by Samantha EckertThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Charles Peoples and Lightning Starsnbars win the senior poles at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.
After nearly 40 years of working and training horses in barrels and poles, Charles F. Peoples of Butler, Kentucky, won his first AQHA World Championship title in senior poles November 7.
“It feels great,” Charles says. “I’ve been a long time trying to get this. It’s just the highlight of my career.”
The 2001 bay gelding, Lightning Starnbars, is an old friend of Charles’.
“I bought him as a 2-year-old and started him,” Charles says. “I won the junior poles at the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress on him as a 3-year-old, and then sold him. (Kristine Kay Nagy) ended up getting him a few years ago.”
Charles has come close to winning a World Show gold trophy but thought his reserve title in junior poles earlier in the show with “Kirby’s” half brother, Lightnings Littlelad, was as close as he was going to get.
“To get second and first in one show -- I’ve been third five times,” Charles says. “This is the first world champion I’ve had.”
The bay gelding who took Charles to his first winner’s circle at the World Show is by Lightning Sugar Bull and out of the Thoroughbred Conquor Bells by England Flight.
“He’s kind of a Kirby,” Charles says. “He’s a mischievous type.”
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Winning first and second in the same night, on two brothers in two classes, was the perfect ending to the relationship between Charles and his World Show dreams. But he gives the credit to Kirby.
“He just tries hard. He just does everything you want him to do, when you ask him to do it. He just tries hard on any kind of ground. He’s just a good horse, just one of them good horses.
“I’ve been lucky enough to get to ride him again for (Kristine). I just hope she keeps him forever.”