Baltimore - WJZ.com
Feb 25, 2009 4:54 pm US/Eastern
At the Reginald Lewis Black History Museum, a ceremony was held to honor eight Marylanders who have made significant contributions to African American culture. In the arts, the award is going to a singer, poet, producer, activist and internationally respected equestrian--Jean Albert Renaud, known as "Jar."
His voice has carried Jar from the projects of east Baltimore to fame with Motown records. He opened for the Jackson Five. You name the Motown legend and he toured with them. He was a star and, like all stars, began to burn out.
"You kinda get lost because you make a lot of money fast--sex, drugs and rock and roll, and you get caught up in that and I got caught up in it," he said.
At his lowest, he returned to Baltimore and his first love, horses.
"In the end, the horse saved my life," he said. "I had something to turn to when I lost myself."
That was 25 years ago. Since then, Jar has become a recognized trainer.
"It's a dance," he said.
He rides stallions, stallions he's used to create a new breed of horse, "mowalkerab." They're bred for endurance riding.
Two years ago, when Jar was 65 years old, he rode his stallions on a 500 mile race from New Mexico to Missouri. He trains horses for the royal families of the United Arab Emirates. He also raced across the desert of Qatar for the Duchess of York.
"I base my riding on the same thing life is based on," he said. "The heart doesn't skip a beat. It's a rhythm."
Now 67, Jar lives on his ranch in northern Baltimore County.
His next project is to save the wild mustangs and create a ranch where troubled kids and horses can heal each other. To learn more, click here.