Second-Career Star: High Powered Corona

Second-Career Star: High Powered Corona

Bred for speed and power, this second-career racing star has added height.

High Powered Corona jumps a fence at the AQHA World Show

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By Andrea Caudill

Bred, raised, raced and shown by the same family. Both a race winner and an AQHA World Show contender. High Powered Corona is certainly the definition of a versatile American Quarter Horse and a successful second-career racehorse. 

Called “High Powered” or “HP” by his family, the 2013 bay gelding was bred by Jill Giles of Vado, New Mexico. 

Giles crossed the winning Corona Cartel son Call Me Corona on her homebred Himaintenancegal, a daughter of Dean Miracle and producer of runners that have earned more than $170,000, including stakes winner Penny Snatchin. 

Jill’s husband, Wes, is the sport’s No. 10 all-time leading trainer by money earned, and saddled the horse to a winning race career in New Mexico, lighting the board in four of 11 career starts.  

“I still wanted to keep running him, but my daughter-in-law fell in love with him,” Jill said. “She wanted to know if she could try him. We talked it over and decided that would be fine. And he seems to like it. Really, really like it.” 

Madison Gay Giles is an experienced show competitor, and she was correct in her evaluation of HP’s potential. Adapting to his new career as a jumping horse was an easy one for him. While he qualified for the Farnam AQHA World Championship Show the very first year he showed in 2019, Madison decided he wasn’t quite mentally ready for the pressure of the breed’s biggest stage. They chose to wait until 2020, when he competed in the open jumping.

With AQHA Professional Horseman Charlie Carrel aboard, the former racehorse earned a Top 10 placing in a class that demands the horse leap a complicated series of fences that can be as high as 4 feet, all in the fastest time without knocking any fence rails down. 

“I train hundreds of horses, world-class show jumpers,” Carrel said. “That horse has a heart and disposition that were just precious. He is pretty cool that way. His temperament was just phenomenal – the most giving personality, the biggest heart. Whatever I asked him to do, as long as he understood, he’d sure try.”

HP's World Show experience was still a family celebration: Jill left her daily work at Lone Star Park and drove up to watch him compete in Oklahoma City.

“It was a new experience for me, I’ve never been to a World Show,” Jill said. “There were some beautiful horses, and we had a lot of fun.” 

And as it has been for all of HP’s life, he continues to be cared for and loved by his family. 

While a busy job as a nurse has slowed Madison’s showing down a little bit, she is still enjoying, riding and showing the bay gelding at every opportunity. 

“She’s still going to keep him going!” Jill added. 

Second Career Stars is an ongoing series on retired racing American Quarter Horses in new careers. If you know of a horse that should be featured, write to AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit