Professional Horseman and Horsewoman of the Year

Charlie Cole and Deanna Searles received these horse-training laurels at the 2013 AQHA Convention.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Charlie Cole and Deanna Searles have been named the 2012 Don Burt Professional's Choice Professional Horseman and 2012 Professional's Choice Horsewoman of the Year. Before we look at their stories, here's a little more about the award:

The Don Burt Professional's Choice Professional Horseman and Professional's Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year should above all have the humane treatment of the horse as paramount; be ethical in all business decisions and support the industry by promoting the breed and membership in AQHA. In addition, they should be ambassadors for AQHA and encourage people to participate in the industry by having a helpful attitude.

The winners of these awards are voted on by their peers. Any AQHA Professional Horsemen is allowed to submit names for nomination. The Professional Horsemen Council then pares down the nominations to the top three men and top three women. These names then go back out to the Professional Horsemen membership for the final vote. The person with the most votes is named the professional horseman of the year or the professional horsewoman of the year.

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Charlie Cole

The 2012 Don Burt Professional’s Choice Professional Horseman of the Year, Charlie Cole of Pilot Point, Texas, has been dedicated to the American Quarter Horse industry for more than 35 years. He is an AQHA and National Snaffle Bit Association judge and has been part of the AQHA Professional Horsemen program virtually since it was established.

As an equine professional, he has trained and coached many world champions and Superhorses. The unprecedented roster of horses that have been under his care includes Acadamosby Award, Vital Signs Are Good, Harley D Zip, Zippo LTD, Must Be A Detail, Hot Ones Only and many more.

Charlie is always willing to give back to the industry, whether it is part of the AQHA Professional Horsemen’s Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern clinics, helping with judges’ seminars or providing guidance to young people.

He makes a point to be active and involved with AQHA. He believes in and promotes the versatility of the American Quarter Horse. Many have described him as one of the most remarkable talents of our time.

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Deanna Searles

The 2012 Professional’s Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year, Deanna Searles of Scottsdale, Arizona, is a true role model for the industry’s youth and professional horsewomen. She brings her passion and professionalism to the Arizona and NSBA youth programs. A dedicated member of the AQHA Professional Horsemen program, she is also a presenter at the Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern clinics at shows across the country.

Deanna has trained horses for 25 years, helping many clients achieve the highest honors at AQHA world championship shows. Her positive and patient teaching style brings out the best in both horses and riders.

She placed in the top 10 at her very first AQHA youth world show at age 11. She is now known for training AQHA world champions and high-point winners including: 2012 Equistat Leading Hunter Under Saddle Sire Allocate Your Assets; 2011 Congress Masters Winner Lastcallfour Alcohol; Heza Radical Zip; Majestic Scotch; and Just Burning Money.

Besides training and showing, Deanna is dedicated to her family. The wife of an AQHA Professional Horseman and judge, Jim Searles, and the mother of two, Trent

and Taylor, she carefully balances her time between horses and her family.

Congratulations to the 2012 professional horseman and horsewoman of the year. Look for more information on this year’s winners in the May issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.

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Check out this review of the 2013 AQHA Convention in Houston.