The late Autumn Boon made her mark in the show pen and in the breeding barn, including back-to-back wins at the prestigious NCHA Super Stakes with Bill Freeman. • Photo by Don Shugart.

Leading Cutting Producer Autumn Boon Dies at 26

One of the all-time leading dams in the history of the sport of cutting has died. 

Autumn Boon, the mother of more than $1.9 million in earners, died Monday, Sept. 28, due to age-related laminitis, reported Kyle Manion, of Manion Ranch. 

“It is with a heavy heart we report the loss of one of the best horses the cutting industry has ever known,” said Manion, who managed the mare for owner Karen Freeman.

Show & Breeding Career

With lifetime earnings of $258,185, Autumn Boon’s wins included back-to-back editions of the NCHA Super Stakes: the 1998 Open Championship and 1999 Classic Open Champion.

Upon retiring from her illustrious show career, her life as a brilliant producer began. Many of her offspring are now household names, and she has proven to be a mare capable of producing both great stallions and mares. 

“Boonie” ranked as the third all-time leading cutting dam, trailing only her mother — Royal Blue Boon — and Stylish Play Lena, according to the 2020 Equi-Stat Broodmare Statistics.

Her top three money earners also carry the distinction of being successful sires: Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million Sire Im Countin Checks ($514,757, by Smart Lil Ricochet), Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Sire Once In A Blu Boon ($316,564, by Peptoboonsmal) and Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Sire Boon A Little ($122,245, by Smart Little Lena).

Autumn Boon’s Legacy

Autumn Boon had recently begun showing early signs of laminitis, Manion said.

“After exhausting every possible remedy, it was decided by her veterinarian, owner, and us, that out of respect and love for her, euthanization was our only option. The timing was very important to us also, as we wanted to spare her the pain of a long, inevitable decline. While the decision was soul crushing, we all knew that waiting would only serve us, and not her.”

On her last day, Manion said the mare was “still bright, in good spirits and being the ‘Cookie Monster’ that she was, enjoying her favorite treats.”

The 26-year-old daughter of Dual Pep and out of Royal Blue Boon (by Boon Bar) was owned by Karen Freeman and had been managed by Manion Ranch for the past 20 years.

“She was like family. Very affectionate. Just an all-around package, and we all loved her very much,” Manion said. “We were privileged to manage Autumn Boon, and honored that Karen Freeman placed her confidence in us for so many years.” 

“Someone else who loved her was Smart Little Lena. She was, without a doubt, his favorite mare! He was truly infatuated with her, and there was a genuine mutual fondness there. Although this is a sad day for us, we do find a bit of comfort knowing those two industry greats are back together again.”