Be A Bono Dies

Be A Bono Dies

World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse Be A Bono euthanized April 12.

World champion Be A Bono wins the 2004 Spencer Childers California Championship

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The 2004 American Quarter Horse racing world champion Be A Bono, 20, was euthanized due to complications of a hip fracture on April 12, 2021, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, where he has represented the American Quarter Horse in the Hall of Champions since 2009. 

Be A Bono was foaled in 2001 and was bred and raced by his breeder, American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Spencer Childers. The sorrel gelding was sired by Bono Jazz and out of the Raise A Secret mare Be Peacefull, and was the product of Childers’ legendary more-than-60-year breeding program.  

Be A Bono, who was trained by Dan Francisco of Garden Grove, California, during his entire career, opened his career in a big way – he won his first seven starts, including the Golden State Futurity (G1), the Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) and his owner’s namesake Spencer L. Childers California Breeders’ Championship (RG1). 

In his sophomore season, he added a victory in the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1), and a nose defeat in the Champion of Champion (G1). He was named the champion 3-year-old gelding, champion 3-year-old and world champion. 

As an older horse, he would add Grade 1 victories in the 2005 Vessels Maturity, 2005 Spencer L. Childers California Breeders Championship (R), 2006 Vessels Maturity, 2006 Spencer L. Childers California Breeders’ Championship (R) and 2006 Go Man Go Handicap. He earned his AQHA Superior Race Horse and Supreme Race Horse awards in 2005. 

Be A Bono closed his career with 26 career starts, 14 wins, four seconds and one third, and earnings of $1,313,348, which put him at No. 19 on the list of all-time leading money earners when he retired. 

He moved to Kentucky in 2009 and served as the American Quarter Horse representative in the Hall of Champions, alongside horses such as Thoroughbred Funny Cide and Standardbred Western Dreamer.