Trainer Matlock Rose was blunt and to the point. But he was entitled; he had been training horses for more than 60 years.
One of Rose’s first major horse training jobs began when he was a young man working on W.T. Waggoner’s Three D Stock Farm. His assignment was to make a cutting horse out of a dun stallion named Jessie James. After a few months and dozens of midnight rides, Rose showed Jessie James to the 1951 National Cutting Horse Association Reserve World Champion title.
That was just the beginning. Rose had managed ranches, won ropings, grabbed major cutting titles and taken home blue ribbons from halter classes. He had trained multiple AQHA world champions and five NCHA world champions. He had won the NCHA Futurity as well as three NCHA Futurity reserve titles, and he had been inducted into the NCHA Rider Hall of Fame and the NCHA Member Hall of Fame.
His success was a product of his dedication to animals and his understanding of what made them tick.
In “Matlock Rose, the Horseman,” a biography written by Sally Harrison, Rose said, “You’ve got to kind of live with a horse if you really want to do good with him. You’ve got to stay pretty close and know how much riding he takes, how much work he needs, and whatever else needs to be done.”
Rose’s talent and persistence helped him discover greatness in horses like Peponita, a son of Peppy San. Peponita won multiple AQHA and NCHA world championships.
Rose built a reputation as an all-around cowboy and a champion trainer with his showmanship and uncanny ability to select and develop winners.
Rose was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2001 and died on January 5, 2008.
Biography updated as of December 2008.