March 16, 2010 -- Colonels Smokingun, better known as "Gunner" in the reining world, has recently been named the unofficial eighth National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Two Million Dollar Sire. He accomplished this only three years after being named a NRHA One Million Dollar Sire. This was, in part, due to the recent successes of his offspring at the 2009 NRHA Open Futurity, the 2010 NRHA European Futurity and the 2010 Cactus Reining Classic, which brought his unofficial total NRHA offspring earnings to $2,000,453. Gunner was the first American Paint Horse to achieve the NRHA million-dollar mark, and is now the first Paint to reach the two million dollar mark.
Sired by Colonelfourfreckle (AQHA son of Colonel Freckles) and out of Katie Gun (AQHA), the bald-faced stallion, who is registered with the American Paint Horse Association (APHA), has an impressive lifetime record with the Association. He won back-to-back World Championship Paint Horse Show Open reining titles in both 1996 and 1997, in addition to the other reining honors he earned throughout his career with APHA.
Gunner also owns NRHA Futurity Open Reserve Championship and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Reining Championship titles. According to NRHA, he also holds the record as the highest-earning Paint Horse performer in NRHA history. And, for his exemplary reining ability, the sorrel overo was chosen as the 2002 United States Equestrian Team Breyer? model horse. The stallion earned nearly $175,000 in his career and was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2003.
Gunner began gaining a reputation as an outstanding reining sire while still competing successfully himself. From his first foal crop emerged sorrel overo stallion, Colonels Lil Gun, who in 2001 won the APHA World Championship Open reining title. That same year, Gunner won the USEF Reining Championship title.
Today, Colonels Smokingun, now retired from competition, is the senior sire at McQuay Stables in Tioga, Texas. Owned by Tim and Colleen McQuay, the training and breeding operation has a long-established reputation involving Gunner and his bloodlines. The stallion and his progeny have built a legacy known for eye-catching color and athleticism.
"It's one of those dream-come-true situations," said McQuay. "I'm very, very proud of him and hope we can keep it up, and that's the main thing. It sounds like there are some nice colts out there for this next year and although you can't expect to have the same success as you had last year, there is a chance of it. So, onward and upward."
To learn more about Colonels Smokingun and McQuay Stables, visit target="_blank">mcquaystables.com.
According to NRHA, they will honor Gunner for this achievement during the 2010 NRHA Futurity and Adequan? North American Affiliate Championship Show in November. He will also be recognized during the National Reining Breeders Classic in Katy, Texas.