POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A decorated and beloved show horse in Powell County has died after living 35 long years.
When news of his death broke, fans of the stallion were devastated.
The reaction on social media was overwhelming for trainer Derick Tipton.
"He was the best of the best," Tipton said about Choco Dock.
He said the show horse won too many awards to count, including three international championships, making him a legend for the Rocky Mountain breed.
"He's what Secretariat was to thoroughbreds or Michael Jordan was to basketball. He was to the Rocky Mountain what they are," he said.
Before coming to Tipton's farm in 1999, ER Davis raised Choco Dock in Paris. His son, Tom Davis, showed him and won his first championship.
Later in life, Choco Dock had two life-threatening illnesses which led to two emergency surgeries. But he fought through them.
"He was very resilient," Tipton said.
The horse was 35 years old when he died Tuesday, but his legacy lives on. He sired 486 registered foals during his life.
He's had so many foals, he was nicknamed the "Sire of Sires".
At Tipton's farm, he said 80 of 100 horses have Choco Dock in their pedigree.
His foals are incredibly popular, and many are international and grand champions themselves, according to Tipton.
"People got his babies and they wanted another one," he said. "He was a great ambassador for the breed."
He'll go down in history as an outgoing, gentle, beautiful, and accomplished show horse.
And with the sheer number of foals he sired, the Rocky Mountain Horse Association said he is one of the most popular in the history of his breed.
In total, RMHA says it has 26,971 registered horses in their database and about 6,000 were bred here in Kentucky.