Legendary Sire Radical Rodder Laid to Rest at 28
We are saddened to report that Radical Rodder was humanely euthanized due to complications of old age on April 11, 2019. He was 28 years old. The 1991 stallion was the 1998 AQHA World Champion in Senior Western Pleasure.
Radical Rodder is currently the sire of 1024 AQHA horses, 13 Australian Quarter Horses, 57 APHA horses. He sired earners of more than 50,000 points, and more than $1,600,000. Radical has been on the AQHA Leading Sire list since 2001 for halter and performance. Radical’s sire is the legendary NSBA Hall of fame horse, Hotrodders Jet Set, by Docs Hotrodder. His dam is Flashy Bar Flower by Bar Flower.
Some of his famous offspring are Heza Radical Zip ($130,096) multiple world champions and 2017 and 2018 All-Around Senior Horse of the Year with Jim and Deanna Searles, Susie Johns, Jason Martin; Radical Rumors ($125,550: NSBA Horse of the Year; NSBA High Point Senior Western Pleasure Champion; AQHA World Champion Junior Western Pleasure Horse with Troy Compton, Ty Hornick and the Kimmel family; More Radical ($74, 152) World Champion and multiple top 10 placings at the world show with Kathy Tobin, Charlie Cole; Ginnin ($56, 519) World Champion and multiple top 10 at the AQHA World with Chad Evans and Sarah Ammons; LDR So Radical ($53,461) with Sara Bayer; WereTalkinRadical ($41,455) with Susan Davis Thompson, Rusty Green, Ill Be RV Radical ($40,453) with Ronnie and Vicki Kent.
Radical was bred by Tom Chown and Carrie (Chown) Oakley in Pilot Point, TX. He was purchased as a yearling in 1992, by Diane Chilton-Harper and her husband, Dr. Howard Harper of Pilot Point, TX. Diane. Howard and her friend Lisa Stewart, picked him out of a small herd of Hotrodder foals because he seemed to be the “laziest”, loping along behind the others at a beautiful, effortless, natural lope.
When Radical was purchased from Tom, he requested that the horse remain in his barn. The deal was finalized at the ‘old’ Clark’s BBQ in Tioga, TX. Tom was well known for his ability to start a two-year-old under saddle and his ability to show in a snaffle bit. Those who know the pedigree realize that the Hotrodders love to have a bit in their mouth. So Radical was started under saddle, hauled and shown by Tom Chown. Tom showed Radical to a bronze championship in 1993 in the Two Year Old Snaffle bit class at the AQHA World Show, where he was the highest placing stallion. Tom also finished his ROM in 1995.
As a three-year-old in 1993, he began his breeding career. He was handled by Carrie (Chown) Oakley in the breeding barn. His vet was Dr. John McCarroll. The Chown’s stood him at stud from 1993 to 1997. Carrie led him to the breeding barn and worked with the breeding customers. At that time, shipping was not allowed in AQHA, so all mares had to be on site for breeding. After the passing of Hotrodders Jet Set in 1992, Radical was in huge demand to carry on that bloodline.
The beautiful Chown ranch was overwhelmed with 80-100 mares, stretching the capacity of the facility. After a few years, due to the size of Radical’s book, it was decided that Radical should move to a bigger operation. Jane Cryderman, a close friend who bred mares to Radical, suggested a visit with Joe Jeane, breeding manager at Bob Perry Quarter Horses in Valley View, TX. His owners soon learn that Ann Perry, owner of Zippo Pine Bar and Ann Myers owner of Zips Chocolate Chip had been vying for some time to have Radical be part of the Perry team.
Radical then moved there to be under the care of Joe and Suzy Jeane. Joe had already been sending some great mares to Radical when he was at Chown’s, but after the move, Joe soon had 25 Zips Chocolate Chip and Zippo Pine Bar mares come to Radical’s court. He stood in the same barn as Zippo Pine Bar and Zips Chocolate Chip. During this time, AQHA began its first DNA testing. Suzy was asked by AQHA to have Radical and the other sires to be part of the early genetic testing for AQHA. Radical was 5-panel negative, which allowed mares to breed from all pedigree. Radical stayed with the Jeanes’ from 1997 to 2013.
Early in 1997, when Radical first arrived, Suzy Jeane sat down with Diane and Howard and planned a return to the show arena. Radical had been in the breeding now barn for four years when Cleve Wells was selected to show the horse in 1997 and 1998. With the modest goal of finishing Radical’s Superior, Cleve took him on the road. Cleve finished his Superior in Western Pleasure so fast that more ambitious goals were set. Cleve and Radical’s record in his return to showing included: a 2nd leading the nation in Western Pleasure; a Reserve Champion at the Congress; and culminated when he was crowned AQHA World Champion in Senior Western Pleasure in 1998.
Early in Radical’s show career, Diane and Howard had been using Don Shugart for photography. As Don headed towards cutting events, Diane saw some exciting new ideas with ads by KC Montgomery. A longtime partnership and friendship with the Montgomery’s developed, resulting in a long list of great and fun full page color ads in the American Quarter Horse Journal over the next two decades. When AQHA asked KC to choose an image representing the American Quarter Horse stallion, he chose one of his favorite photos of Radical, which graced the cover of the December 2004 AQHA Journal.
In 2012, as the Jeanes’ careers moved on from their running their own breeding facility, Radical Rodder was moved to the care of Select Breeders Southwest, Aubrey, TX. He had been there to be collected for frozen semen when AQHA began allowing it, so there was already a good connection. At SBS, under the care of Zack Kahn, Dr. Paul Loomis, Witt Byers. Patrick Rollins, and Mandi Cleveland, Radical continued to breed mares and have frozen semen stored.
He continued to thrive under the care of his vets, Dr. Crystal Sousa, Dr. Alan Donnell, and Dr. Josh Donnell and Farrier Charlie Roscoe and his daily handlers Edgar and Rudy. Most studs have preferences, and Radical was no exception. He always liked to have a mare nearby him in the barn and favored sorrel mares. His favorite at Select Breeders was Tumbleweed – a long retired mare, probably more than 30 years old herself, but happy to have “the good life” in a stall near Radical to keep him content.
As a tribute to Radicals last moments with us, he was not alone. Some of his caregivers came to be with him on his last trip. Ed Harmon, Patrick Rollins and Mandi Cleveland of Select Breeders came to be with him. Diane’s twin sister, Cindy Chilton-Moore drove down from Tulsa. His chiropractor, Dr. Jarrett Webb, stopped by to give him one last hug. Radical’s longtime photographer, KC, and Ashley Montgomery came from OKC.
Longtime friends and breeders Jane Backes and Beth Valen were there for support. Radical dentist, Randy Mullinix and his girlfriend Jill Daoust also were there. Dr. Alan Donnell and Darcy McCoy were there to make his final moments quiet and peaceful. Everyone stayed for a small reception in the Harper home as a celebration of his life. Many others talked with Diane with their thoughts about Radical and their support for what too many of us must go through when it’s time to say goodbye to a beloved horse.
Radical was laid to rest at home in Diane’s in Pilot Point, TX along with his longtime ‘girlfriend’ Tumbleweed.