With the month of April being a busy time in National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) competition, the legend of NRHA Hall of Fame stallion Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner) had more pages added to the story. Thanks to the success of his offspring, Gunner has become the NRHA’s fifth Six Million Dollar Sire. His official NRHA offspring earnings now are $6,013,250.
Bred by Eric Storey of Henagar, Ala., Gunner is the top NRHA-earning offspring for his sire Colonelfourfreckle (Colonel Freckles x Miss Solano), and he is out of Katie Gun, whose offspring have earned more than $554,000 in NRHA competition. Gunner earned nearly $175,000 in his career including these accolades: 1996 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Reserve Champion ridden by Clint Haverty; 1997 NRHA Derby Level 4 Non-Pro finalist ridden by Kim Sloan; 1998 NRBC Level 4 Open Reserve Champion ridden by Clint Haverty; 1998 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open finalist ridden by Clint Haverty; 2001 USET Festival Of Champions National Reining Champion ridden by Bryant Pace.
In 2002, Gunner was immortalized as a Breyer Horse for the USET Special Edition model.
Just last year, at the age of 20, Gunner lost his battle with laminitis. He is deeply missed by his owners, Tim and Colleen McQuay of McQuay Stables, Inc. in Tioga, Texas. However, his story continues in the reining arena through the talents of his progeny. His top earners to date include:
- Tinker With Guns (out of Tinker Nic by Reminic): $344,100 NRHA LTE, bred by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Rancho Oso Rio, LLC and owned by Silver Spurs Equine). Awards include: 2009 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open finalist, 2011 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open Champion and NRBC Level 4 Open finalist; and 2012 NRHA Derby and NRBC Level 4 Open Reserve Champion.
- Americasnextgunmodel (out of Cee Dun It Do It by NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Hollywood Dun It): $259,800 NRHA LTE, bred by NRHA Million Dollar Owner David Silva Sr. and owned by NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner Arcese Quarter Horses USA. Awards include: 2012 High Roller Reining Classic Futurity Level 4 Open Champion, 2012 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion, and 2013 NRHA Derby and NRBC Level 4 Open third place.
- Gunners Special Nite (out of Mifs Doll by Mifilena): $219,700 NRHA LTE, bred by Kim and Debra Sloan and owned by Turnabout Farm, Inc. The first reining horse to be honored with the USEF Horse of the Year award. Other awards include: 2007 NRHA Futurity Level 3 Open Champion and Level 4 Open Reserve Champion; 2008 and 2009 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open finalist; 2009 and 2010 NRBC Level 4 Open finalist; and 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ Individual and Team Gold Medalist.
- Gunnatrashya (Gunner x Natrasha by NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Trashadeous): $218,000 NRHA LTE, bred by Katarina Dorminy and owned by NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner Arcese Quarter Horses U.S.A. Awards include: 2009 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion and All American Quarter Horse Congress Reining Futurity Level 4 Open Champion; 2010 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open Champion, and 2012 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open finalist.