Jay was born and raised in southwest Oklahoma. His dad was a top roper and rodeo cowboy and his granddad was a brand inspector for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He rodeoed throughout most of his early years and now stays busy raising ranch horses and cattle, and team roping. Jay continues to judge a few amateur rodeos around home and hosts annually the Invitational Rafter S Ranch Cowboy Reunion.
Jay's cowboy poetry CD Of Horses and Men was named "Cowboy Poetry Recording of the Year" by the Academy of Western Artists for 2006. He was honored to receive the male "Cowboy Poet of the Year" by the Academy of Western Artists in 2008.