Invitation Only Passes to Greener Pastures at 29 Years Old

February 15th, 2019 1:53 PM | No Comments
Invitation Only being honored as AQHA All-Time Leading Sire

Invitation Only being honored as AQHA All-Time Leading Sire

by Robyn Duplisea

In our industry stallions come and go each leaving a part of themselves as they enhance the breed. It is undeniable that no other stallion’s influence has been as prolific on the modern show horse than the legendary Invitation Only.

Today, Leeman Farm announced the sad news that the legend himself, AQHA All-Time Leading Sire Invitation Only has passed on to greener pastures at the age of 29.

Invy, as he was known will long be placed at the top of any list of most influential stallion on the show industry. He exceeded the long-held record set in 1987 of Leading Sire by Zippo Pine Bar in 2014 and then smashed his own record in 2018 by siring earners of over 100,000 AQHA Points.

From the start, those close to Invitation Only knew he would be special. Bred by Gene and Frieda Maxwell of Waterford, California, he spent most of his younger days owned by David James at Paws Up Ranch, who helped the stallion initially rise to fame. 

1996 was the breakout year for Invitation Only’s first foal crop, when two of his get emerged as rising stars at that year’s Quarter Horse Congress, Irish Invitation and Dee Invitation. 

James said there was never any doubt in his mind that “Invy” was destined for greatness.

“Even as a colt, he always had something special about him.  When his first foals hit the Congress show pen in 1996 and walked away winners, we knew he would make a name for himself in a very profound way, even if we had no idea just how profound,” James says. 

Invy was managed for nearly ten years from 2006 – 2015 by Debbi Trubee and Roger Landis before he retired to Leeman Farm. There was no denying their love and admiration for the stallion. His care was paramount in their program and it was no secret that Invy and Roger were best of friends.

Invy and Roger Landis before his retirement. Photo by Debbi Trubee

Invy and Roger Landis before his retirement. Photo by Debbi Trubee

“Our commitment to Invitation Only from the beginning was to provide him with the best in both mare power and care.  Invitation Only set the bar so high, there will never be another in our generation to rival him.  We called him ‘Elvis’ for a reason!”  shared Trubee.

As the news of his passing, Debbi poured her heart into final words to the great stallion “Rest easy Ol’ Man. Greener pastures are ahead. You were the most amazing specimen of horse flesh I have ever laid my eyes on. You never failed to strike a pose and show the world what perfection was. The look in your eye was one of greatness, it was palpable to any that had the honor of standing in your presence.”

Invy had lived out his retirement at Leeman Farm with current owners Fritz and Carole Leeman and manager Lauren Erk.

Fritz Leeman shared before Invy’s passing that “It is an honor to give such a special horse a place to retire to, and all the daily peppermints he can eat!”

Lauren Erk echoed that sentiment “We have been so honored to have been a part of this

Invy enjoying his retirement at Leeman Farm.

Invy enjoying his retirement at Leeman Farm.

great stallion’s life, and to provide him with a great home during his last few years of retirement along with his daily mints. Invy was a special individual, and truly one of the greatest horses that has ever lived. We are sincerely going to miss the old man, and he will forever be in our hearts.”

More than just the greatest AQHA stallion of all time, Invy was loved from the start to finish of his life. His greatness was never taken for granted and his influence will not be forgotten.

Our deepest sympathies are with all those whose lives, careers and hearts were touched by this great stallion. His loss leaves a hole in this industry and in the heart of all those who loved him.

Perhaps Debbi Trubee said it best “Godspeed Invy, know that you were loved and respected by so very many”

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