Farewell to Gallo Del Cielo

04-GalloDelCieloJohnBrassGallo Del Cielo • Photo by John BrasseauxThe Western performance horse world, and the reining industry in particular, lost a legend on Aug. 20 when 26-year-old Gallo Del Cielo, commonly known as “Rooster,” passed away due to an accident.

Born in 1989, Rooster was bred by Harold “Spook” Stream III, of Lake Charles, Louisiana. A son of Peppy San Badger, he was out of the Doc Bar mare Doc’s Starlight, who produced seven money-earning offspring with total earnings of $206,079.

Rooster only showed during his 4-year-old season, earning his first paycheck at the 1993 Abilene Winter Circuit. He went on to accumulate cutting earnings of $28,438 with Gary Bellenfant, including an $8,744 check for tying for seventh in the Derby Open at the Chisholm Trail Derby and Classic.

But it was in the breeding shed that Rooster would secure his place in history. Though he was a cutting performer, it didn’t take long to discover that many of his offspring excelled in the reining pen. At the time of his death, he was an Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Reining Sire. His sons and daughters also shined as cow horses, elevating him to Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Reined Cow Horse Sire status, as well. Including his offspring that excelled as cutters, ranch performers and rodeo mounts, Rooster sired 505 money-earning offspring that have earned a total of $5,822,284.

Rooster is ranked among the top 25 reining sires of all time. His highest money-earning offspring is Lena Gallo (out of Heavenly Doc x Doc O’Lena), a 15-year-old stallion who earned $178,598 in the reining pen. In 2003, Lena Gallo was the Futurity Open Reserve Champion at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. His success increased significantly in 2005, when he won $16,456 at the Gordyville Breeders Cup and tied for second at the National Reining Breeders Classic, garnering another $46,303. In addition to his success in the show ring, Lena Gallo has gone on to sire earners of $24,518. His highest money-earning offspring is reiner Shiney Gallo (out of Shiney Blonde x Shining Spark), with $16,745.

Rooster’s second-highest money-earning offspring is the 13-year-old stallion Chic N Roost (out of Dun Maid By Chic x Smart Chic Olena), with $167,962 garnered in reining. One of Chic N Roost’s most notable performances came at the 2005 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, where he placed sixth in the Intermediate Open and third in the Limited Open.

Rooster’s No. 3 money-earner is Ricochet Rooster (out of Tari What x Doctor What), who earned $148,708 during his own performance career, including the 2000 NRHA Futurity Open Reserve Championship. Following his sire’s lead, Ricochet Rooster has gone on to produce champions, siring money-earners of more than $515,000.

Rooster’s offspring are still competing today, and according to Equi-Stat records, five foals from his 2011 foal crop are money-earners – four in reining and one in reined cow horse. But his influence does not stop there. Though Rooster may be gone, his legacy will continue through his sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters. In the Equi-Stat Lifetime Reining Statistics, he currently ranks at No. 17 as a paternal grandsire, with 141 money-earners, and No. 13 as a maternal grandsire, with 78 money-earners. It is just another testament to the quality of the legendary Rooster line.