October 6, 2010–The individual reining competition took place Thursday, September 30, 2010, at the FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games currently being held in Lexington, Kentucky. Tom McCutcheon of the U.S. Team guided American Paint Horse Colonels Nite Special (Gunners Special Nite AQHA) to the gold. He won with a high score of 228 — five points higher than the next finalist.
“I knew he was pretty special tonight,” McCutcheon said. “I felt pressure for sure, because (I) wanted to do him justice. He’s a great little horse.”
Reining was one of the first disciplines to take to the arena at the Games. In the reining team competition earlier in the week, McCutcheon placed third helping his U.S. teammates to claim the team gold medal.
Colonels Nite Special (Gunners Special Nite AQHA) is a 6-year-old sorrel solid Paint-bred stallion also registered with the American Quarter Horse Association. His sire, Colonels Smokingun (known as “Gunner” throughout the reining industry) is the top Paint Horse reining sire in the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA). The dam is Mifs Doll AQHA, sired by Mifillena AQHA. Colonels Nite Special was bred by Kim and Debra Sloan of Newfoundland, N.J. and is currently owned by Turnabout Farm in Gloucester, Maine. He was ridden by top reining competitor Tom McCutcheon of Aubrey, Texas. The horse is the 2007 NRHA Futurity Intermediate Open Champion and has $194,237 in NRHA lifetime earnings.
“The American Paint Horse Association wishes to congratulate both horse and rider on a job well done in such a prestigious international event,” said Lex Smurthwaite, Executive Director of APHA. “This accomplishment highlights the talent and athleticism that our American Paint Horses possess. We also extend that praise to the sire of this horse, “Gunner” who continues to be a leading reining sire and one who passes along his remarkable abilities to his offspring.”