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We Ask the Industry – What’s Your Favorite Horse of All Time…that You Never Showed or Owned?

GoHorseShow asked some of the industry’s leading trainers and exhibitors about their favorite horse that they never owned or showed and why. What was it about them that made them so special? In a previous article for GoHorseShow, Charlie Cole told us that there were three main traits that legendary horses had in common: fantastic presence in the arena, sound minds, and most were great movers.

These common traits led all these horses to have long show careers. These horses understood their jobs and loved to show. Some legendary horses were mentioned more than once, including Vital Signs Are Good, A Certain Vino, Cool Assets, and Zippo Romeo, and we received so many responses to this question, we couldn’t even include them all.

What is your favorite horse of all time, that you never owned or showed? We’d love to know.

Debbi Trubee – Well, that’s easy…Invitation Only. To be in his presence made you understand how extraordinary he was. He exuded greatness!





Kristen Galyean – I’d have to say Conclusives Bar Cody. He was so impressive in so many events, and it’s not very often you see a hunter under saddle horse capable of winning the western riding. He was a cool dude. I was also lucky enough to take my first riding lesson on him at Jackie Krshka’s, which will spoil you.



Jason Martin – Guns Flash Bull – He took my breath away. He did so many events. I got to show him one time and got him qualified for the world show in the hunter hack to help out. He was the ultimate horse to me at the time. When I showed him on the rail, I thought to myself. I guess this is how it’s supposed to feel.


Johnna Letchworth Clark – I don’t think I can choose only one. I’ve been extremely fortunate to be around, so many amazing horses in my life, being a trainer’s kid turned trainer’s wife. I’ve seen these horses at their highest highs and, sadly, sometimes at their worst. I enjoyed watching these horses bring smiles to many faces and, in turn, put a smile on mine. Every horse I name brought something different to my life, and I will carry them, and all of our moments together, forever. Zippos Golden Sonnet “Goldie,” Willys So Good “Rocky,” Scotches Old Gold “Scotch,” Fantastic Invitation “Amy,” The Snooty Fox “Snooty,” A Certain Luxury “Cupcake” and Im Unleashed “Joey.”

Grant Mastin – Harley D Zip is my favorite horse that I never owned or showed. I became fascinated with the event because of him, a horse that commanded the western riding arena. When I began showing the western riding, he was one horse that I would always watch videos of, learning what it would take to excel in such a challenging class. Undoubtedly, he is one of the most incredible horses in our industry’s history.


Rebekah Kazakevicius – Dont Look Twice – Any time I get to ride a cutter, it makes me want to drop the English attire and chase some cows. That mare was outstanding and will bring you to tears if you watch any of her winning run videos. She and Phil were such a team. She’s still the NCHA all-time money-earning mare. I also think it’s cute that they called her Lipstick.



Joe Whitt – My favorite horse I did not own or show was Seven S Flashy Zipper. My dearest friend, Sandy Walker owned the big, beautiful, palomino stud, and I owned several of his foals and showed them. He was gentle, big, beautiful, and versatile.  He won the Palomino World Championships and the Versatility class at the Congress. He was a great producer and a great show horse. When I lived in Indiana, I spent most weekends with Sandy riding his babies. Great fun and a great horse.

Jerry Erickson – Easily, One For The Record. Such a good mover, so cadenced cantering. She had to be comfortable and easy to find the correct distance. Possibly a challenge, but her great qualities made the effort worthwhile, I would think.


Charlie Cole
– Son Of A Rebel – I loved that horse. He was one of the first great horses I watched and followed. He was a world champion Junior Western Pleasure horse with Tommy Manion and Reserve Senior World Champion with an amateur showing him. He also went on to win in the all-around events. He looked fun to ride. And how many Congress All-Around Youth titles did Laura Kathryn Gilmer win on him – 3? 4? 10? One of the “great” ones for sure.


Hillary Roberts – Zippo Romeo – I’ve always admired a great all-around horse. I grew up showing with the Chant sisters and became friends when we purchased Chrome On My Zipper from their trainers, Terry Cross and Stephen Stephens. Gillian and Romeo made a great team, but he was quirky and made her work for it. He was a versatile show horse with lots of style and always made it look easy, well into his older years. Gillian was hard to beat on Romeo.

Joe Mizzi – I have two. Even More Sensational, by Zippos Sensation and out of Good Enchantment. In my estimation, Good Enchantment was one of the best-producing mares of all time, and Even More Sensational was her best offspring. The other horse would be A Certain Vino. I got to see him perform several times, and I was always in awe. He had more show presence than any other horse I’ve seen.

Joetta Bell – Majestic Scotch – I always wanted to ride him. I thought he was one of the most incredible horses of all time. He was truly the perfect horse.





Brister Shum – Scotch Margarita – She was a little, red, all-around mare, owned and loved by Stephanie Scheid Griffin. The relationship this mare had with her ‘human partner’ is what made her special for me. In the ’90s, they won almost everything in showmanship and horsemanship. They were reserve two years in a row in the Congress Versatility. That third year, you could tell that “Rita” wanted to win it for Stephanie. She ran the poles like she was a real pole-bender. Everyone in Celeste was screaming. They won so much, I can’t even say. Rita went on to become a great broodmare. She even taught Stephanie’s son how to ride. She lived out her days with Stephanie until her passing a few years ago. Watching this team taught me that you don’t have to have the biggest, prettiest, or most talented horse. You need to build a true partnership with the one you have to make it special.

Katy Jo Zuidema – I have to go way back for this one. When I was in my young teens, there was a horse named Vinnys Uno that I was obsessed with. Dickerson’s had him first. From memory, Millie won about everything she showed him in as a three-year-old. He was the coolest little horse. He loped so great, and he was so soft. Jogged just okay, but I didn’t care. He had the look of an old-school Sudden. Short and squatty with a bunch of white hairs through his flanks. He had two little socks and a white face. I thought he was perfect. Later, when he was a senior horse, I was petting him and talking to Mitch at Gordyville, and Mitch laughed at me and said, “Man, you sure do love Vinny. Why don’t you ride him.” He stepped off and handed me the reins. I remember exactly where we were when I got on him. I just loped and loped around. He was the coolest little man.

Olivia Tordoff – I have always admired Cool Assets. Watching him, I was always impressed with how dynamic and beautiful he was. From the Under Saddle to the Horsemanship, he could do it all. I think Cool Assets also made a considerable impact on the industry. He proved that a horse could be the standout winner in multiple events, which further spoke to the versatility of the American Quarter Horse. I might be biased, but his mother, Goodbars Glamourgirl, has also made a massive impact on the industry. Everything she produces is so talented and beautiful.

Paige Wacker – My favorite horse I never got to show or own is Vital Signs Are Good. I remember the Amateur Western Pleasure at the 2007 Quarter Horse Congress when I watched her show with Kristen. That was the first time I ever attended (I think I was 8). I loved how the two of them were so in sync and Lucy’s ears were up, and she was licking her lips throughout the whole class. That’s been my image of an excellent partnership. To this day, that effortless performance is what I continue to strive for with each horse I have. My Aunt Rogalyn took us over to meet Kristen and Lucy the following year. They were both so sweet and humble. I think there’s a picture of me with her somewhere.

Tali Terlizzi – I would say my all-time favorite for the hunt seat was Not Just Anyhoo. I mean, he, in my opinion, and many other people’s opinion, was the GOAT of the hunter under saddle. He was so big and had gears (trot and canter) which is sometimes uncommon in a horse that size. I remember the first time I saw him in person. I got chills. He was a horse that changed our industry.

Taft and Adrienne Dickerson – A Certain Vino…the definition of what a pleasure horse should be and move like, and he was versatile. Not only could he win the pleasure, but he was amazing at the western riding, too. He was the one to beat for many years…definitely a legend.



Leonard Berryhill – Really In Trouble – Mike Carter showed her the first time I ever saw her. Then later, Brian Isbell showed her. I’ve never seen anything, before or since, that can match, in my mind, what she could do. She could walk, jog, and lope at an upper level, and she won every big prize. Every time I saw her, I was just in awe. Another one, Grey Lark, was one of those rope horses that you dreamed of getting to ride. John Miller and Dick Foreman showed him, and they were almost unbeatable in the team roping. The Crowd Loves Me, owned by Lindsay Wadhams. When Corey Cushing showed him in the cow horse, it was amazing. Then, Lindsay won the World on him in the cow horse, and I can’t remember, but he was great in the Ranch Riding, too.

Nancy Sue Ryan – Willy Has Potential – He just looked like a horse who is a great citizen who always does his job with a smile.  And I bet he is pretty kick ass to ride.




Meghan Tierney – Hard to narrow it down just to one. Vino is the easy and obvious choice because…well, he’s Vino! Plus, I’ve gotten to ride him before. But I’ve always been a huge fan of the Never Have I Ever mare owned by Dakota Andrie. Also, another one of my all-time favorites is Al Bet Ur Two Faced, owned by Megan Hogan. Huge Henry fan.



Jenna Tolson – Way outside of our world, but it would have to be the Dutch Warmblood stud Totilas. He is one of the greatest dressage horses of all time. He was big, black, and beautiful. I can’t imagine being able to ride something that talented. He was one of those generational-type horses.



Jeffery Gibbs – One Flashy Sensation – I started and trained her as a two-year-old when I worked for Simons Show Horses. Sara won the Two-Year-Old Western Pleasure on her that year, and she now has the most world championship titles of any Paint horse. ‘Mel’ is still showing and winning at 18 years old. A testament to a great sire, Zippos Sensation.



Jenna Dempze – I couldn’t come up with just one. I don’t think you can not answer Vital Signs Are Good, but I also absolutely love Cool Krymsun Lady. She was so soft and effortless. Both mares set a new standard for western pleasure and have become incredible producers. The cutting horse Special Nu Baby is the coolest outside the pleasure pen.


Vanessa Froman – I’ve been giving this some thought, and I keep coming back to Timeless Assets. I’ve watched him from the beginning and have always loved his steady demeanor. When Goodings got him in their program, Tucson began to show us all what he was capable of. I have watched him show so many times and interacted with him and Colleen outside the pen. He makes it impossible not to love him. He’s my favorite horse that I’ve never owned or shown.

What is your favorite horse of all time, that you never owned or showed? Let us know in the comments.