The Western performance horse industry, which has suffered many devastating losses this year, was hit with yet another blow on Wednesday, Dec. 9, when it was announced that the legendary stallion Playgun had been euthanized.
Playgun (by Freckles Playboy) was the leading money-earner out of Miss Silver Pistol (by Doc’s Hickory), a mare whose offspring earnings total nearly a half-million dollars. The stallion, who was laid to rest at 23 due to complications with his old age, earned more than $185,000 in his career as a cutting horse.
Dick Pieper, of Marietta, Oklahoma, owned Playgun throughout his performance and breeding career. He showed the horse in the Non-Pro, while Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider Joday Galyean took the stallion to the herd in the Open. Among Playgun’s many accomplishments are championships at the Augusta Futurity, Bonanza and El Cid Futurity.
While the Wes Shahan-bred stallion excelled in the show pen, his presence in the breeding shed was far more impressive. In his first year to stand at stud (1997), Playgun bred 78 mares, according to American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) records. That crop alone resulted in 44 money-earners with $700,833 won in cutting, reining and reined cow horse competition.
As it became evident that Playgun passed on his quality conformation, instincts and athleticism, his popularity in the Western performance horse industry skyrocketed. All told, he has sired 464 money-earners, according to Equi-Stat records. Those offspring have accumulated combined earnings of $8.3 million, for an average of $18,057 among performers.
Playgun may be gone, but his presence is still felt strongly in the industry. While many of his sons have gone on to become sires in their own right, he has solidified himself as a powerful broodmare sire as well. Without a doubt, Playgun’s place is reserved in history.