The longtime horseman from Graham, Washington, was inducted into the NWRCHA Hall of Fame in 2012.
Originally from Vernon, North Dakota, Jerry McCann was raised as one of nine includes in a farming family. When Jerry was just 3 years old, the McCann family up and moved to Washington, where they settled in the Renton area and opened a dairy farm. Jerry knew chores, hard work and his way around the dairy business at an early age.
Eventually, Jerry worked for his father’s topsoil business until he later bought it out and started the Continental Dirt Co. in 1976.
Jerry married his childhood sweetheart, Shirley, at age 20. When Jerry and Shirley’s six kids came along – Robin, Shannon, Janelle, Maureen, Heidi and Dean – so did ponies, 4-H, horse shows and the beginnings of Jerry’s lifelong contributions to the horse industry.
In the early days, Jerry was known to haul the horses in the back of a pick-up bed and leave the kids, horses and Shirley at a show while he went to a job site to work and earn money to keep the kids showing.
Since those early days, Jerry has hauled thousands of miles, worked countless hours, sacrificed and put his heart and soul into the horse industry.
In the mid-1970s, Jerry began showing horses alongside the kids, and he admits it was an eye-opener to find out it was not quite as easy as it looked to him all the years he watched the kids. Jerry’s first AQHA point came not much later, when he competed in his first AQHA show in 1981 aboard Checker Chex.
In his years competing, Jerry has earned countless awards such as AQHA reserve world champion titles in 1986 and 1987, as well as the AQHA year-end high-point award, all with Town Charger.
Some other fun facts about Jerry McCann include:
- He has shown more than 25 horses
- He hit the show pen more than 800 times in AQHA, NRHA and NRCHA competitions
- His total AQHA points number 539
- His NRCHA lifetime earnings are $2,124
- His NRHA lifetime earnings are $4,584
Jerry has owned and shown other remarkable horses, such as: Checker Chex, Seven S Mimosa, Shirley Smokum Oak, Time To Shine On and Smartin Off, just to name a few.
While Jerry has won his share of awards on his own, he finds his biggest joy in watching his kids and grandkids show, as well.
From the beginning and to this day, Jerry has made sure that his kids and grandkids are mounted first, sometimes giving up his favorite show horse for their success.
In 1995, he and Shirley opened Summit View Ranch, where his son, Dean, and daughter-in-law, Kristy, currently train world champion horses. Countless of beginners and non-pros alike have started their horse-show careers in reining and working cow horse at this beautiful facility nestled in the shadow of Mount Rainier.
Jerry and the entire McCann family have been great supporters of the NWRCHA through generous financial contributions, saddle sponsorships and participation in all NWRCHA events.
Anyone who has ever met Jerry will tell you he is one of the most dedicated, hard-working, polite and caring men you would ever want to know. While being successful and enjoying the horse industry himself, Jerry cares and works tirelessly to ensure that his kids, grandkids and fellow competitors have a chance to do the same.
Last, but not least, we must mention Shirley McCann. While riding was not Shirley’s “thing,” she has been the backbone and 100-percent support behind Jerry and the McCann clan in so many ways.
* Jerry McCann of Graham, Washington, was inducted into the Northwest Reined Cow Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2012.