“She was the prettiest red dun mare you ever saw,” Frank Merrill said of Miss Jim 45. “Everything Miss Jim 45 did, she did pretty.”
Miss Jim 45 was bred by James Nance of El Reno, Oklahoma, and was by Jim Harlan and out of the Waggoner Ranch mare Miss Paulo’s 45. Nance showed her to the Oklahoma high-point filly title as a yearling and 2-year-old. Matlock Rose and George Tyler bought her in February 1969.
Between February and June 1969, the filly was shown 69 times, with 65 firsts, three seconds and a third. Frank Merrill noticed the red dun mare in the May 1969 Western Horseman. He knew then that he wanted that horse and decided to give Rose a call.
Merrill made the trip to Gainesville, Texas, in June after school ended. When Miss Jim 45 was walked out of her stall, all Merrill saw of her was her head and neck and knew he had to own her. Tyler declined Merrill’s first offer of $20,000, but accepted a deal for $25,000 the next morning.
Merrill showed Miss Jim 45 throughout the summer of ’69, the mare giving horsemen nervous fits in Merrill’s home state of Michigan. At the Chicago International Livestock Exposition, legendary horseman Jack Kyle named the mare grand champion.
Merrill decided in 1970 to enlist Stretch Bradley to campaign the mare. After 140,000 miles, 153 shows, 139 firsts, 12 seconds, a third and fifth, Miss Jim 45 was the 1970 high-point halter mare. At the end of the year, she had earned 436 points – more than any other mare up to that time. In her lifetime, she won 230 of 250 shows, earning 176 grand champion mare titles, 33 reserves and 642 halter points.
Merrill sold Miss Jim 45 to Michael Mulberger of Arizona in May 1971. Her lone offspring was a 1973 bay colt by Boston Mac. A racing Register of Merit earner, Mr Colt 45 started seven races with earnings of $696.
Miss Jim 45 died in 1978 and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2000.
Biography updated as of September 2018.