Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2018
When a Thoroughbred mare by Sunfire named Mattie Fern was bred to Echuca Ladd – a Thoroughbred stallion who competed in races, reinings and cuttings – the resulting foal was Maroon, a hard-luck mare who became known for being difficult but renown as a track-record-setting racehorse who became one of the great broodmares in Southwest history.
Foaled in 1949 on the Alcorn Ranch, Maroon was bred by Mary Pearson, who later gave the horses to accomplished equestrienne Suzanne Norton, who sent Maroon as a 2-year-old to the A.D. Jones Ranch at Tatum, New Mexico. A.D.’s son R. C. “Punch” Jones wanted to buy the mare, but Suzanne felt she could not sell the horses because they were gifts. The impasse was settled when Punch and Suzanne were married.
Punch broke Maroon to saddle and raced her on bush tracks in New Mexico and West Texas. The filly finally made her official career debut at Ruidoso Downs at 3, where in her first start, she flipped in the gate and injured her back.
Then she started winning. Maroon capitalized on a hard break from the gate and a stride measured at 26 feet to win the Bright Eyes Stakes at Ruidoso and become the first two-time winner of the Buttons And Bows Stakes at Albuquerque, where she also scored in the New Mexico State Fair Championship.
Bred to some of the finest sires of the day, Maroon produced 11 starters, six winners and the earners of more than $100,000 from 13 foals.
In the six decades since she produced her first foal, the Leo filly Marooneo in 1958, Maroon built a legacy through generations of Jones-breds that have produced such standouts as A Roon, whose second dam is Maroon; Rule The Deck, whose third dam is Maroon; and Kuhi Kuhi in the fourth generation. The line continues today through horses such as the full siblings Kia Won and Grade 1 winner RCJ Major Storm.
Maroon produced her last foal, Ze Roon, in January 1977 and died eight hours later at age 28. She was buried in the mare pasture on the Jones Ranch.
Maroon was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2018.