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American Quarter Horse
Gills Sunny Boy
National Finals Rodeo barrel racing championship, with rider Charmayne James, 1984-1992; Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame; AQHA Silver Spur Award.
Last updated on: August 18, 2009.
Gills Bay Boy (1977 - 4 July 2012), nicknamed "Scamper", was a bay American Quarter Horse gelding. He became notable for his success in barrel racing competition. Barrel racer Charmayne James rode Scamper from 1984 to 1993 in the National Finals Rodeo, with the pair winning the WPRA World Championship ten years in a row, from 1984 through 1993. Since being retired from competition, he was cloned. The clone, nicknamed "Clayton", has been kept a stallion and stands at stud. Scamper died on July 4, 2012, at the age of 35.
Charmayne James and her father bought Scamper from a feed lot when James was 12. He was given the name "Scamper" before James got his registration papers. Initially the horse was prone to buck at the lope. Ultimately, the pair qualified for the NFR finals in barrel racing for the first time when James was 14, and they won the event even though Scamper's bridle broke during one of their runs. The two ended up winning the WPRA World Championship every year from 1984 to 1993. After a record 10 straight WPRA World Championships he was semi-retired from competition before being fully retired a few years later.
Endorsements and retirement:
A feed company has endorsed James and Scamper, renaming a feed after the horse. Because he is a gelding and as such cannot reproduce, James made the decision to clone Scamper. The animal genetics corporation Viagen performed the cloning, and the ensuing foal, nicknamed Clayton, was born in 2006, kept a stallion and now stands at stud. Because the AQHA does not accept cloned animals for registry, Clayton and his offspring cannot be registered. However, breed registration is not required for horses to compete in barrel racing or other rodeo events.