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Legendary Sire Only In The Moonlite Passes

“It is with lots of tears and a broken heart that we say goodbye to our buddy, Only In The Moonlite,” says Kim Dean, marketing manager for Rodrock Quarter Horses. “Moonie’s life is one to be celebrated, and I’m grateful and honored to have been able to work with this guy who had such a huge heart.”

From the very beginning, Moonie’s life was a “planned success.” The plan started when Dana Hunt Smith decided to breed her great mare, the NSBA Hall of Fame legend, Zippo By Moonlight, to the premier sire in the Quarter Horse industry, Invitation Only. The result of this impressive genetic combination was destined to be a talented show horse and one who grew up to become one of the top stallions in our industry and whom we lovingly called Moonie.

The second piece of the “planned success” puzzle was when Moonie was sent to Jeff Long for training. Jeff and Moonie earned the prestigious title of Masters Champions by winning a $100,000.00 paycheck in the Congress 2-Year-Old Masters Western Pleasure Class. The duo went on to win the 2007 Congress 3-Year-Old Western Pleasure Derby and was the 2007 NSBA World Champions in 3-Year-Old Western Pleasure.

According to Long, Anthony Curiale bought moonie from David James as a baby when they were at the AQHA World Show that year. “First time I loped him I was in awe,” Long shared. “The power, strength, lift, and the suspension was like no other. He puts that in his colts as well. I will never forget his personality and feel. I am honored to have such an incredible individual come into my life and his colts making such an impact in so many other people’s lives. RIP Moonie – a historic horse in my book.”

The next several pieces of the “planned success” puzzle were put together when Darol Rodrock entered the picture. Rodrock purchased Only In The Moonlite in September of 2007 and Moonie’s success as a breeding stallion was set into motion. Darol is a man who loves horses, and as in everything else Darol does, he did his best to do it right. He allowed Moonie to become a sire.

“Moonie was a great individual as well as a great sire,” Rodrock told us. “Kim has done and an outstanding job for me in managing my stallions. I know this has been very hard for her. Kim puts her heart and soul into caring for the stallions she manages.”

Rodrock had one of the best sets of broodmares in the industry, and he began building one of the top breeding programs in the country. He decided to make breeding fees affordable again, and this attracted a large group of dedicated mare owners who bred to Moonie year after year. Moonie’s mare owners were huge contributors of several more essential pieces to Moonie’s “planned success” puzzle.

The final pieces of the puzzle were put into place when Darol committed to putting Moonie’s offspring with the top trainers in the country. These talented trainers did their jobs, and each one of them helped make Only In The Moonlite one of the top sires in the industry today.

Dana Hunt Smith’s decision to breed two of the most exceptional individuals the quarter horse industry had ever seen, combined with Jeff Long’s ability to train and prepare Moonie for a distinguished show career, together with Darol Rodrock’s commitment to Only In The Moonlite, all contributed to his success.

Moonie won over $123,344.00 during his career. To date, Moonie has sired 558 foals, and his babies have earned over $1,226,205 with an average of $7,256.00 per money earner. They have amassed over 17,768 AQHA points with an average of 99 points per point earner. His offspring have earned multiple Congress Championships and Reserves in Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Western Riding, Trail, Horsemanship, and Showmanship —the Moonie’s can do it all. So far, they have won 20 AQHA World and Reserve World Championships, and we’re looking forward to many more.

“I want to thank everyone who has had a part in Moonie’s care this past breeding season at LaRizzi Ranch,” Dean states. “But, I’m especially thankful to Ranch Manager Kimberly Howard and to Moonie’s Stallion Manager, Leslie Thomas for his every day loving care, his spa days, for letting him flirt with all of his girlfriends (whenever he wanted to), but especially for doing everything you could to make him comfortable during his rehab.”

Dean adds, “I owe a huge amount of gratitude to Darol Rodrock for giving me the chance to work with Moonie, I couldn’t have loved and appreciated him more had I owned him myself.”

As most everyone knows, Rodrock has only been using Moonie’s frozen semen for the past two breeding seasons while Moonie continued his rehab. They will have his frozen semen available for purchase for the 2020 breeding season.

GoHorseShow would like to send out our condolences to everyone who has been involved with this legendary sire over the years.