Gunners Special Nite

Photo courtesy of John Brasseuax
(2004 – )
Owned by Turnabout Farm, Inc.
Inducted: 2013

Photos

Photo courtesy of Jeff Kirkbride
Photo courtesy of Paige Olson
Photo courtesy of Jeff Kirkbride
Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman/USEF Archive
Gunners Special Nite, more affectionately known as Bailey, brought the crowd in the Alltech Arena to its feet with two awe-inspiring performances for his rider Tom McCutcheon. Drawn third in the 2010 World Equestrian Games Team competition for Team USA, Bailey secured the first Team Gold medal for the U.S. with a rock-solid performance. Two days later, he returned to the ring and put everything on the line in the Individual Final. The 228-point performance was legendary.

Representing the U.S. for the first time, Gunners Special Nite was a classy veteran in the ring, and rose to the occasion in front of the thousands of fans who turned out to witness the Adequan U.S. Reining Team make history. His performance would prove instrumental in securing the Team's third consecutive Gold medal at a World Equestrian Games and this time by the widest margin in history.
The Quarter Horse stallion, then six-years old, won the WEG Team and Individual Gold Medals and was named the 2010 United States Equestrian Federation Horse of the Year (the first time a Western horse ever received that honor).

"We knew he was a great horse, but he managed to exceed all of our expectations. I was thrilled just to see him on the US team and to see him contribute to the team's win at the WEG. But then his run with Tom in the individual finals was the best reining run I've ever seen," said owner, Sarah Willeman. "It was really one of those rare moments of greatness is sport. The spins and sliding stops were big and athletic, every maneuver was perfectly precise, and all of it looked effortless. They just never put a foot wrong."

With career earnings of over $235,000, Bailey retired from showing after his WEG double gold performance. Now he spends his time in the pasture, breeding barn, and his extra-large stall at Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses, where people coming to the ranch can visit him. He's breeding the reining industry's best mares, and his foals are beautiful, with strong confirmation and flashy markings; many are inheriting Bailey's white face and blue eyes.

"There's a lot of excitement in the industry about his babies. He even has more than 5,000 fans on facebook, where we post photos of his foals," remarked Willeman. "In addition to his exceptional bloodlines and athletic performance, what makes him so extraordinary is his mind. He's a true show horse; from start to finish of his show career, he always gave everything he had, no matter what. His combination of quietness, poise, grit and heart is rare, and those qualities are one of the reasons we're so excited about him as a sire."