November 6-21, 2015, Oklahoma City

Senior Western Riding

AQHA Professional Horseman Jason Martin and Vital Signs Are Good capture another world champion title.

With six world champion titles in western riding, as well as five reserves and a reserve Farnam Superhorse title, Vital Signs Are Good and AQHA Professional Horseman Jason Martin are taking home another gold trophy from the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.

Jason said this win has special meaning.

“This has been a really special award,” he said. “ ‘Lucy’ hasn’t been ridden for nine months, since the Sun Country Circuit. We gave her time off to breed and then she had to have a surgery 90 days ago.

“We started riding her about four days for the World Show and we spent the amateur week getting her ready,” he said. “And every day, she got better and better, and today she peaked. So we’re very excited.”

For Jason, Lucy has been a great horse to work with for more reasons than her world champion titles.

“She, in my opinion, is the greatest mare that has ever lived,” he said. “She’s now had four 2-year-olds that have won major championships. She has a 2-year-old showing here. She has VS Code Red and VS Code Blue that are showing in the western riding finals, so she has three offspring showing here.

“She’s just a one-in-a-million horse,” he said. “She always tries, she licks her lips, she’s always happy. She does her job and it’s mainly my job to stay out of her way and just let her do what she needs to do.”

And with all of her successes, Jason has no intention of taking Lucy out of the show ring.

“We’re probably gonna show her again, but we’ve definitely picked our big shows,” he said. “(We’ll) try to come to the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress and the World Show and try to do it again, I guess.”

Jason and Lucy had a large group of people cheering for them during the senior western riding finals, including Lucy’s owners.

“Joe and Karen Moran flew in this evening for the finals, so that was real special,” he said.

“I have a huge group,” he said. “We bring a lot of horses to the show, so we have a lot of owners. We have a big group of people who help us at the barn. We have a barn manager, Margo, who does a good job. And Greg, he’s kind of been my right-hand man, helping me get the horses ready. But really, we have a huge group, and we couldn’t do without everybody in the background.”

The group has also gained some fame for playing practical jokes on each other while at the World Show. This year, someone has been putting fake mustaches on Jason and AQHA Professional Horseman Charlie Cole’s pictures.

“Our friend (AQHA Professional Horseman) Chris Thompson is a practical jokester and there’s a group of us that go to Hawaii every year,” he said. “We spend a week every year (at a friend’s house in Kona) and the whole week is full of practical jokes.

“One year, I woke up every hour to an alarm clock hidden in my room,” he said. “1 o’clock I’d wake up, find the alarm clock, go back to bed. 2 o’clock I’d wake up, find the alarm clock, go to bed. It’s always practical jokes and this is just another one of her jokes.”

Jason also had a few people who he wanted to thank.

“I’d just like to thank everybody who supports us,” he said. “(I want to thank) the people twho train with us and our great owners. I feel like we have some of the best owners in the country, so we’re very fortunate.”

For Jason, celebrating will consist of cheering on other horses in the junior western pleasure finals.

“We’re gonna go watch the next class,” he said. “We have a really good horse in the next class, so we have hopeful ambition that he might do well.”
Vital Signs Are Good and AQHA Professional Horseman Charlie Cole

Jason Martin and Vital Signs Are Good lope their way to the win in the 2012 AQHA World Show senior western riding. (Journal photo)