Western Pleasure World Champion

A look back at one of last year’s winners at the AQHA World Championship Show.

A look back at one of last year’s winners at the AQHA World Championship Show.

Majestic Scotch and Charlie Cole in 2007
Majestic Scotch and Charlie Cole in 2007

As we enjoy the excitement of the 2008 AQHA World Championship Show November 8-22 in Oklahoma City, let’s look back at the story of one of last year’s world champions.

Majestic Scotch added to his legacy with a world championship in senior western pleasure at the 2007 World Show.

With Charlie Cole piloting, the 1994 sorrel gelding walked, jogged and loped his way around the Coliseum in Oklahoma City for the second consecutive win in senior pleasure.

“He is a great horse,” Charlie said, “He’s just so nicely talented, and really when I ride him, I’m just trying to let him do what he does best and stay out of his way. It’s a lot of fun.”

After Charlie and “Dickie” made their victory lap, tossing signed T-shirts to the crowd, Charlie asked the horse to perform his signature loping lead changes back to the awards table.

“He loves what he does, and I just sit up here and basically let him do his thing,” Charlie said as he accepted the golden trophy on behalf of the Bilek Family Trust. “It’s all natural, and it’s really easy. I hate to say it – I wish I had to say I work hard, but it’s pretty easy.”

Find out exactly what the judges are looking for during western pleasure classes. Get AQHA’s “Judging Western Pleasure” DVD today. AQHA members get a discount!

Dickie is an all-around horse with World Show and Ford AQHYA World Championship Show appearances in everything from trail to showmanship. He has three world championships in senior western pleasure to go with his 2005 world championship in senior western riding and his four Youth World championships.

Watch for Dickie again this year in senior western pleasure, November 18, navigated by Jason Martin. He goes up against 42 other qualified horses for a $23,390 purse.

See the World

General admittance tickets are available for $7 and reserved seating for $10. For more information about purchasing tickets through State Fair Park, contact OK Tickets at (405) 948-6827, or click here. For individual box seat sales, call (405) 948-6807.

Can’t make it? For the fourth year, the excitement of the World Show will be shared nationwide on NBC Sports on Sunday, January 4 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern/10:30 a.m. Pacific. The working cow horse competition along with other great events will be featured in a special one-hour show on NBC Television.

AQHA’s “Judging Western Pleasure” DVD will help you understand why Majestic Scotch was crowned 2007 world champion of senior western pleasure. Find out what judges look for in a winning western pleasure horse!

14 thoughts on “Western Pleasure World Champion”

  1. We purchased the “Judging Western Pleasure” DVD and compliment’s to you: We love it!
    Hopefully it will help us to achieve better results in the upcoming comp season .

  2. That horse looks like he is the walking dead. When are quarter horse people going to wake up and let the horse look proud and magnificent again with their heads held proud and actually moving around the ring. I would never enjoy riding a dead looking horse that verily stumbles around the ring. What pleasure is there in riding a dead looking horse? A horse and be calm and respondsive with out his head and tail hanging limp. Learn how to ride and you will actually enjoy riding a horse that actually moves in a proud way.

  3. Gabriea,

    Thanks so much for purchasing our “Judging Western Pleasure” DVD. I hope you find it useful in your continued partnership with your American Quarter Horse.

    We’re working on an updated western pleasure DVD due out in the Spring, so stay tuned for more information. Be sure to visit http://www.quarterhorseoutfitters.com for the entire AQHA DVD library.

    If you’re an AQHA member, we’ll notify you via e-mail when we have new releases, including DVDs, books, AQHA programs and services.

    Steve Myers
    AQHA Multimedia Projects Coordinator

  4. I thought peanut rollers went out of the western pleasure horse a long time ago, according to the rule book it says “he should carry his head and neck in a relaxed natural position, with his poll level with or slightly above the level of his withers====giving the appearance of being fit and a pleasure to ride.” The horse is definetly fit but would never make it out of the ring as a using horse.

  5. Joey-
    If you want to run around on a horse with its head in the air, why don’t you purchase a Saddlebred or Arabian and stay off the AQHA web pages?

  6. Joey,
    Thank you for voicing the thoughts of many AQH owners. This current “fit” appearance of western pleasure horses is unnatural and appears abusive for any breed of horse. For this reason, many of us have left the western pleasure ring for other endeavors with our horses. It is an opinion -just as others may feel it is “correct.”

  7. I am sick of our kids in 4-H and local show’s having to go in to the show ring on very good horse’s that they have busted there butt’s to train and not be judged the same as the big money peanut roller lame looking crap horse’s . Judges need to follow there rules .

  8. My friend has shown a horse with out peanut rolling and they seem to place them very well since my friend didn’t want to show them in there for that reason. I still not sure if I would I like my mustang moving since we go on trail and work. I think it is just some can’t get away from the old.

  9. I bought a wonderful foundation AQHA mare when she was 8, 8 years ago. She was trained as a WP peanut-roller. I rode her this way for a while, since she was “finished” that way, & I my only criteria on getting another horse was that I wanted a safe, sound, & sane horse. But after 3 years of riding her this way, what changed my mind was when we were “jogging” in a field, in the classic peanut-rolling, feet dragging way, & she tripped over slightly uneven footing (that a horse picking up their feet WOULD NOT have!) that almost ended up being a bad accident where I got hurt (but she purposely saved me on the fall – what a good horse!). It was from that moment that I decided to train her to move more naturally for her conformation. Come to find this training was so ingrained, she fought me tooth & nail! I finally found that dressage was the only way to get her to move from behind properly, & carry her head properly when under saddle. Now, mind you, our dressage was suited for HER conformation – so her head was where the AQHA rule books SAY their supposed to be now, which is just above the horizontal line. And she acceptd the bit with her head on the vertical (not behind or in-front of the bit). She moved beautifully & was extremely comfortable to ride at either the collected, working, or extended trot; & her canter turned from racey & unbalanced to smooth & rocking! And once in shape to use her beautiful hind-end, she did this for me effortlessley, & willingly… We actually placed pretty well in dressage & english pleasure classes at open shows too (we wouldn’t have placed in AQHA english – she’d be considered to be moving “too forward”, so I didn’t bother showing there). But I’m still convinced the practice of WP training really ruins a horse. My life got very busy, & I couldn’t keep up regular training & conditioning – it didn’t take long for her to lose condition. Now I can only ride once a week, & she’s unfortunately gone right back to traveling on her forehand (sigh). She tries to get me to let her drop her head from time-to-time, but I won’t let her – but I’m now afraid we’re going to trip at the trot or canter again…. If she hadn’t been trained that way from the get-go, I’m sure I wouldn’t have as many problems when I need to “put her on the shelf” for a while (like now)… Oh well. I just won’t get a horse trained for the AQHA show ring again – but I’d certainly get another QH!!!

  10. For those of you who don’t have a clue… get one. Fast and forward aren’t the same thing…. Just because you want your horse to run around head in the air and out of control don’t judge those of us who ride broke horses. Forward is the amount of impulsion or thrust in a stride, not the speed of the stride while it is in motion. I have seen alot of you yahoos running hell bent for leather with short choppy on the forhand strides and saying ” oh he is so forward” when actually he is just fast and on the forhand and neither of you have a clue what true forward or Hind Quarter Engagement is!
    If you are riding a horse that peanut rolls …. fix it. Thats not acceptable in the QH world today… but a horse that carries his head level, and naturally moves slow legged, is not a peanut roller. In fact when a horse carries his head too far above the withers it inverts his back, putting strain on the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae and can easily cause pain and misalignment in the horse. (how many of you head held high riders have cinchy or cold back animals? more than the good pleasure riders I am sure). A head thats too high also initiates your horses flight and fright instinct, pumping adrenaline through his body increading the tension in his body as he moves. Besides all that, with the head high the placement of the horses eyes means he is looking up and away from his body and the ground that he is covering, which is much more dangerous than a level headed horse. Level with the withers allows him to see his footing and naturally releases endorphins in the body increasing his relaxation as he moves.
    No matter what the discipline whether it involves speed or lack of speed, forward is essential. Those of you who judge those of us who know the difference between broke and unbroke and those of us who know the difference between fast and forward might want to get an education before publicly making fools of yourselves to those of us who know better.
    You might better to live by the saying “Its better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are fool, than to open your mouth and remover all doubt”.
    I have been teaching, training, and performing Chiropractic therapy on horses professionally for over 10 yrs. Trust me, todays pleasure horse is not even close to the biggest problem in the industry. They are normally the best horses to work with and around, and are definitely the most pleasureable to ride, unless you like riding an animal that is non responsive, ornery, and in some cases down right dangerous. If these are things you like then fill your boots I guess pleasure isn’t for you!

  11. I was gonna comment to these ignoramus’s … BUT Smart one, I think you covered everything1LOL, THANKS

  12. I don’t know if it’s natural or not for wp horses to move like that or not…all I know is it sure is comical to watch a whole class of ’em moving like that, going around the arena doing the crab canter, which I don’t see that as being good for either horse or rider. I saw it this weekend at an open show (with what looked to be some pretty high buck quarter horses in attendance) and I also looked at a video of a previous year’s AQHA World Show.

    What I don’t get is at this open show the same horses that won and placed high in w.p. also won at English pleasure and equitation, moving virtually the same way. In fact, several people were alternately pulling on the reins to get their horses to lower their heads, in English??? It seems to me, how can a w.p. horse that moves the same way in English win at it, how would they ever jump moving like that?

    The judging that I saw this past week at this open show and at a 4H show was a joke. To place these w.p. horses in English just because they’re quarter horses does a tremendous disservice to all of us true amateurs who ourselves have worked our backyard beasts and think we’re going to get a fair shake at the shows. Or to bring something other than a q.h. to 4H and expect to place…

    My daughter has just started to show and already I’m sick of what I’ve seen…

  13. I have ridden many different kinds of horses.
    But the quarter horse is the most versatile of
    Of all. They can; race, drive, cut, rein, dressage,
    Jump, pleasure show, trail and just about anything
    You want. When trained for pleasure, which is
    much harder to train than most disciplines is the
    Smoothest ride you’ll find. To lift their back and
    Carry you

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