Quarter Horse Peppy San Badger Dead at 31

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) learned on July 13 that one of the cutting horse industry's greatest sires, Peppy San Badger, was euthanatized on July 8, 2005, in his paddock at King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas. Sired by Mr San Peppy and out of the great mare Sugar Badger, the stallion, affectionately known as "Little Peppy," was one of the all-time leading sires in National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) history. 

Because of his age and deteriorating health, King Ranch management and family members made the decision to euthanatize the 31-year-old horse. 

Ranch management reported that Little Peppy had done quite well during the past several years. He was retired in a paddock behind the Creek Barn where he was content to live a quiet life. 

Little Peppy is known by most for his exceptional cutting abilities in the arena and out with the herd. It was those moves that rendered him a standing ovation after winning the 1977 NCHA Futurity. The Futurity championship was only the beginning, however. He then won the 1978 NCHA Derby, was the 1979 Reserve World Champion, and also won the 1981 NCHA Finals. Throughout his show career, the stallion accumulated earnings of $172,710. He then followed in the footsteps of his sire, Mr San Peppy, into the NCHA Hall of Fame in December 1980. 

Besides his accomplishments in the cutting arena, Little Peppy was the all-time leading sire of NCHA competition cutting horses until he was surpassed two years ago.  However, his offspring continue to keep his name and the famed King Ranch in the limelight. 

According to AQHA records, out of 19 foal crops, Little Peppy sired 2,323 foals with a combined 7,195.5 lifetime points in all divisions. According to the King Ranch release, offspring sired by Little Peppy have won some $25 million.

Little Peppy's bloodline remains predominant in the remuda at King Ranch, and the legendary horse will continue to have an important role in King Ranch's future breeding program. 

"He was a gift, you know," said King Ranch Quarter Horse Manager Cody Crider. "You can plan and breed all you want, but you won't get a horse like this 'on purpose,' even though we will all keep on trying." 

Little Peppy's grave marker will now stand among other greats such as Old Sorrel, Wimpy, Assault, Middleground, Anita Chica, and Mr San Peppy at the King Ranch Headquarters.

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