The Bold and Beautiful: Trailblazing Women of the American Quarter Horse

Discover the 12 women from the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame who were leaders in the American Quarter Horse industry.

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The Bold and the Beautiful: Trailblazing Women of the American Quarter Horse” was a previous exhibit that featured twelve women who made a tremendous impact on the American Quarter Horse – as an association and a breed.  Some were breeders, some were owners and competitors, and others were chroniclers and artists who recorded not only history but life at the time.  All were leaders and visionaries, and each left their mark on the American Quarter Horse.  Their efforts opened the doors to others and made it possible for the lifestyle to exist in the industry.

The women included in the exhibit were by no means the only trailblazers.  There are many unsung heroes whose dreams and sacrifices created the American Quarter Horse of today. Sharon Ralls Lemon, an American author, said:

“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.”

Her quote defines the focus of “The Bold and the Beautiful: Trailblazing Women of the American Quarter Horse” exhibit.  These visionary women embody the elements of grace, beauty, spirit and fire.

Contact the Museum at 806-376-5181 to purchase this exhibit's companion book


angle-left Carol Rose

Carol Rose

She grew up dreaming of making a difference in the horse industry, and she did just that.

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 the museum to learn more about the stories and history of the 12 women in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.