Jerry Tatham, Double J Barrel Arena
Double J Barrel Arena has been the result of years of hard work and love of horses since 1990. The gorgeous spread of well-kept pastures and a beautiful equine facility for events ranging from National Barrel Racing Association qualifiers, horse training clinics by renowned horsemen and women as well as for wedding anniversaries and birthdays. This is indeed a piece of Upstate paradise.
Exclusive Photography: FishEye Studios, Greenville, SC
The first thing you will notice about Jerry Jan Tathum is his genuine smile. It radiates from his entire soul, proving Winston Churchill's words, 'There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.'
At 14, Jerry was involved in a riding club when his family was living in Greenwood. From that time forward, Jerry found a way to be in the saddle. “Horses are an addiction,” he states matter-of-factly with a chuckle, “If more kids had horses, they wouldn’t have time or money for drugs.” While growing up, Jerry found the cheapest, usually meanest, horses to buy and train, then sell them. Little by little he moved up until he was able to buy the type of horses he wanted.
Shian Blackburn and her horse VF Red and Peppy have a shot at a million dollars in The American Rodeo that will take place during February 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. Yep, what might have started as a hobby has become a Barrel Racing career with her competing in rodeos throughout the US.
These yearlings are all fun and games! Most are imprinted or handled at birth and as they grow so that they see people more as part of their family. To watch the rambunctious and friendly colts and fillies, it is obvious that the imprinting worked.
Having a true cowboy- soul, Jerry Tathum has a wide range of talents, including owning an auto body shop in his younger years. Jerry presently retired leaves Tathum Body Shop to be run by his son-in-law and grandson.
Looking out over the pasture where the yearlings play, it is evident that Jerry understands what it takes to produce a steady Quarter horse that can do just about anything; from barrel racing and roping, to racing and showing its grace. With their intelligent eyes and strong builds, the horses at Double J Ranch reflect the care and love that Jerry and his family have for them. They are friendly and confident, perking up at the sight of Jerry and trusting that the funny people with cameras and recorders aren’t going to chase them!
Rodeo has long been a big part of life for the Tathum family. Jerry’s children all competed in barrel racing while growing up; so, when the chance came up to purchase Carrizzo, the family jumped on it. Carrizzo, son of Dash Ta Fame, is the standing stud on Double J Ranch where he is bred to the ranch’s own mares to produce winning colts that are smart, fast and versatile. In an industry where big money prizes are up for grabs to the quickest, Jerry has been raising the bar on quality horses that can compete!
With it's covered arena Double J attracts a wide range of horse events. Buck Brannaman recently hosted a horse training clinic as have local trainers Buster and Sheryl Mclaury. Double J Arena also hosts the SC Mounted Shooters and numerous Carolina Horse Show Association (CHSA) shows throughout the year.
The upkeep of a Ranch is constant. From bush-hogging pastures to cleaning the occupied stalls, there is no job too big that the Tathums can’t tackle as a family. In fact, each member of the family has their own job on the ranch to ensure that it runs smoothly.
There is no doubt the amount of pride and satisfaction that Jerry Jan Tathum feels for the land he cares for and the horses he raises. There is an easy going way of living here that is hard to find nowadays in our whirlwind get it done lives. Take a moment. Feel the breeze. Breathe in that rich country aroma. Experience the hidden Upstate horse country in all its wonderful beauty.
Double J Ranch and Double J Arena welcome visits and is open to riders with their own horses if it isn’t booked for an event. Call in advance, especially on weekends.
Want to catch some of the action? Here's a link to the Double J Barrel Arena's calendar
Writer: Jamie Rose Lewis