All Carol Rose wanted to do in the American Quarter Horse business was make a difference. Based on the foals she’s raised and the stallions she’s provided the industry, she has definitely accomplished that feat.
Carol enjoys all the western events, but working cow horse is her passion. By her mid-teens she was competing and doing more than her share of winning in the California Reined Cow Horse (now NRCHA) classes. She attended California Polytechnic State University to study animal science and agriculture business.
Early adulthood found Carol devoted to competition in the California Reined Cow Horse Association (CRCHA), which evolved into today’s National Reined Cow Horse Association. The CRCHA’s leading female exhibitor through the early 1960s, Carol was the third woman to win the Cow Palace Stock Horse Championship Stakes. She also placed in the CRCHA Stock Horse Top Ten from 1960 through 1965, and was the 1965 Grand National Cow Palace Open Stock, Heavyweight Stock and Ladies Open Stock Horse Champion. From the late 1950s through 1965, Carol won numerous year-end awards in the youth, ladies and open divisions of the CRCHA.
Carol set another precedent by becoming the first woman to win the National Cutting Horse Association’s Non Pro World Championship in 1967. She went on to claim that title three more times, won the NCHA Non-Pro Finals twice and placed in the NCHA Open Top Ten in 1969.
The first woman to compete in the NCHA Futurity, Carol rode Doc’s Leo Lad to fourth place in 1969, thereby setting another record by becoming the first woman to be a finalist.
An AQHA approved judge for 14 years; Carol was the first woman on the AQHA judges’ committee. She is also a recognized judge for the National Cutting Horse, National Reining Horse and American Horse Show associations.
Included in Carol’s many credits are four NCHA Non-Pro World Champion titles, many CRCHA titles, AQHA Reserve World Championships in cutting and reining, the NRHA Limited Non-Pro Champion title at the 1999 NRHA Derby, Limited Non-Pro and Reserve Non-Pro Champion titles at the 1999 National Reiner’s Breeders’ Classic, and the NRHA Non-Pro and Limited Open Championships at the 1993 NRHA Lazy E Classic.
In 1998, Carol was named the AQHA’s Professional Horsewoman of the Year. She was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the National Cutting Horse Association’s Non-Pro Hall of Fame, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and is among the honorees on the California Rodeo Heritage Museum’s Wall of Fame.
The years prior to the 1980s featured only a handful of women who were forces in the professional horse world. Carol is a pioneer who blazed a trail in an industry that now welcomes and appreciates its female members, from trainers to editors to association executives. She has unquestionably earned her place at the top.
Want to learn more about Carol Rose? Purchase a "The Bold & Beautiful: Trailblazing Women of the American Quarter Horse" companion book from Quarter Horse Outfitters to learn more about the stories and history of the 12 women in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.