The Horton family and the water ski community lost a pioneer, a friend, an amazing father and an incredible grandpa today.
Rest in peace Jack Horton. With love, your family.
Below is a small excerpt on Jack Horton’s influence on our sport, written by his granddaughter.
A desert oasis, built by the brute of bare hands that were often marked by hard-earned callouses, the telltale sign of an athlete…a die-hard, dedicated athlete…a waterskier.
Horton Lakes was built in the 1960’s. From the moment the first pile of Mohave desert sand was shoveled and the banks were leveled smooth, a family history was born. But, it wasn’t until the two islands at either end of the lake were resurrected from the ground that a global legacy caught fire. If you haven’t heard of the Horton name, are you truly a water skier?
Jack’s cutting-edge design, constructed with wind-breaker tree lines and roller diminishing turn islands, is the reason why we can religiously wake up at the crack of noon and still be welcomed by a butter-smooth lake. In fact, this blueprint is one of the many contributions he made over his lifetime to our beloved sport and one of the reasons why he holds a spot in the Water Ski Hall of Fame.
At his little diamond in the desert, Jack opened his doors to anyone who was crazy enough to strap on one of his old pairs of Connelly combo skis (tied together by a faded, frayed rope mind you) and hang on to the paint-chipped white boom as he sat behind the wheel outfitted with an ear-to-ear grin and a straw hat brimming his face.
When Jack wasn’t tirelessly piloting his Ski Nautique, he was sitting in the coach’s seat, his sharp eye watching every buoy turn or edge to the wake, each set never complete without his most famous tip - keep your lead shoulder up!
Horton Lakes served as the catalyst for many skiers’ accomplishments. Whether it was opening his site as a training ground for the Masters or creating unforgettable summers for staff, Jack and his passionate love for life on the water impacted many and left an indelible mark on the sport.
Jack was a legend, a family man, a passionate water skier, and the best grandfather a family could have asked for. He will be dearly missed.