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Remembering Gunner


Shortly after I graduated from Penn State (in 2010), I was presented with a once in lifetime opportunity: to work as a breeding intern at McQuay Stables, home of Team SmartPak rider Tim McQuay.


I grew up as a hunter/jumper rider but developed an interest in both reining horses and equine reproduction when I was in college. The chance to work at McQuay Stables was truly a dream come true. I was surrounded by both hunter/jumper AND reining horses, while learning the ins and outs of a breeding operation.


One of my favorite things about the internship was the daily interaction that I had with the legendary stallion, Gunner, and all of the adorable foals that he sired that year.




Like many others in the horse community, I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Gunner’s passing yesterday. He was beautiful and charismatic and has made a tremendous impact in the reining industry. Although he will be greatly missed, Gunner’s memory will live on in all of his offspring who are destined for greatness, just like their sire.


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17 comments on “Remembering Gunner
  1. Deboraha Watson says:

    Thank you for sharing!! Sorry for the loss of Gunner!! Grateful that Gunner was so loved!! Blessings to all!!

  2. I am so sorry for the loss of such a unique and spectcular horse. May he rest in peace!

  3. Pat McElroy says:

    So sorry to hear of Gunner’s passing. May he rest in peace.
    Such a loss to your breeding program. I know he was loved and will be missed terribly.

  4. Irma says:

    So sorry for this loss i lost my first horse 3 yrs ago he was 32 and it hurt even though we had only owned shadow for three yrs it hurt like we had him since a baby now we have my skipper who has been such a healing over loosing shad n skip is a young 11 yr old who wants to be a lap dog lol rip beautifull boys till we meet again across the rainbow bridge

  5. susantate says:

    I lost my 1st horse Nov 2011 I had him 31 yrs he was 35 yrs old when i had to put him down .

    MY heart is with you all. I’ts like loosing your child .I’m so sorry .

    He was very nice looking
    Susan Tate

  6. Meghan says:

    I am deeply saddened by the loss of such an amazing horse. Though I never have been, and will probably never be part of the reining industry (I’m an eventer), I enjoy reading articles and browsing pics of this beautiful stallion. I think he was even in a horse & rider magazine, but not for sure. It makes me insanely happy that he was so loved, and that he was well taken care of. I believe that as long as a horse is loved and taken care of, they have had an amazing life! 🙂 Rest in peace Gunner!

  7. Kaye says:

    They are truely a gift they are like a kid you half to take care of them an love them an they love you back.I lost 3 horse an its very hard you never really ever get over it I have my pics on the wall I look at them every day I never for get them so I know what you are going throw an I am so sorry for you but he is at rest in peace Gunner


    Im so very sorry for your loss, I know this is such a hard time but remember all the good times you’ve had with him he was such a beautiful horse and will live on thru his babies! Our prayers are with you during this time!

  9. Julie O says:

    My heart hurts for you. My daughter’s horse Monty is 32 (he thinks he’s 8 – so just let him think it)- he is in great shape still competes! I dread THE day. Gunner, what a gorgeous boy!

  10. Sandy Hoover says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us about Gunner, he was a great horse and the photos you have of some of the foals are adorable. Priceless..

  11. Elsie Martus says:

    My heart goes out to you and his owners. You were so lucky to have known and be with this magnificent animal. He loved you too.

  12. Lorin Horton says:

    So very sorry for your loss , Gunner was a very beautiful horse ! I had him as my facebook profile pic for quite some time !I am sure you are heartbroken but please keep us updated on his foals as they progress ! And thank you so much for sharing your story with us ! God Bless .

  13. Yellow Rose Of Texas says:

    My sincere condolences for the passing Gunner 🙁 He was one in a million !!! Rest in paradise {Gunner } You will always be remembered and never forgotten….

  14. Abbie Schwab says:

    I went to McQuay Stables to breed our mare to Smart and Shiny and of course i was looking at the other stallions Colenolforfreckles (Gunner) Caught my eye and i knew that that was the horse we were going to breed to next!Sadly we didnt but we did breed to one of his progeny gunners special nite! We have a beautiful baby girl out of him her name is Daisy Mae sadly she doesnt have the bald face but we still love just the same! Man oh man does she love to bite things im still trying to get her out of that!When gunner died i was so happy that day because it was my B-day but when i heard the knews i was so sad!I have studied and studied horse pedigrees on reining horses and gunner horses have always been one of my favorites!I have dearly missed gunner and he was such a good horse i am so blessed to have a grandbaby of his!his memory will always be cherished by every horse owner!Rest in peace gunner!

  15. isabela villarreal says:

    how are you, we are looking for a foal to stallion line of the gunner . hope your answer

  16. Sandy says:

    Gunner, was he at West Milford Equestrian Center in New Jersey?

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