Highpoint Performance Horses Reflects on Winning 15 Consecutive Senior Western Riding World Championships
Highpoint Performance Horses has reached another milestone with their unbelievable streak of fifteen consecutive wins in what is often referred to as “the hardest class at the horse show,” the Senior Western Riding at the 2019 AQHA World Show. This year, Jason Martin took home the Top 2 spots. Jason and Zippin A Breeze won with his personal best AQHA World Show score of a 241 and also received the silver globe with Heza Radical Zip, who won this class back-to-back in 2017 and 2018. In 2015, Charlie Cole and Ima Petite Classic won the Senior Western Riding with a record score of 242 that still stands today. Highpoint has continued this streak on eight different horses.
“I thought the streak was going to end this year when Heza Radical Zip (Troy) stumbled during his last lead change,” Jason recalls. “I didn’t expect Zippin A Breeze (Dani) to step up to the plate. I don’t know him that well since we just got him. We are still trying to get used to one another. He is still very green and the pressure was off because I didn’t expect him to perform that well. I was pleasantly surprised.”
Charlie Cole, who started this streak in 2005 with Majestic Scotch, says that it is a lot of pressure to keep this going. “I saw a sign at the US Open this year that was a quote from Billy Jean King. I told Jason what it said, ‘Pressure is a privilege.’ We are privileged to get to show horses, have amazing clients, and a huge support team to get us in the show pen.”
Martin said that he called in all his lucky charms this year. “I rode in my lucky saddle that Harriet Yakatan gave to me, my lucky socks, my lucky shirt, my lucky underwear, and my mom was here who is one of my best luck charms. I guess I felt I needed a little extra luck this year,” Martin says and laughs.
Jason remembers some of his favorite wins during the past 15 years, “My favorite was in 2011 when Harley D Zip (pictured left) retired as a champion. The most pressure I ever had was showing Harley D Zip and Vital Signs Are Good at the same time. I wanted to have perfect rides on each so the judges would have to decide between the two horses, not from some rider error,” Martin recalls.
GoHorseShow wanted to know why Jason has been so consistent in this class. “I don’t know, except that maybe it has to do with my hunter and dressage background,” says Martin, who started out showing in these events as a child. “I developed a great deal of rhythm and timing by showing in these classes and I believe it has carried over to my success as a trainer.”
Long-time client, Bonnie Sheren shared her insight. “I think one of the reasons they have dominated this event is that they both constantly review and critique themselves and each other, looking for ways to improve and perfect their performances. They know what they want their ride to look like, and they have a method to achieve it. This is true with all the events they show. And even though they are successful in all events, they have been able to set the standard for the Western Riding, which may be why they have been so successful in achieving it.”
Martin says that this class has gotten really tough and everyone has really stepped up their game. “I believe 10th place scored a 229 this year in the Senior Western Riding. In year’s past, that would have won the class. Each year, we have to stay motivated by reinventing ourselves and setting new goals. I felt maybe I was burnt out the past few years, but riding with young trainers like Sara Simons has helped me rethink some of my techniques. I believe I have regained my spark a bit.”
GoHorseShow would like to congratulate Charlie and Jason on this incredible accomplishment.
Highpoint’s 15 Consecutive AQHA World Championship Senior Western Riding Wins:
2006–HARLEY D ZIP
2007–HARLEY D ZIP
2008–HARLEY D ZIP
2009–HARLEY D ZIP
2010–VITAL SIGNS ARE GOOD
2011–HARLEY D ZIP
2012–VITAL SIGNS ARE GOOD
2013–IMA PETITE CLASSIC
2014–DUNIT ON THE RANGE
2015–IMA PETITE CLASSIC
2016–ELIS A SLEEPIN
2017-HEZA RADICAL ZIP
2018-HEZA RADICAL ZIP
2019-ZIPPIN A BREEZE
Want to learn more about how the masters of Western Riding have become so successful?
CLICK HERE to purchase their video series on the subject; Teach Your Horse to Change Leads and Prepare & Show Your Horse in Western Riding.
View a slideshow of some of their winning moments throughout the last fifteen years below.