playgun
Playgun, shown at the Augusta Futurity, was a successful cutter who influenced multiple disciplines during his stallion career. • QHN File Photo.

From the Archives: Playgun

Influencing multiple disciplines, Playgun is a name that resonates with people of the Western performance horse industry.

The 1992 gray stallion was owned throughout his performance and breeding career by Dick Pieper of Marietta, Oklahoma, and ridden in the Open by Equi-Stat Elite $4 million rider Jody Galyean. 

Sired by Freckles Playboy and out of Miss Silver Pistol (by Doc’s Hickory) Playgun’s show-pen journey began at the 1995 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, where he made the semifinals. After that show, Pieper and Galyean pressed onward with the stallion and the next year Playgun pulled checks at ten shows including winning the Derby Open at the Augusta Futurity show. He finished the year with $125,084 and by the time he retired from showing, he had $185,733 in earnings. 

Breeding Shed Success

Playgun stood at stud for the first time in 1997. According to the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), Playgun bred 78 mares in his first year and 44 became money-earners, racking up $700,833 in cutting, reining and reined cow horse competitions. The success turned heads, and through the end of 2020, Playgun reported 516 performers in Equi-Statwith more than $9 million in earnings. 

Leading earners include NCHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion and NCHA Super Stakes Classic Open Champion Mr Beamon ($327,749, out of Smart Little Easter x Smart Little Lena), and NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Champion Peppy Plays For Cash ($304,713, out of Peppys Dreamgirl x Peppy San Badger). He also sired NCHA Derby Non-Pro Reserve Champion PRF Playguns Pep ($285,230, out of Shes My Darling x Haidas Little Pep).

One of Playgun’s leading earners was PRF Playguns Pep, a horse that won more than $285,000. • Photo by Don Shugart.

In recent years, Playgun added to his list of top progeny with NCHA World Finals Open Champion PG Heavily Armed, a 2012 bay stallion out of Not Quite An Acre (by Bob Acre Doc). Winner of the NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic Open Championship, PG Heavily Armed retired with lifetime earnings of $264,974.

Sales Highlights

A Playgun daughter made a splash at the 2020 NCHA Futurity Western Bloodstock Evening Session Sale. Watch Me Whip (out of Look The Look by High Brow Cat) sold for $500,000, according to Western Bloodstock LTD. Watch Me Whip has $186,818 in lifetime earnings and is the only horse have won the NCHA Non-Pro Triple Crown.

NCHA Non-Pro Triple Crown winner Watch Me Whip, a daughter of Playgun, brought a final bid of $500,000 during the 2020 NCHA Futurity Sales. * Photo by Molly Montag.

Another of his daughters, Playin Like An Angel, topped last year’s Marketplace at Ardmore October Sale.

Though Playgun died in 2015, he continued to sire foals beyond his death through frozen semen. Last year, the stallion’s son, My Guns Are Chillin, tied for eighth in the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Finals with Ty Moore. The late stallion also was the maternal grandsire of Open finalists at the 2020 NCHA Futurity and the 2020 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity.

A particularly versatile grandson of Playgun — TRR Lucky Playgun — won the 2020 World’s Greatest Youth Horseman with Trail Townsend.

Playgun’s influence in the cutting pen and beyond has made him an outcross for many of today’s popular performance horse bloodlines.