Gayle Makin: 1947-2018
One of Oregon's largest cutting horse breeders, Gayle Makin, passed away September 17, 2018 at his horse farm in Sherwood, Oregon. Gayle was born September 16, 1947 in Wallowa County. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Sue, their 2 sons, Christopher and Chad, and grandson Wesley David Makin, and 34 horses.
Gayle was a veteran of the United States Army, where he worked in infantry. In 1975, he met his wife to be Sue. Gayle was working as a property manager for a bank and was using the services of a firm she was working at. They were married in 1979. Gayle worked in banking, and real Estate on the side. In 1980 he left banking and started a construction company, building residential homes and later, commercial and industrial construction.
In 1993, Gayle and Sue bought property in Sherwood Oregon. In order to get a building permit for the property they were required to have a minimum of three horses and a barn. This was the beginning of Lucky Star Performance horses!
Gayle had a great appreciation for cutting horses and really enjoyed the horses and people involved with the cutting horse industry. Gayle built his Lucky Star breeding program around Little Peppy, Docs Hickory, Smart mate, and High Brow Cat mares, to name just a few. Before passing he shared how much he and Sue loved to see their babies, that they had bred and raised, turn into beautiful athletes competing in show pens all over the country.
Lucky Star Performance Horses was home to many great horses including Cody Hickory, a stallion by Docs Hickory and one of his favorite mares was RW Kitty Cat. RW Kitty Cat was an NCHA money earner, and producer of NCHA earners. Her daughters, sons and granddaughters are competing and producing in the cutting industry today.
Gayle was known for his unique and great sense of humor, and always had a joke to tell.
He used to joke that his trainer while showing RW Kitty Cat, that he did not need a chiropractor. Kitty would throw his back out the first go and crack it back in place the second go!
Gayle loved it when his horses were really tested in the show pen. The tougher, the wilder the run, the better! The sport of cutting knows how to humble a horse and rider in the blink of an eye, but Gayle always faced it with humor. If one of his horses lost a cow, he would always ask “How could you lose something that big?”
The Lucky Star brand has become a legacy you might say on the west coast and shows up in arenas all across the horse industry including cutting, cow horse, sorting, team penning, barrel racing, and roping. Gayle's presence at the cutting shows and in the breeding industry will be deeply missed. Rest in peace and God Bless.