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California-owned horse earns AQHA Most Valuable Western Horse title

Joe and Karen Moran's Vital Signs Are Good wins $5,000 check with Jason Martin, Charlie Cole

From Horsetrader staff reports - December 17th, 2009 - Show & Event News
AQHA Senior Director of Publications Jim Bret Campbell (right) presents the Most Valuable Horse check to Jason Martin, Charlie Cole and Vital Signs Are Good.

AQHA photo

AQHA Senior Director of Publications Jim Bret Campbell (right) presents the Most Valuable Horse check to Jason Martin, Charlie Cole and Vital Signs Are Good.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — For two weeks, the world’s best American Quarter Horses gathered in Oklahoma City for the chance to become a world champion and get a share of more than $2.7 million in cash and awards. From halter to reining and jumping to trail, the American Quarter Horse Association’s World Championship Show from Nov. 6-21 was the event for those who love and appreciate the athletic ability and beauty of the American Quarter Horse.

Making the trip halfway across the country was more than worthwhile for many Californians, including Joe and Karen Moran of Laguna Hills. Their 9-year-old Vital Signs Are Good earned the distinguished title of Most Valuable Horse in Western Events at the 2009 AQHA World Show.

Since her 2-year-old western pleasure world championship in 2002, Vital Signs Are Good has been a familiar face in the winner’s circle of every AQHA World Show. The red roan mare by Zippos Mr Good Bar and out of a An Awesome Mister mare has won nine world championships and was the 2007 All Around Amateur with previous owner Kristen Galyean. Adding another notch to her belt, “Lucy” earned the Most Valuable Horse award in the Western division and a $5,000 check for new owners Joe and Karen Moran.

“The various Most Valuable Horse awards were designed to showcase the talents and abilities of American Quarter Horses competing in multiple events and reward the horse’s owner with a big bonus,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr.

Just as proud as the horse’s owners, the Moran family, was Vital Signs Are Good’s exhibitors, Charlie Cole and Jason Martin.

“We’re excited to win the award; we won it last year on another horse. To win it on Vital Signs is really exciting,” Cole said. “She’s really a great horse. Neither of us had ever shown her before. Each class that we showed her in was our first to walk in the arena. She showed perfect; she was exactly what we were hoping–it was a lot of fun.”

Being fairly unfamiliar with riding her, Cole said they didn’t think it would have been hard to ride her successfully at the show. “We know her, we just hadn’t ridden her. (Previous owner) Kristen Galyean helped us a little bit and gave us some pointers; we practiced a lot,” Cole said.

Cole and Martin got Vital Signs Are Good about a week before the AQHA World Show. “(AQHA Professional Horseman) Leonard Berryhill helped me a little bit before we went in and told me that she wouldn’t cheat me and to trust her 100 percent,” Martin said. “I figured, what have I got to lose? I trusted her, and she didn’t cheat–we had a great ride.”

Cole showed her in western pleasure and said he wasn’t nervous he knew she is a great horse. “I knew just to stay relaxed and just let her do her job,” Cole said. “My job was to put her in the right spots and ask her correctly; she showed great for me. It was a lot of fun; we had a cheering section.”

Martin rode Vital Signs Are Good in western riding. “She gave me a great ride. In the first preliminaries, I thought I could be a little better in the finals,” Martin said. “In the finals, I really had the ride I’d hoped for. She moved great and changed good; I was very happy with my ride.”

Vital Signs Are Good’s owners, Joe and Karen Moran along with the whole family traveled to Oklahoma City just to see her in the finals. “It was neat that they made it; they love her and they were always in the stall petting her and feeding her treats. They’re really excited to have her,” Cole said. “They’re a great family–they’re real supportive, they all come to the shows, they all ride. They love the horses; they love to be around them.”

For complete results from the AQHA World Show, visit: http://bit.ly/aqhaworld2009

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