UPDATED: Famous Reining Trainer John Slack Passes

UPDATE from the Washington Reining Horse Association’s Facebook Page:

WRHA expresses condolences to the family and friends of NRHA Futurity winner and successful NRHA trainer John Slack, who passed away unexpectedly Wednesday April 20th in Port Angeles. John just competed successfully in the WRHA Spring Fling and Derby on Reining in Seattle owned by Chuck Schramm, winning the first slate NRHA Open class and placing second in the NRHA Intermediate Open class and the second slate NRHA Open class. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced but will be scheduled to allow those traveling to attend. In lieu of flowers, a trust fund is being established for the children of John Slack. Donations for the trust fund, condolences, and any pictures that could be shared with the family of John may be sent to John’s mother:

Ann Wood

227 NE 12th

Port Angeles, WA 98362

A John Slack Memorial class will be held at the upcoming WRHA Classic in Monroe June 3-5, 2011. The class will have Beginner Rider eligibility, and a buckle will be awarded to the winner, sponsored by Chuck Schramm.


PleasureHorse sends our condolences to the family of John Slack, famous NRHA trainer, judge and futurity winner.  Slack’s death was apparently a result of heart related issues.  The 42-year old was found in his home state of Washington, Thursday, April 21.  John grew up in Port Angeles, WA. We will bring you more details and funeral information as it becomes available.

Visit John’s Facebook page to post messages to his family and others.  You can also write messages at the bottom of this article, and we will share them as well.

20 thoughts on “UPDATED: Famous Reining Trainer John Slack Passes

  • 22 April 2011 at 2:22 pm

    You were truly a good friend and we will miss you.

  • 22 April 2011 at 6:00 pm

    John’s Facebook page has been removed. Not sure why?

  • 22 April 2011 at 8:03 pm

    It was down, but has been put back up. Such a great loss, you will me missed my dear friend.

  • 25 April 2011 at 3:36 pm

    wow, so sorry. didn’t know him personally, but remember the awesome showing of MHR Muscateal to the Arabian Reining Horse National Championship. Cool cool run.

  • 25 April 2011 at 7:19 pm

    We met him when he was in Australia. Lovely man and a great tutor. We always hoped that he would come back here and run another clinic …….

  • 25 April 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I can’t believe this…John we love you and miss you. I have pictures of you showing Sparkles and Sunrise. You are the best and are reining in heaven. Love you lots.

  • 26 April 2011 at 11:20 am

    You are in the arms of the Angels John. May God bless and keep your family. Robin Ray

  • 26 April 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Please come and join “Remembering John S. Slack” on facebook, to share memories of our dear friend. If you search this on facebook, it will pop up under groups.

  • 26 April 2011 at 9:41 pm

    What a loss. Just a super nice man with a great talent. He will be missed.

  • 27 April 2011 at 1:34 pm

    You were a great friend of mine! I will miss you.
    Amanda Edson

  • 28 April 2011 at 2:25 pm

    My fondest memory of John was him doing games on his little red pony and being so tall, having to lift his feet so they would not drag the ground.

  • 9 May 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I have many fond memories of John riding horses with my daughter, Michelle, when they were growing up and learning to ride. John, you were very special to us.

  • 19 May 2011 at 8:32 pm

    It is hard to put into words what John meant to us, and his passing has hit us very hard. He loved and showed our Arabian stallion MHR Muscateal, and the two of them never lost a single class they entered. They were a winning combination. I’ll never forget John’s smile and his laugh, and his kind ways with both people and horses.

  • 9 June 2011 at 5:03 pm

    A long time ago I joined a clinic of John in Belgium. He was a great man, I liked him very much. I learned so much from him. Took pictures with him and from him, even when he crashed on the couch (He had a jetlag). He even took one of me secretaly from the balcony after the break. I never knew why. He was a little nervous and swinging his rein,I tought it was cute, he had real savvy.
    He also had a great smile. I’ll miss him a lot. Rest in peace John. God bless your family. Love Pascale

  • 24 September 2011 at 12:27 am

    I always admired your talent and your way to teach ( horses and people)finally met you in Vegas participating in Hero’s and Friends. Thank you for your generosity and openness. Rest in peace. Rein above always. Love Sherri

  • 28 September 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I worked with John, & he roomed with me, for a short time; and I remember him as a good friend and someone I could share anything with. When I got my mare, Tinker, we discussed him helping me with her. He was pretty busy, so we put it off. Looks like it will be a little longer than we expected before he can teach me… John, I look forward to lessons with you someday, and I miss you.
    kathy (aka K-Ray)

  • 19 December 2011 at 11:02 am

    I miss my father more than anything right now and always will. I miss hearing “Hey, Turkey!” when I answered the phone when he called. I cant believe this. I Love you, Daddy! I wish you were back……
    Thank you for giving me my first pony and teaching me to ride. Catching me when I fall. Don’t worry, I’ll see you again! <3

  • 30 March 2014 at 12:21 am

    I was so proud to hear of your accomplishments John. Wish I could have seen you again. I’ll always remember those long legs during the group lessons you attended of mine, in the pasture. I have fondest memories. Bobbi and Ebony

  • 8 August 2019 at 9:11 am

    I first met John as a child. He was my Mom’s trainer. My best memories will always be of him teaching me to dance at five.

    I love you John and I pray for his children and family.

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