The head of Silver Spurs Equine confirmed on Tuesday the passing of Conquistador Whiz, a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Two Million Dollar Sire.
Conquistador Whiz was humanely euthanized following complications from laminitis, owner Mike Miola said from Scottsdale, Arizona. The stallion was 25. Ruf Conqueror, a 2004 stallion and “Conquistador’s” son, was euthanized only a week earlier from the same condition.
“I’m really broken up over it,” Miola said. “We’re hurting right about now emotionally. They were stall mates pretty much their entire lives. It was just heartbreaking.”
Laminitis results from the disruption of blood flow to the laminae, accordion-like tissues that attach the hoof wall to the bone in the foot. Inflammation compromises the integrity of the connection. In severe cases, the bone and the hoof wall can separate.
Conquistador is a third generation NRHA Million Dollar Sire. Bred by Bob Loomis of Marietta, Oklahoma, he is by NRHA Hall of Famer Topsail Whiz, NRHA’s first Ten Million Dollar Sire, and out of Sugarita Chex (by Bueno Chex). Topsail Whiz is the son of NRHA Million Dollar Sire Topsail Cody.
Following in the footsteps of his famous pedigree almost didn’t happen. Trainer Duane Latimer didn’t believe he could harness the potential of a young Conquistador because he was “tough-minded, spooky and immature.” Loomis gave his blessing to geld the horse, if that’s what Latimer believed needed to be done.
Latimer, however, allowed him to go intact. The pair were knocked out of the NRHA Futurity in the second go-round, but competing as a 4-year-old under new owner George Shifrin of Aspen, Colorado, Conquistador found his stride.
In 2000, Conquistador and Latimer were tough to handle, winning the National Reining Breeders Classic, the NRHA Derby and the American Quarter Horse Association Junior Reining World Championship.
The stallion finished his show career with an Equi-Stat record of more than $110,000.
Silver Spurs Equine purchased Conquistador in 2008. He was Miola’s second stallion acquisition behind Boomernic, a $1.9 million sire.
“They made our breeding program,” Miola said. “They have a very special place in my heart. I love them.”
In Conquistador’s first foal crop was KR Lil Conquistador, a 2002 gelding who, at more than $460,000, is among reining’s top moneymakers, according to Equi-Stat records. KR Lil Conquistador won the 2005 All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity and the 2005 NHRA Futurity working under Shawn Flarida.
JD Conquista Anna, a 2006 mare, won the NRHA Futurity Non-Pro with Kelle Smith astride. Quistador, a 2002 stallion, won more than $234,000, according to Equi-Stat.
“He was an absolutely fabulous stallion with offspring still winning in the show pen,” Miola said. “I don’t look at my stallions in terms of dollars and cents, I really don’t. That’s insignificant compared to the way I love them.”