By Christa Morris - With the month of April being a busy time in National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) competition, the legend of NRHA Hall of Fame stallion Gunner had more pages added to the story. Thanks to the success of his offspring, Gunner (AQHA Colonels Smoking Gun; APHA Colonels Smokingun) has become NRHA’s fifth, Six Million Dollar Sire. His official offspring earnings now are $6,013,250.
Bred by Eric Storey of Henagar, Ala., Gunner is the top NRHA earning offspring of Colonelfourfreckle (Colonel Freckles x Miss Solano) and out of Katie Gun whose offspring have earned more than $554,000 in NRHA competition. Gunner earned nearly $175,000 in his career including these accolades:
- 1996 NRHA Futurity Level (L) 4 Open Reserve Champion ridden by Clint Haverty
- 1997 NRHA Derby L 4 Non Pro finalist ridden by Kim Sloan
- 1998 NRBC L 4 Open Reserve Champion ridden by Clint Haverty
- 1998 NRHA Derby L 4 Open finalist ridden by Clint Haverty
- 2001 USET Festival Of Champions National Reining Champion ridden by Bryant Pace
In 2002, Gunner was immortalized as a Breyer Horse for the USET Special Edition model.
Just last year at the age of 20, Gunner lost his battle with laminitis. He is deeply missed by his owners Tim and Colleen McQuay of McQuay Stables, Inc. in Tioga, Texas. However, his story continues in the reining arena through the talents of his progeny. His top earners to date include:
- Tinker With Guns (Gunner x Tinker Nic by Reminic): $344,100 NRHA LTE, bred by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Rancho Oso Rio, LLC and owned by NRHA Corporate Partner Silver Spurs Equine). Awards include: 2009 NRHA Futurity L 4 Open finalist, 2011 NRHA Derby L 4 Open Champion and NRBC L 4 Open finalist; and 2012 NRHA Derby and NRBC L 4 Open Reserve Champion.
- Americasnextgunmodel (Gunner x Cee Dun It Do It by NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Hollywood Dun It): $259,800 NRHA LTE, bred by NRHA Million Dollar Owner David Silva, Sr. and owned by NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner Arcese Quarter Horses USA. Awards include: 2012 High Roller Reining Classic Futurity L 4 Open Champion, 2012 NRHA Futurity L 4 Open Champion, and 2013 NRHA Derby and NRBC L 4 Open third place.
- Gunners Special Nite (Gunner x Mifs Doll by Mifilena): $219,700 NRHA LTE, bred by Kim and Debra Sloan and owned by Turnabout Farm, Inc. The first reining horse to be honored with the USEF Horse of the Year award. Other awards include: 2007 NRHA Futurity L 3 Open Champion and L 4 Open Reserve Champion; 2008 and 2009 NRHA Derby L 4 Open finalist; 2009 and 2010 NRBC L 4 Open finalist; and 2010 Alltech® FEI World Equestrian Games™ Individual and Team Gold Medalist.
- Gunnatrashya (Gunner x Natrasha by NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Trashadeous): $218,000 NRHA LTE, bred by Katarina Dorminy and owned by NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner Arcese Quarter Horses U.S.A. Awards include: 2009 NRHA Futurity L 4 Open Champion and All American Quarter Horse Congress Reining Futurity L 4 Open Champion; 2010 NRHA Derby L 4 Open Champion, and 2012 NRHA Futurity L 4 Open finalist.
Photos available on request. Gunner photo by Tristan Dark. Offspring competition photos by Waltenberry (with exception to Gunners Special Nite photo by NRHA).