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Horton Family Triumph – By Barry Horton


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11:35 am.

82/75; slight headwind out of the SSW

Thunderheads are looming on the horizon.

Ramp has been lowered to 4' 4".

Jack Horton on the water, white duct tape holding his knee braces together streams behind, flapping in the wind; discount store helmet, heavier than most and a size too large, lists a bit to the left as he heads down the lake. The crowd goes wild!

Jack approaches jump #1 in perfect form, looks fine on the ramp, comes off the top with one hand in the air like a bronko rider, lands square on both skis, can't hold on.

Coming back for #2, looking good again. The wind has picked up a bit, but shouldn't be a problem. At the top Jack rocks slightly on his heels, and handle goes up, but lands in good form. Just can't hold on.

The clowds are billowing, and the wind is picking up. As the tow boat pulls Jack out of the water for his final attempt the crowd is on there feet and going nuts. Jack heads down the lake with head held high. There is a feeling in the air that something magical is about to happen. You could have heard a pin drop. Jack heads for the jump. Someone starts to woot and holler. One by one more voices add to the chorus of encouragement. Jack hits the jump looking pretty good, nice off the top, dusts out on the landing and then stands up. The shore is a sea of fists pumping the air. Jack falls back onto his skis and crashes into the wakes. Fueled by the energy of the crowd he hangs on and rides away.

29' in the books.


BABE’S ★ California Ski Ranch ★ Connelly ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ KD Skis 

MasterCraft ★ MasterLine ★ PerfSki ★ Radar ★ Rodics Innovation 

Reflex ★ S Lines ★ Stokes

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  • Baller

I love Jack. I met him in 1968 at my first Nationals. He saved me and earned me a MII National slalom title in 1981. I had taken a 175' face plant at the Shreveport tournament the week before. My ribs hurt to breathe, sniff, ride in a car and just move. I went to the Nationals and Jack gave me a shot of novacaine or something. Heck, I couldn't feel them for an hour and voila! slalomed well. I love jack!


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