All-Time Leaders of Performance World Championships and Highpoint’s Connection to Them All
The American Quarter Horse Journal recently published an article titled, The Elite, discussing the horses with the most world championship titles in AQHA history. In the article, AQHA listed the 11 elite horses that have earned an impressive 158 world championship titles between them. Four of the horses on the list are halter horses.
What we soon discovered was that Charlie Cole and Jason Martin of Highpoint Performance Horses had a connection with all seven performance horses on this list – Acadamosby Award (21 AQHA World Championships – 2nd All-Time), Harley D Zip (16), A Certain Vino (15), Vital Signs Are Good (13), Larks Happy Days (12), Guns Flash Bull (10) and Majestic Scotch (10). In total, of the 158 World Championships that the Elite 11 won, Charlie and Jason were involved with 97 of them.
“When I saw this list, I showed it to Jason because, not only was it impressive, but it brings back so many amazing memories,” says Charlie Cole. “We have been so fortunate to ride the very best of the best in the horse show world.”
GoHorseShow asked them why they believe they have been involved with so many great horses. “Well, a lot of it was having good mentors like Bruce and Sue Kaplow,” Martin states. “I always admired how their horses were turned out and presented but also how versatile.”
Cole continues, “Bruce was a genius, and he shared with both Jason and me so much of his knowledge and Sue was always so kind and sweet. She’s always been a second mother to both of us and one of our biggest fans.
Martin adds, “We have also had amazing clients who have trusted us and shared these amazing horses with us. They have let us pick out and match these great horses with the right riders.”
We asked Cole and Martin about the seven performance horses they were involved with and any memories that they recall from showing them.
“Acadamosby Award (Oscar – pictured right) is my favorite,” Cole told us. “He is the smartest and kindest horse I’ve ever known. He never said ‘no’ and always tried. He owned the arena when he trotted in the pen; he was so eye-catching.”
Oscar is now 30 and retired at Highpoint Performance Horses located in Pilot Point, Texas.
Martin adds, “My favorite part of Harley (pictured left) was the bond we shared. He trusted me, and I counted on him. I let him be at 80% all year and peaked him for the Congress and the World Show. I was so confident in him and even when the pressure was as high as it could be, like a runoff for the World Championship, I just knew that we could lay out another great run.”
A Certain Vino (Vino – pictured right) – “It was an honor to be asked to train and show Vino in the western riding,” Cole states. “There was nothing better than loping on Vino. Karen (Hornick) was so generous and kind to share him with us.”
Vital Signs Are Good (Lucy)- “She was a magical horse, that amazing lope, happy expression and sweet, sweet personality. It doesn’t get any better,” Cole says.
Larks Happy Days – “Kevin Dukes asked me to drive him at the world show. Kevin had won the Junior Driving in 2006 on him, and I won it in 2007. It was an honor to drive for then owner Carol Harris. He was a kind and incredible show horse for Lori Bucholz.”
Guns Flash Bull (Gun) – “He is the horse that showed me that hunt seat horses weren’t just hunt seat horses,” Cole recalls. “Jason and I based our training philosophy on Gun – take a great mover, teach it to flat and then teach it driving, jumping, trail and western riding. It made for better, happier and longevity in our horses. Jason qualified Gun for the world show in hunter hack one year, and I worked for Kaplow’s when he won several of his titles.”
Majestic Scotch (Dicky – pictured left) – “He was a dream maker,” Charlie reflects. “My dream from my earliest showing memories was to win the western pleasure at the AQHA World Show, and Dicky did that twice for me, plus the Senior Western Riding. He was so fun to show in western pleasure. He had that big, effortless lope, great jog and great expression. He never cheated, and I could show him off the rail or on and he always showed perfectly. The team of Sharnai (Thompson) and Dicky had some of my best and fondest memories. He was such a great pleasure horse. Jason even won the pleasure at the Congress on him.”
We asked Cole and Martin about their favorite win at the AQHA World Show. “It’s impossible to narrow it down, but winning the Super Horse with Oscar was a goal Jason and I set out to do early in our careers and winning it three times is hard to beat.”
Any memories of these horses that stand out over the years?
“Oscar could get out of any stall,” Cole recalls. “In Arizona one time, Oscar got out in the middle of the night and turned on the water faucet and flooded the entire fairgrounds. We arrived, and his stall was wide open, and he was gone. Then, he came moseying around the corner of the barn like nothing was wrong.”
“Lucy (pictured right) was perfect, not a mean bone in her body, Dicky hated some arenas, especially Sun Circuit. Thankfully, he loved the AQHA World Show arena. Vino…you had to do your homework on him and prepare him, but he was oozing with talent.”
What did all these horses have in common that made them superstars?
“Great movement, ring presence and all had a great expression with their ears,” Martin says. “It showed how much they loved their job.”
GoHorseShow would like to congratulate Charlie and Jason and everyone involved with these amazing horses on this record-breaking accomplishment.
Photos © KC Montgomery, Mallory Beinborn, The American Quarter Horse Journal