GoHorseShow.com in partnership with SmartPak are pleased to continue the highly popular column, GoSmart with Charlie and Jason. Team SmartPak riders, Charlie Cole and Jason Martin have achieved success beyond compare. Since founding Highpoint Performance Horses in 1992, they have trained over 100 World Champions and 200 Congress Champions.
Exclusive to GoHorseShow.com, GoSmart with Charlie and Jason will give you access to Charlie and Jason and the secrets to their success like never before. Their next GoSmart column is a fun look back on their favorite horses of all-time. To make their list of horses more manageable, Charlie and Jason chose seven horses that are no longer showing. Many of these Congress and World Champions helped put Cole and Martin on the map as two of the most successful trainers in AQHA history. The list includes: Acadamosby Award (Oscar), Harley D Zip (Harley), Majestic Scotch (Dickey), Conclusives Bar Cody (Milton), Show Diva (Diva), Knowtorious (jaXon), and Zippo LTD (LT).
Many of these horses and their success in the show arena has no doubt led to Charlie and Jason having the amazing opportunity to show current legendary horses like Vital Signs Are Good, A Certain Vino, Ima Petite Classic, and Hot Ones Only.
GoHorseShow asked the World Champion trainers about each horse and what was it about them that made them so special. Cole explains that there are three main traits that all of these horses had in common: amazing presence in the arena; good minds, and great movers. These common traits led all these horses to have long show careers.
"They all understood their jobs and liked to show," Cole says. "We also tried to keep it interesting for all of them so they wouldn't get bored and sour. Since they all knew their jobs, there was no point to keep drilling them over and over on the same things, so we made sure to keep them fresh and happy."
Let's find out more about their top seven horses of all-time!
Acadamosby Award (Oscar)--Better known as Oscar, Acadamosby Award, needs no introduction to most in the horse industry.
"He’s the horse that put Jason and me on the map," says Cole. "We were
young kids when we got him and he gave us so much. He was always the
happiest horse. Oscar is one of the smartest horses we have ever shown. We
could teach him something new so fast and he would pick it up
With over 20 World Championships (39 World and Reserve World Championships), multiple Congress wins and a 3-time Superhorse winner, this bay 1990 appendix gelding certainly earned his keep for the rest of his life. Currently, the 22 Year-Old is retired at Highpoint Performance Horses in Pilot Point, Texas where he is turned out in the front pasture and loves to be out with the weanlings.
When he was retired in 2004, Oscar went out on top in his last class at the World Show when he received a World Championship in the Senior Hunter Hack.
"It is rare for a horse to go out on top, but Oscar was able to do that," Jason Martin mentioned. "He won his first World Championship in the Junior Hunter Under Saddle and eleven years later he won his last in the Senior Hunter Hack. He never said, 'No', and he just loved to show. He had an amazing presence, charisma and eye appeal in the show ring."
Cole admits, "I’ve been lucky to ride great horses but for some reason Oscar is my
all-time favorite horse. I just
Harley D Zip (Harley)--Harley D Zip will always be one of the most celebrated western riders of all-time. "He has also won more Incentive Fund
money than any horse in AQHA history and with over 3,000 points in western riding, has earned more points than any horse
in AQHA history," says Jason Martin about Harley's amazing show record.
"What was so special about him and his lead changes was his front leg and how he pointed his toes. He also never got sour showing in the class and he knew his job. Harley's right ear would tell you everything. If you were about to walk in to the class, and he had it cocked to the side, you knew that he's wasn't 'in the game'--there was something not right. But even if it wasn't a perfect go, it would still be a phenomenal go. Also, Harley wasn't a pushover. He demanded respect. You had to give him respect to get the result that you wanted."
Harley also started and ended his western riding show career in style. He won a world championship in his first and last year. What is also impressive is that he won a world championship in the western riding in every division: Junior, Senior, Amateur, Select Amateur and Youth.
Cole says that Harley had such a cool style about him and that they had to figure out how to go along with Harley and do it his way. "Sometimes he would only give 70 percent but that was still enough to win. You couldn't push him or it would backfire. I think that is one of the reasons his career was so long because he only gave us what he wanted to and we never forced him to be any different."
Martin adds, "No one will probably ever break his records in the western riding. He took the western riding to a whole new level, and he dominated the class for so many years that I believe he will always be remembered as one of the greatest of all-time."
Conclusives Bar Cody (Milton)--Both Martin and Cole said that Milton is one of the most talented horses they ever had a chance to show.
"I remember one year at the Congress where he won the Western Riding, Hunter Under Saddle Maturity, Hunter Hack, and Horsemanship all in one year," Cole remembers. "He was 17 hands but he could spin a hole in the ground and lay down a perfect horsemanship pattern. He made you work for everything. You had to prepare him correctly or he would be too fresh but if we did our job--he did his."
Martin remembers that Milton has some funny quirks. "He absolutely hated being groomed and would try and bite us every time, but on his back he was great. He was glass smooth to ride, and he was way ahead of his time. I believe he could still be competitive in all of the same events today."
Zippo LTD (LT)--LT, who was by Zippo Pine Bar out of Ima Blister Bug, accumulated an astounding 5,779.5 points during his show career. This talented gelding is also a multiple Congress winner and a three time AQHA World and eight time Reserve World Champion. Charlie and Jason said he was the easiest most "push button" horse they have ever ridden.
"He would give 100 percent overtime, and he was such a fun horse to show," Charlie says. "You never had to lunge him. He figured the show thing out---if he did his job, he could live a life of riley. He is one of the best trail horses I have ever ridden. When he got in his trail mode, he would just turn it on and always try his hardest."
Past owner Andrea Farley said this duo started their show career when they received third in the Small Fry at the Congress. "He had the biggest heart and just wanted to be great. We grew together and learned so much from each other."
The team's biggest accomplishment was in 1998 when they won every class they showed in at the Congress, five classes and two All-Arounds. "It was amazing. Making it even more special was the fact that we missed the '97 Congress because LT hyper-extended his hock at the Youth World in '97."
Majestic Scotch (Dickey)--Dickey is a very special horse to Charlie Cole because he fulfilled a dream of winning an AQHA World Championship at the World Show in the Western Pleasure. Charlie and the talented gelding won the Senior Western Pleasure back-to-back in 2006 and 2007.
"I started my training career interested in the western pleasure, and it was one of my biggest goals to win the world in the pleasure and he helped me reach that goal." Charlie recalls. "He was such a great loper and talented mover and was also one of those horses that gave 100 percent."
Martin said that Dickey was a horse that never said, "No". "Like all of these horses we have discussed, Dickey made all of his riders famous. Everyone that has crossed paths with these horses became winners. Dickey helped Amanda Addy, Charlie Cole, Sharnai Thompson, and Susie Johns become successful in the show arena--that says a lot about how great a horse he has been over the years."
Knowtorious (jaXon)--This talented gelding was also one of Charlie and Jason's favorite horses. AQHA/APHA World Champion, Knowtorious/Predictably Perfect (jaXon), passed away last year due to degenerative joint disease. The 2001 sorrel gelding by Jacks Are Lucky Too and out of Ms Hotrod Invester was owned by Susan Wilson of Ramona, California.
Cole remembers the day that he, Jason Martin, and Susan went and tried him out at a farm nearby. "I remember riding him, and I was so excited when I got off him," he remembers. "I told Susan that whatever it took that she had to buy this horse. There was something special about him, and he never disappointed. He got better and better and he could compete with the best. He wasn't the best mover, but, he would always step up and compete with anyone."
Martin says that jaXon was one of the sweetest horses. "If you got after him for something, he would bat his eyes and put his head on your chest. When Susan tried him out we knew he was the perfect horse for her. He was so smooth to ride, spun beautifully, was a great lead changer and talented in the trail too."
Cole adds,"I didn't realize until this year how much I missed jaXon being in our show string. Everyone loved him--he was such a good soul with a kind heart. Unfortunately, he is gone way too soon."
Show Diva (Diva)--This World Champion mare and dam was also a talented show horse that passed away in her prime. The 2001 sorrel mare by Good Version and out of World Champion pleasure mare, Chocolate Zipper, passed away during the 2011 AQHA World Show due to complications associated with colic surgery.
"She was a very special horse. She was the first horse we bought for the Morans, and she was very special to all of us," Jason Martin told GoHorseShow. "I was Reserve World Champion in Western Pleasure on her and that's not an easy feat. We have a lot of babies out of her so her legacy will live on. She is the dam of, Only In Showbiz, who won several classes at the Congress and was Reserve World Champions in the Junior and Youth Western Riding last year."
The four-time Congress Champion was bred by Clarice Cooper of Maysville, Georgia and accumulated over 2300 points in her outstanding show career. She is also a two-time Reserve World Champion in the Western Pleasure and Reserve World Champion in the Junior Western Riding. This talented mare also has placed in the Top 10 at the Congress and AQHA World Show numerous years in different events.
"I realized this year how much she added to our show string when she was alive and how much I miss her," Cole states. "She always gave a hundred percent and was super kind and talented. We have been blessed to have had her and all of these amazing horses in our barn."