A Good-News Story

We received this note from Jan Dobson in Tennessee and thought you’d enjoy reading some good news about Appaloosa people at their best. Thanks Jan and all the folks at the Tennessee club.

Last Wednesday night Stan and I were watching the local 6:00 p.m. News and there was a feature about a man riding a horse and leading a pack horse from the State of Michigan to Santa Fe New Mexico. He happened to be in the Lebanon, Tennessee area on that day.

Guess what?? He was riding a leopard Appaloosa mare and leading a blanketed App gelding. The interview was done by the reporter in station’s helecopter and the Appaloosas were very distinctive and recognizable. This man’s name was John Wayne Hayes and he had decided to sell all he had in Michigan and make this ride to visit relatives in New Mexico before he got too old. It had been a long time dream of his. He had owned his gelding for 18 years and was very dedicated to the versitility and abilities of the Appaloosa Breed.

Becky Slocum, Secretary of our Tennessee Appaloosa Club had also seen this interview and she tracked Mr. Hayes down where he had stopped for the night. Stan and I and Becky met with him for breakfast last Thursday morning and spent several hours talking with him and making
pictures and discussing Appaloosas. He visited our farm and looked and all our Appaloosas and was very interested in someday breeding his mare to Rajun, one of our 100%FPD Stallions. Becky generously stalled the two horses for Thursday night in her barn and worked to find John a place to stop for the next few nights.

Since John would be in the Middle Tenn. area for several days, we invited him to come to our Regional Club Awards Banquet which was last Saturday night, Dec. 6. He spoke to our membership about his trip and his horses and how nice it was to have such a warm welcome
from fellow Appaloosa owners. We enjoyed so much talking with him and admire his determination to make this long journey on horseback. He is still in Tennessee as of right now but is traveling South and plans to follow a southern route through Alabama, Miss. Louisana, and Texas into New Mexico trying to avoid as much cold winter weather as possible.

If John Wayne Hayes and his Appaloosas come through your area I would encourage you to try to meet him and help him on his journey with a warm place to stay for himself and his horses. You will enjoy meeting him.

Jan Dobson
Foggy Valley Farms
Auburntown, Tennessee


  1. Gerry Lukacik Said,

    December 17, 2008 @ 10:41 am

    Is there somewhere to obtain his planned route to see where he may be passing through?

  2. Steve Said,

    December 17, 2008 @ 5:30 pm

    Jan Dobson might have some ideas, but we have not seen a planned route. We did send a note to regional clubs in the states he’s passing through to at least put them on alert. Stay tuned, maybe someone knows.

  3. Tonya Said,

    January 8, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    I live in Brookville OH and on Oct. 18 John Wayne Hayes came by my folks farm, it was a saturday and we were outside making apple butter in the big copper kettle, he happened by just as we had pulled it off the fire. He stopped and we took some pictures, gave him a slice of homemade bread with fresh apple butter, he took our picture and we wished him luck. I’m happy to hear he made it safely to Tenn.

  4. leigh Said,

    February 6, 2009 @ 5:40 am

    John has safely left Arkansas. He stayed aroud 5 days with us in Cabot we are keeping in touch with him on his journey he is planning to come back to go with us to Clinton for the chuck wagon races in Sept. Old Man got injured in Russelville and he held up a few more days. John was great company to have, we fed them all well.can’t wait to see him again.

  5. Greg Fulton Said,

    April 2, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

    Today is April 2 2009.I met John Wayne Hayes today in Hartley Texas. It was a blessing to me to talk to a man with so much Faith. He was heading to Dalhart Texas. It is north west of Amarillo Tx.I wish that I had more time to talk to him.I told him that Yyou don`t hear about anyone traveling on horse back.He was so encouraging to me , and I thank to others. If you see him, please give him abrake and a chance to get to know you. Please keep me posted

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