The Legacy sale, often a benchmark for the reining industry, took place last weekend. And whaddya know? The Gunners hold value, unlike a number of other bloodlines represented in the sale. I’m not surprised; I’ve been a fan of the flop-eared paint ever since I first saw him. And I own two of his daughters–Gunners Destiny and Colonels Smokin Heart. Great mares!!
Some of their offspring are for sale. I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to tap into a bloodline that maintains its value even when everything else seems to be crashing and burning.
Gunners Destiny & her daughter, Gunners Blues
Gunners Destiny has produced 2 foals: her 2010 foal by Self Shine sold within days of her birth.
I own her 3 YO foal (for sale, see photo below): Gunners Blues, a NRHA futurity placing, money-earning filly (2nd and 3rd in her first futurity in early August) by Royal Blue Quixote.
Gunners Blues, 3 YO NRHA money earner
Who’s that, you might ask? OK, I gamble on stallions that aren’t household names. But I do so with a purpose: Let me explain. Des is a mare that I showed, along with several professionals. She is honest, wonderful, and can be extremely physical. She’ll go out and mark 71s-73s pretty easily. But there’s a little spark missing.
Gunners Destiny, sliding in the mud to a 73
I thought I would get it in the cutting Peptoboomsmal lines, and I had liked Royal Blue Quixote when I saw him show. I also liked who owned him when he showed as a 3 YO, and who rode him. I had the feeling that there weren’t likely to be any skeletons hanging in his closet. I liked that he had shown AQHA–drug testing is a plus!! I also knew that his get had “big motors” … So maybe this would give Des the little extra that her foal would need. He wasn’t a big name (not even a familiar name) to most reiners, but I thought the cross would work.
I have to confess that I have long had a fear of breeding to high-profile, big-name stallions. I have, for some time, believed that the industry is focusing too much on just a few well known stallions. I didn’t want to breed to them because I was sure that there would be extreme overproduction. I worried about advertising hype, and whether the reports in the media about the success of a few offspring would be representative–I mean, after all, if a high-profile stallion is bred to 100+ of the best mares in the country, you gotta have a couple of winners. But what’s the gamble to me, someone who just has a couple of broodmares and produces just a few babies a year? What are my odds–really? And what happens when the industry goes south and you find that there are hundreds of horses bred just like the one you put so much time and effort into producing showing up all over the place? (Gee, sounds a lot like 2010!)
In the end, I decided to gamble in a way that I was comfortable: on my mare’s ability to pass on her great qualities and on the contribution of a relatively unknown stallion with the breeding I liked. I did know that the filly would likely be unmarketable–because of her sire with no name recognition–at least until she got out there and showed what she could co.
Quite simply, it worked: Gunners Blues did well at her first futurity, marking a 141.5 in a very low-key run just to give her experience and is on track to make a really, really nice horse for either a non pro or a professional. She’s being shown with the understanding that she will be a non pro horse, so there are no runs demanding everything from her–just the kind of runs that build for a great future and a long career. She is so much like mom, it is scary (good scary, that is), but I think there’s a little extra oomph.
Colonels Smokin Heart, by Gunner
Colonels Smokin Heart (Georgia) has earnings in NRCHA and NRHA. An electric, talented, physical mare, she has her own connection with the Legacy Sale: her half sister was consigned by Tim McQuay in 2008. Here’s the link to the sale sheet. You’ll see that Georgia is also a full sister to HH Shotgun Rider. It looks like every foal that Georgia’s dam produced is an NRHA money-earner. Interestingly, Georgia was only shown for 1 year and very, very lightly. At that time (different economics, different world), it seemed like a good idea to just throw her out in the field and let her be a broodmare. How things change!
She has one foal (age 2), by Night Deposit Chex. This cross–Gunner/Nu Chex to Cash– has been very successful, and I thought I might as well join in the fun. He’s looking like a nice, nice gelding.
Night Deposit Chex/Colonels Smokin Heart (by Gunner, full sister to HH Shotgun Rider)