Courtesy Mulholland Family

Owner-Breeder Mulholland Dies at 74

With wife Martha Jane, John Robert Mulholland founded Mulholland Springs Farm.

John Robert Mulholland, who with his wife Martha Jane founded and owned Mulholland Springs Farm in Lexington, died March 9 surrounded by his family. He was 74.

John Robert and Martha Jane Mulholland campaigned 2006 Princess Rooney Handicap (G1) winner Malibu Mint, a daughter of Malibu Moon  they privately purchased after her runner-up finish in the 2006 Winning Colors Stakes.

Other graded stakes winners campaigned by the Mulhollands include grade 2 winner Investalot, grade 3 winner Shadow Miss, and stakes winners Bay Barrister and Naughty Notions.

Mulholland Springs also offers boutique consignments at sales and has sold several graded stakes winners, including 2011 Canadian Horse of the Year Never Retreat. Joseph Brocklebank went to $410,000 to land Never Retreat at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale, where she was consigned by Mulholland Springs. The daughter of Smart Strike went on to win eight stakes races, including the 2011 First Lady Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.

Mulholland Springs also consigned Malibu Mint to the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale, where she was purchased for $1.3 million by John Ferguson.

Mulholland enjoyed a life-long love of horses and after serving in the Marine Corps, he would make his way to Oklahoma where he began to train western pleasure horses. John married Martha Jane McCauley in 1979 and established J bar M Quarter Horses in Edmond, OK. Some of the very best Quarter Horses of the 1970s and 1980s came off their farm, including the great Ms MBJ Mudlark and I'm A Big Leaguer. 

After a near-fatal car accident, John transitioned to racing Thoroughbreds. Eventually he and Martha moved their family to Lexington and established Mulholland Springs Farm on Iron Works Pike. 

In addition to his wife of 35 years Martha Jane, John leaves behind his son John Henry, who is the farm manager at Mulholland Springs; and daughter Laura Powers, daughter-in-law Melissa, son-in-law Scott Powers, and his beautiful granddaughter McCauley Mulholland.