Laminitis has claimed the life of renowned reining horse sire Colonels Smoking Gun, known simply as “Gunner”.
The 20-year-old National Reining Horse Hall of Fame inductee and $5 Million Sire was humanely put down on July 8 after spending the past week at Equine Medical Associates in Pilot Point, Texas under the care of Dr John McCarroll.
Owned by the McQuay family of McQuay Stables in Tioga, Texas, the dual-registered paint and quarter horse stallion made his debut at the NRHA Futurity in 1998. The reining world fell in love with the diminutive sorrel with the floppy ears and white tail. After tying for the NRHA Futurity Open Reserve title as a 3-year-old, he went on win the US Equestrian Team Reining Championship in 2001. He was immortalized as a Breyer Horse and finished his career with earnings over $177,000.
The McQuays have owned Gunner since 2005, and in those ensuing years, his record as a sire elevated him to legendary status. His outstanding offspring include 2009 NRHA Futurity and 2010 Derby Open Champion, Gunnatrashya. Gunner has sired numerous Futurity and Derby finalists and champions, in both the Open and Non Pro divisions, including 2012 NRHA Open Futurity Champion, Americasnextgunmodel, 2012 NRHA Open Futurity Reserve Champion, Gunners Tinseltown, and 2012 NRHA Non Pro Co-Champion, Customized Gunner. Gunner has also sired Gunners Special Nite, winner of the individual Gold medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
As word spread of Gunner’s demise, his owners immediately began to receive texts and calls from all over the globe, further evidence of the great stallion’s popularity and impact. Tim McQuay said: “We appreciate everyone who supported Gunner through his career – he had a great team. He will be laid to rest next to Hollywood Dun It on our farm. We will truly miss him.”
Colleen McQuay added: “Gunner was a sweet happy horse, and when I look at all he has given us I can only be grateful for the time we shared with him. Losing him leaves another hole in our hearts.”