“It was such an honor to have him in our lives. He was so special, and we are comforted by knowing first-hand how much love and affection he received all the way to the end,” Kelly Johnsrud states. Photo © Kelly Graphics

Rodrock Ranches’ Legendary Sire Huntin For Chocolate Passes

“It is with great sorrow and broken hearts that we say goodbye to our buddy and friend for life, Huntin For Chocolate, who passed away peacefully in his sleep,” says Kim Dean, who helps market Rodrock Ranches’ stallions. Mike McQuillen of Fairhope, Alabama bred the 1996 gray stallion, and at the time of his death, Huntin was owned by legendary breeder, Darol Rodrock of Overland Park, Kansas. He was 22 years old.

“It’s a great loss for the industry,” says Darol Rodrock, who talked to us shortly after his passing on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

According to Equine Medical Associates veterinarians, Dr. John McCarroll and Dr. Crystal Sousa, “The necropsy showed that Huntin For Chocolate died of internal organ complications involving his kidneys and lungs due to metastatic melanoma, a condition commonly found in gray horses.”

Huntin For Chocolate was a 1996 gray stallion by Zips Chocolate Chip and out of Hunting Del. During his show career, he won $41,942.00 and earned 288 performance points in western pleasure, western riding and hunter under saddle. He was the 2000 AQHA World Champion in Amateur Western Pleasure as well as the AQHA Reserve World Champion in Junior Western Pleasure.

To date, Huntin has sired 552 foals with earnings of over $1,080,743 and an average of $5,971 earned per money earner. His foals have amassed over 27,428 points along with 21 AQHA World and Reserve World Championships. Some of his famous offspring include Mostly Chocolate, Huntin For Money, Hubba Hubba Huntin, Huntin Big Dreams and Huntin A Cowboy to name a few.

“Everybody loves his colts because they are so gentle and trainable,” Rodrock shares. “People were very loyal to him and bred to him every year. I believe his daughters will be the greatest part of his legacy. I appreciate everyone’s support through the years.”

Legendary horseman Brad McCamy told us that the sweet gray stallion reminded him of his grandfather, so he affectionately called him, “PawPaw.”

“I have been blessed to be around some great stallions – Impulsions and Blazing Hot, and he was just a special old guy,” McCamy shares about Hunting For Chocolate, who is the breeding manager at Million Dollar Performance Horses. “He was gentle, wise and was like a border collie most of the time.”

However, McCamy says that as soon as he knew it was collection time he turned into “The Man,” Brad says and laughs. “He was all business and knew what he needed to do.”

Million Dollar Performance Horses Breeding Manager Nolan Johnsrud and his wife, Kelly, shared their thoughts about this leading sire. “He was a special one. He was special because all the owners of his offspring were so emotionally attached to their horses; unlike any stallion I have ever known,” Nolan states. “I will forever admire his big heart and incredible strength. He stayed strong until the very end. I will forever be honored to have been able to know him and spend the quality time caring for him.”

Kelly continues, “It was such an honor to have him in our lives. He was so special, and we are comforted by knowing first-hand how much love and affection he received all the way to the end.”

Dean concludes her thoughts, “Huntin’s kind and gentle heart, great mind and athletic ability will live on in his babies ~ we will miss you Huntin.”

Photos © KC Montgomery, Kelly Graphics