Bey and more recently, Padrons Psyche and Magnum Psyche. If there were an Arabian Horse Hall of Fame, they would all be in it.
Not surprisingly, when you look at the pedigree of Kola J (Khaja J x the MCA Magnum Gold daughter Jer-Koko), you find every single one of those names. That Kola J is the whole package, didn’t happen by accident.
Kola J is a prime example of what is strived for within the Jerland Farms’ breeding program. This handsome bay stallion recently returned to Stan White III’s Texas home base following a unanimous win in the Arabian Western Pleasure Junior Horse class at Region 14. Kola J’s 2019 show season was launched at Scottsdale in February, where he won his qualifying class out of 16 and then was named unanimous champion out of 35 in the championship class. The buzz this created was amazing, recounts both Larry and Stan.
“He’s an extremely powerful animal,” says Stan. “In addition to being really athletic, he wants to please you. He wants to do his job. Anything you ask of him, he’s going to do his very best and with full commitment.”
Stuart Vesty, who recently photographed Kola J, describes him this way, “From a distance, this horse is fantastic, and even better when you get up close. He’s as beautiful and correct untacked as he is when he’s loping around the arena. I think he’s raising the bar.”
Shown in-hand as a 2-year-old before he started his performance career, Kola J began by garnering multi Scottsdale top tens and culminated the year with a strong MAHB Championship amongst a number of rival National and Scottsdale Champions.
Handler Jeff Schall has high praise for the stallion, “Kola J is a rare combination of beauty and physicality with the heart of a champion. He has always been an old soul with a youthful arrogance that speaks of self-confidence and pride,” he says. “Breeders, trainers and enthusiasts continue to gravitate towards Kola J.”
Breeding horses like Kola J is the culmination of more than 50 years of very thoughtful breeding decisions. From his first brush with the Arabian horse world as a child, Larry has been what you might call a committed enthusiast: committed to learning as much as he could about breeding, committed to identifying good bloodlines, and committed to creating a breeding program second to none.
Larry’s introduction to Arabians began with visits to the Burton Arabian Farm and to Ross Arabians. At Burtons, he was enamored with Gazon, and at Ross Arabians, Sinbad and Ambassador caught his attention. Larry understood a good pedigree when he saw one.
In the following years, Larry was still interested in Arabians, but also acquired Shetland ponies, Appaloosas, Belgians and Quarter Horses. His dream of breeding Arabians came to fruition when he was able to acquire Don Johnson’s herd, including the stallion Gavad (Gazon x Vadraff), who was a full brother to National Champion Raffon. With that acquisition, Larry began traveling down the road that would ultimately lead to Kola J, while meeting such industry influencers as Jay Stream, Sheila Varian, Wayne Newton, and many more. But it was his relationship with Hermann Blaser that would be the most significant.
Hermann and Larry most notably acquired the stallions Giovanni MPA and Khadraj NA. “Our philosophy remains steadfast: we must respect, admire and strive to tap into the versatility of our breed,” Larry says.
The road to producing Kola J, who appears to be every bit a western pleasure superstar, is the result of thoughtful, meticulous breeding decisions made over the course of many years, and the clear influence of Khadraj NA. According to Ty Wallis, DVM, “Kola J showcases the best attributes of three generations of Larry’s breeding program. Kola J’s quiet confidence and presence in the ring, athleticism and balance, are equally matched by his kind eye and genuine work ethic. He has been exciting to watch and a gentleman to be around.”
After the Western Pleasure Junior horse section winners were announced at the 2019 Scottsdale Show, a fellow competitor approached Larry and said, “There was the first section, and then there was the one you and I were in. I couldn’t even watch my own horse because I was watching yours.”
This is what is so gratifying to Larry—having a horse that is recognized for being balanced, correct, athletic and to top it all off, kind. “I’m as excited as I’ve ever been about being in the business of breeding Arabian horses.”