SK's APHA Approved Trail Ride


Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club

Youth Champion Taylor Gardner crosses the river on Mr Sylvester.

The Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club hosted their first APHA approved Trail Ride and Outdoor Trail Challenge Competition on June 30 and July 1, 2012. The event was held at Trails End Guest Ranch in the beautiful Arm River Valley and just as their name indicates the guest ranch is tucked into the beautiful valley – at the end of the trail. Owner and operators of the Guest Ranch, Lyle and Chris Benz were most excellent hosts for this family friendly event. The weekend event was open to all breeds of horses and ages of riders and folks could come for the guided trail ride on Saturday, or the Trail Challenge on Sunday. Most folks came for the weekend and made a family holiday out of it. The facilities easily accommodated campers and RV’s and boasts a motel, showers and cabin rental options.

Lyle led a relaxed group of 28 riders on a three hour ride on Saturday, June 30. With rolling hills to ride in, river crossings and natural history to enjoy, this was an unforgettable trail ride for many.

APHA Saskatchewan Trail Ride

APHC Champion Bruce Martin has his hands full as he heads for a swim.

Lyle led the group through the coulees; silver sage and buck brush past a huge buffalo rub stone and a buffalo jump site. Tee pee rings are still evident on the hill side and buffalo bones found in a dig site have been dated back 2000 years. A ride to the peaks of the valley rewarded you with fields of waving grass and pastureland. You could easily imagine herds of buffalo grazing on them in another time.

Horses over came their fear of water as they attempted and succeeded with numerous river crossings and later the swim hole. They encountered cattle and dealt with difficult and varied terrain. For the show horses on the trail ride, it was a welcome change and you could see the pleasure in their expressions.

APHA Saskatchewan Trail Ride

Ladies Champion Stephanie McMillan, along with her mother Colleen, cools off in the river.

After the last river crossing the group came upon a small herd of red Angus steers belonging to Trails End Ranchs. This provided an opportunity to expose horses to a nice quiet herd of cattle and to test their cow sense.

One of the highlights of the weekend came after the trail ride and during the heavy heat of the afternoon. Faced with the question of do we go and ride on the hills again or do we go for a swim? The swim won out for many hot horses and riders. Lyle advised everyone to ride with a simple halter and lead rope and to take it slow with their horses. One rider declared she could cross one more thing off her bucket list, an exchange student from Finland said she had never done anything this much fun before in her life! Wondering down the riverbed towards the swim hole gave horses a chance to become acquainted with the feel of water all around them. The swim hole could accommodate quite a few horses at a time. It was pure entertainment for those who were not riding and sheer joy for those who were on the horse’s backs. Some horses loved it so much they played hippopotamus and would plunge their whole heads under water as they swam with just their eyes peeking out.

The ranch staff set up a beautiful steak supper with all the fixings. Following supper folks saddled up and rode over to the large outdoor arena where a mounted shooting demonstration took place. This was a good opportunity for people to expose their horse to the gun fire and see how they would react. Following the mounted shooting many folks choose to hit the hills and the river for a little more riding or to work on certain skills in the arena in preparation for the Trail Challenge the next day. Later that evening after horses were fed, watered and put to bed everyone gathered round the huge bon fire to listen to a trio of talented local musicians play guitars and banjo and sing songs. Some folks simply enjoyed the starry sky from the hot tub.

The Open Trail Challenge took place on Sunday, July 1, with Judge Chris Larsen of Crooked River, Steward and Laura Martin, and Edam directing competitors. A total of 40 riders signed up to compete in four separate divisions. The challenging course was situated along the river banks of the Arm River, across a meadow, up a hill and was approximately ¾ of a mile in length. The first obstacle was a jump, followed by a ramp, then a fallen log drag, a river crossing, lope along the river bank, a second river crossing, a lope up a hill to ride under several large hoops, lope back down the hill to a ground tie area for a dismount and walk around then dependent upon the division you were competing in you would either load and unload your horse in a trailer or pick up a slicker and carry it to another post.

The top riders in each of the four divisions were: Youth, Taylor Gardner of Saskatoon, Ladies, Stephanie McMillan of Cudworth; Men’s, Robert Barbour of Warman; APHA – Bruce Martin of Edam. Each was awarded a beautiful custom Gist Buckle.

Saskatchewan APHA Trail Ride

Men’s Champion, Robert Barbour, Warman, SK.

A huge thank you goes out to the Trails End Guest Ranch for their hospitality, to judge Chris Larsen and to generous buckle sponsors; APHA – Painted River Ranch Posse; Men’s – Cindy Borhen & Trevor Mikolajczyk ; Ladies- Taze Consulting (Al & Trish Fisher); Youth – Tech Ops Pipeline Consulting (Rick & Sue Layh). Many congrats also to the SPHC Board for the taking on this new initiative and to Laura Martin who coordinated the event.

The Second Annual Trail Ride and Outdoor Trail Challenge with take place on July 20 and 21, 2013 once again at the beautiful Trails End Guest Ranch. Check the Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club website for future updates on the next big challenge.

APHA Hall of Fame Inductees

APHA Hall of Fame Adios Amigos

APHA Hall of Fame horse Adios Amigos

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the American Paint Horse Association recently announced its first class of inductees for the APHA Hall of Fame. A total of 50 influential members of the Paint Horse community—25 horses and 25 people—will be honored at the induction ceremony October 5 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Given the Paint Horse breed’s colorful history, naming the first Hall of Fame class required much contemplation. A five-member Hall of Fame Selection Committee was charged with developing induction criteria, reviewing the association’s long list of history-makers, and narrowing the field of candidates to 50 inaugural inductees.

“With APHA currently celebrating its 50-year anniversary, it is more than fitting that recognition be accorded to those colorful individuals—two- and four-legged—who were in it from the very beginning,” Hall of Fame Selection Committee Member Frank Holmes said. “It was with this thought in mind that the inaugural class of APHA Hall of Fame inductees was chosen. Each pioneer person and foundation horse being inducted this year helped in some way to lay the foundation for what has grown from a plot hatched around a North Texas coffee table to a major breed association with tentacles in every corner of the world.”

The first APHA generic cipro online Hall of Fame class includes the following influential horses and horsemen:

Adios Amigos #1525 (1962)
Babette #1050 (1944)
Calamity Jane #21 (1949)
Cherokee Maiden #23 (1960)
Crystal Eye #2022 (1960)
Delta #2120 (1963)
Dual Image #555 (1961)
Hank-A-Chief #14149 (1969)
Mister J. Bar #1044 (1961)
Nylon #360 (1961)
Painted Breeze Bar (1962)
Painted Joe #50000 (1939)
Painted Lasan #2300 (1963)
Painted Robin #800 (1960)
Powder Charge #4400 (1965)
Q Ton Eagle #345 (1960)
Sabru Indio #1200 (1962)
Skip Hi #8 (1959)
Skippa Rope #12012 (1968)
Skippa Streak #3818 (1964)
Snip Bar #7389 (1966)
Tinky’s Spook #5165 (1965)
Uvalde Doll #5065 (1960)
Wahoo King #31 (1957)
Yellow Mount #3300 (1964)

Fred & Marian Adam
Jo-an (Soso) Barnett
Ralph & Barbara Brunner
A.J. “Jack” Campbell
Bud & Betty Crump
Alfonso Gonzalez
Paul Harber
Bernard “Punk” Hoban
J.D. Hooter
Claude Howard
Junior Hudspeth
Bill James
Rebecca Tyler Lockhart
Dale Lukens
W.L. “Lowell” Miller
Buster & Marion Naegle
Bill Neel
Junior Robertson
Ralph & Dorothy Russell
Jay & Nancy Simons
Sam Ed & Marge Spence
L.N. Sykes
H.J. “Hank” Wiescamp
Stanley & Jodie Williamson
Lyle & Butch Wonderlich

“This is an amazing start to what will become a first-class Hall of Fame,” APHA Executive Director Billy Smith said. “I can’t think of a more challenging job than picking the inaugural class to the APHA Hall of Fame. The committee worked tirelessly and struggled to make sure they had done the best job they could do.”

Biographies of each APHA Hall of Fame inductee will be featured in the October 2012 Paint Horse Journal.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony coincides with the APHA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, and takes place October 5 at the Hilton Fort Worth from 6 to 10 p.m.
Tickets are $60 if paid by September 9 or $70 if paid after. For more information, contact Theresa Brown at (817) 834-2742, ext. 403, or email her at Information can also be found at

APHA World Show Changes For 2013


The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) and the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) have agreed to overlap their Youth World Championship Shows beginning in 2013.

This joint venture materialized due to a decision by the ApHC Board of Directors to move the location of the Appaloosa Nationals and Appaloosa Youth World Show from its current location at Tulsa Expo Square in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas, which is also the home of APHA’s Youth World Championship Show.

The Will Rogers Memorial Center (WRMC) announced today that the City of Fort Worth has won a 5-year contract to host the National Appaloosa Show & World Championship Appaloosa Youth Show and will continue to host the World Championship Appaloosa Show for five additional years. Its bid was bolstered by the new $32-million Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building at WRMC.

“We are ecstatic to have won this bid and to now be working with the National and World Championship Youth Shows for The Appaloosa Horse Club,” said Kirk Slaughter, Public Events Director for the City of Fort Worth.

The projected economic impact of this two week summer event $11 million for the city. The summer show will overlap with the American Paint Horse Association Youth World Championship Show, presenting a unique opportunity for cooperation between two of the largest stock horse organizations in the world.

The board of the Appaloosa Horse Club, headquartered in Moscow, ID., approved the contract with Will Rogers for two shows from 2013-2017.Tentative dates are June 23 – July 5, 2014; June 22 – July 4, 2015; June 27 – July 9, 2016 and June 26 – July 8, 2017.

“The Will Rogers facility in Fort Worth is an excellent venue for both our major shows,” said Appaloosa Horse Club Chief Executive Officer Steve Taylor. “Beyond some basic efficiencies in terms of logistics and costs, the recent upgrades at WRMC and a double dose of Texas hospitality will ensure that our exhibitors have a great experience.”

The Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building opens June 6 and includes two indoor 20,000-square-foot exercise arenas on the upper level and approximately 740 additional stalls. An expanded underground tunnel system will allow exhibitors and their horses to move throughout the complex without interfering with traffic or being exposed to inclement weather.The two shows will overlap from June 28 – July 6, 2013.

APHA Awards Painted Ponies

APHA Painted Poines

1st Place - $1000 Cash Prize Harmony Janee Hughes

The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) and The Trail of Painted Ponies recently announced the winners of their jointly sponsored spring art competition. Conducted in honor of APHA’s 50th anniversary, the theme for the contest was the celebration of the American Paint Horse. In the list of prize winners are two very happy Canadians.

Lorna Matsuda of Alberta, Canada, won the second place $500 cash prize for her design called “Hidden Affections,” a rendering of Paint Horses concealed among Aspen trees. Nakita Delichte, a college student from British Columbia and a Paint Horse owner, received the third place $250 cash prize for her colorful rendering of “Painted Anniversary.” The design depicted a Paint Horse with the map of the world as the coat pattern.

In their press release the APHA state that artists from around the world were invited to submit designs on one of five Painted Ponies forms along with a name for the work and a story. More than 350 artists participated in the two-month competition. In early April, APHA and The Trail of Painted Ponies narrowed the entries down to 20 finalists, which were then displayed online for voting. Over 5,000 votes were cast over a two-week period.

APHA Painted Poines

2nd Place - $500 Cash Prize Hidden Affections Lorna Matsuda

The winning design is titled “Harmony,” and depicts a striking tobiano mare and foal whose markings beautifully blend together. The piece was submitted by Janee Hughes of Aumsville, Oregon, a former middle school art teacher who has designed several other Painted Ponies.

“When I was designing Harmony, I thought about the very close relationship between a mare and her foal, and how remarkable it is that the foal can keep up with its mother shortly after birth,” said Hughes. “Bringing the two together in color and markings was my way of emphasizing this very close relationship.”

APHA Painted Poines

3rd Place - $250 Cash Prize Painted Anniversary Nakita Delichte

Hughes received a $1,000 cash prize from APHA and The Trail of the Painted Ponies for the winning design. The figurine will be available for sale in APHA’s General Store, as well as fine art retailers around the country in early 2013.

“We are thrilled with the winning design,” said APHA Executive Director Billy Smith. “As we look toward our next 50 years, the mare and foal concept is an excellent portrayal of our bright future.”

APHA Membership Milestone

American Paint Horse Association

For all those involved in the paint horse industry, the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) recently released the 2011 Annual Report detailing the association’s accomplishments. Its’ annual statements disclose several huge accomplishments for the association, in the midst of its’ 50th anniversary.

Among the numbers it states that the APHA continues to be the second-largest stock horse breed association in the world, registering the one-millionth American Paint Horse in 2011.

Surprisingly the big increase was outside of the US, with ownership increasing by 2% and APHA memberships and show entries increasing by 7%. France hosted the first Youth Horsemanship Camp and Germany held its first Youth Judging Seminar.

In the United States, lifetime memberships for Youth continue to grow, along with the new Walk-Trot Amateur division. The top five states for APHA membership over the last three years remain Texas, California, Oklahoma, Colorado and Florida. APHA shows in Texas and Missouri experienced significant increases in the number of shows and number of entries.

In 2011 The American Paint Horse Association honoured some outstanding members involved in creating what it is today. The first hallway designation was made to honor Doc and Butch Wonderlich of Twin Falls, Idaho. Their involvement and support are a testament to how dedicated members have made this association the industry leader it is today. The 2011 Distinguished Service Award was given to an international member for the first time. German member Hardy Oelke was presented the award at the European Paint Horse Championship in Kreuth, Germany.

In all, the APHA says it has experienced some positive changes and looks forward to what is in store for the American Paint Horse Association’s members in 2011.

APHA Adds Cash to Awards

American Paint Horse Association

Photo Credit Deanna Buschert

The American Paint Horse Association has created a new way to reward their network of regional clubs to encourage participation, recruit new members, offer creative show formats and enhance the exhibitor’s experiences at their regional club-sponsored APHA shows. Regional Clubs are the backbone of the APHA experience; as such, the Regional Club Sponsorship Program which supports those clubs that go the extra mile to make their APHA shows a great experience.

Regional clubs provide the framework for attracting new members at the local or “grassroots” level. Since its inception in 1962, the Association has approved more than 115 regional clubs worldwide. These clubs in turn are required to offer horse shows, trail rides and assorted community events within their respective areas in order to maintain their status.

The Regional Club Sponsorship Program will offer $1,000 cash awards to 30 clubs annually for use at a Regional Club-sponsored Paint-O-Rama show; or at a 1- or 2-judge show that the club is hosting in 2012. Clubs will be eligible for the sponsorship once during a two-year period and must be in good standing with APHA as outlined by Association rules. The club must fulfill all annual regional club requirements and the show must be approved with all show fees paid. The complete list of program rules and sponsorship application are available online at or by calling the APHA.

Find a club near you

APHA regional clubs, are the ideal place to get started showing with your registered American Paint Horse. The APHA makes it easy to find the club nearest you by visiting All points earned at APHA-approved shows are automatically included in your horse’s permanent record and can help earn not only year-end awards, but Perpetual Awards like Register of Merit and Superior as well. Find a show near you by visiting and clicking on Calendar Of Events under the Public Access section.

About the American Paint Horse Association

The American Paint Horse Association (APHA), the international breed registry for the American Paint Horse headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. In fulfillment of its mission to collect, record and preserve pedigrees of the breed, APHA recognizes and supports 111 regional and international clubs, produces championship shows, sponsors trail rides and creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses. APHA has registered more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded, and now serves over 64,000 active youth and adult members around the world.

For more information about APHA and how to get involved, visit or call (817) 834-2742.

Paint Horse History

Wahoo King

Wahoo King was the first gelding registered with APHA.

American Paint Horse Association (APHA) founders and staff gathered on February 16, 2012, to honor and celebrate the official founding day of the 50-year-old association. The luncheon was held at the site of the former Curtwood Hotel, now a modern Chilis’ restaurant, where organizational meetings were held over coffee in the early sixties.

Stories and recollections filled the room, told by some of the founders themselves, including Rebecca Tyler Lockhart, the passionate horsewoman who organized and spearheaded the first meeting. Paint Horse showman and founder Junior Robertson also was in attendance along with Rosie Russell, who was only five years old at the time of the original meeting in 1962.

A framed memorabilia shadow box was presented to the manager of the restaurant and will be displayed to honor the original site where the breed organization formed its roots. APHA founders and staff celebrated over lunch and exchanged stories about the formation of the now second-largest equine breed association in the world. A historical marker is also planned for the site.

One of the association≠s first executive directors, Sam Ed Spence, talked about the humble beginnings of the APHA headquarters. “The phone would ring about six times a day, and three of those were from my wife,” said Spence. “When someone would call about Paint Horses, we would get so excited.”

Spence recalled how he was always on the lookout for Paint Horses to register with the newly formed association, telling how many times he spotted horses for possible registration while driving down the highway. Spence would often approach the owners of those horses for inspection and inclusion into the forming association. One such horse that he spotted was a beautiful overo stallion seen on top of a hill while driving with Ralph Russell on their way to a show.

“Ralph hit the first exit we could find and wheeled the rig around,” said Spence. “We were always on the lookout. There were a lot of Paint Horses around the country that hadn’t been registered yet, and you could tell from the highway that this was one good sucker. We drove up and crawled up on the fence, and there was Wahoo King.”

Although Spence found many unregistered horses in his travels, this particular time he had stumbled across an already-accomplished horse, having won grand champion in the first APHA show held and going on to become a world-class roping horse. Wahoo King was the first gelding registered with APHA. Good-looking and athletic, the gelding attracted many horsemen to the association after watching him perform.

The stories told during the Founders Luncheon focused on not just the horses, but also the people who had a vision for the association and a love of colorful horses. Former APHA Executive Director Ed Roberts held that title for over 25 years and witnessed massive growth of the organization.

“The association has always been about people to me,” said Roberts. “People own horses and make friendships that last a lifetime. What a privilege it has been just to be a part of this association.”

APHA is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, and has now registered over one million horses. Other celebrations planned for 2012 include an auction for the one-millionth registration number, first inductions into the newly formed APHA Hall of Fame and more.

Prairie Paint Horse News


Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club

SjPHC Vice-President Audra Cooper (left) Paint Horse Pete and SjPHC president Taylor Gardner (right) in SPHC booth at Equine Expo.

The SPHC has been very busy, our AGM was held in Saskatoon on Jan. 21st. The 2012 SPHC board will be Nicole Gauthier president, Tammie Cooper Vice President, Secretary: Wendy Davis, Directors Laura Martin, Bruce Martin, Henry Gauthier, Lorraine Beaudette, Stephanie McMillan, Melissa Miner, Zone 10 member representative Ronni Nordal, Agribition member representative Karen Kotylak. Lots of discussion on the upcoming year with lots of new ideas where introduced.

The Saskatchewan Junior Paint Horse Club then had their AGM, followed by supper and one award presentation. Please note that all youth members who purchase a membership with SPHC are automatically members of the SjPHC, there will not be an extra membership fee for the youth club.

With our spring show cancelled last year due to EHV-1 all our year-end awards were presented at the Harvest of Colours except the PAC award. This award is presented to the Paint Horse enrolled in the PAC program that collects the most points on the open show circuit during the year. CongratulationS goes out to Audra Cooper and Clayboys Sassy Girl. If you show a paint horse on the open circuit this is a program we suggest you enroll in.

Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club Awards

SPHC President Nicole Gauthier presenting PAC award to recipient Audra Cooper at AGM meeting.

With time comes change, and we have some big changes in 2012. Our May Long weekend show will still be held in Lloydminster May 19-20. Watch the website for forms and added information, but what is new is on June 23, 24th we will be hosting a one day one Judge APHA show! This exciting new adventure will have us offering Novice Amateur and Youth classes in conjunction with a one-day open Heritage show. We are still working on the details but mark us on your calendar and watch the website for more information, or you can contact Stephanie McMillan at

If you have heard rumors of us not hosting the Fall Harvest of Colours show, unfortunately they are correct for this year, but as the club moves forward we are also very excited to announce our first annual Trail ride and Trail challenge! This family trail ride weekend starts Sat. June 30 at the Eagle Creek Regional Campground. Sunday July 1 will be an outdoor trail challenge competition. The trail ride & challenge is open to all breeds and all ages of rider…s. We are planning a potluck sat. evening in the park and hopefully some more “horsey” events, silent auction, tack/clothing sale & entertainment that evening. For details on the ride & challenge we will have information on our website For details on camping you can visit the Sask. Regional parks website We are also looking for silent auction items and sponsors for the event. This promises to be a fun filled, family weekend with lots of “non-horsey” activities in the park for those who don’t ride. Feel free to contact Laura Martin, Edam, Sk, (306) 397-2775 for more information.

Speaking of positive fun equine events, we just got home and unpacked from the Equine Expo, this weekend event pulled in over 9000 horse enthusiasts from all over to shop, learn and visit at Prairieland Park, in Saskatoon. Our Paint Horse Club had a booth promoting our breed and was run by our newly formed Saskatchewan Junior Paint Horse Club members. We had a celebrity guest helping out for the weekend. Paint Horse Pete the mascot for the APHC come all the way from Texas for the event and loved every minute of it. He was a popular guy and enjoyed meeting everyone and posing for pictures. He also made an appearance at the parade of breeds held Saturday evening along with our Paint horse riders Laura Martin, Sam Boxall, Taylor Gardner and Rosalyn Kenny. Our riders displayed Western Pleasure, Hunter, driving and Ranch riding to a packed crowd. Hard to show the beauty and versatility of our lovely Paint horses in just 5 minutes but these riders did an awesome job. Paint Horse Pete also helped sell tickets on the youth clubs raffle saddle package, with the winner being able to choose either an English or Western package as well as seat size and color. We would like to thank everyone who supported the youth and purchased tickets, we will be selling tickets until our Lloydminster Spring show May 20th and will announce the winner in the June Newsletter. Thank you to Joe Bloski from Early’s Farm and Garden for the help with this saddle package. If you would like to sponsor or would like more information on sponsoring our SPHC or SjPHC feel free to contact any of our directors. We currently have sponsorship openings for both our upcoming shows and our Trail ride and Trail Challenge.

Well that is about all for now, an easy newsletter to write with all the upcoming events and the renewed enthusiasm in the horse world after the Equine Expo. We look forward to hearing news from you on this springs babies, or any exciting news you have to share. Till then happy spring and shedding season! I am looking forward to see you all out on the trail.

APHA 50th Anniversary

Tuff Cat APHA

Tuff Cat won two firsts and one second in the three go-rounds to capture the stallion class at the 1964 National Championship Show and earn the first newly merged APHA registration in 1965.

The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) officially turns 50 years old on February 16, 2012, commemorating a breed association that has registered more than one million horses.

APHA began as the brainchild of a unique horsewoman, Rebecca Tyler Lockhart of Gainesville, Texas, in the early 1960s. An avid admirer of beautifully colored horses of sound Western stock horse conformation, Tyler spoke up against the prevailing establishment and advocated the start-up of a Paint, stock-type horse registry. Overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds and almost unanimous disagreement from breeders, she began her quest for a breed registry at informal get-togethers in the kitchen of her home.

Later on, the group, which had grown to 16 strong, gathered at a café in Gainesville and laid the groundwork for the American Paint Stock Horse Association (APSHA). Incorporated as a nonprofit organization and managed by an executive committee and board of directors, the fledgling association had attracted 150 members and registered 250 horses by the end of 1962.

Some notable early APSHA registrations include Bandit’s Pinto, a 3-year-old tobiano stallion, who had the honor of being registration Number 1. The first 20 APSHA registration numbers were reserved for stallions, but Lockhart reserved Number 21 specifically for a flashy tobiano mare named Calamity Jane, who won fame in the Quarter Horse-dominated cutting arena by being named the NCHA Paint Horse of the Year for three years running. Lockhart declared that the mare “was an example to the entire world of all that a Paint Horse could be.”

The first registered gelding was a 1957 chestnut overo named Wahoo King, who began his career as a top roping horse. Campaigned at halter by Junior Robertson, one of APSHA’s founding members, the striking gelding attracted a legion of fans to the new association.

APHA Dan Simons

In 1974, Dan Simons of Fort Sauderdale, Florida, was elected as the first AjPHA president. As the Youth Association's leader, Dan set up a strong program that continues to benefit its members and the Paint Horse breed today.

During the same period, an offshoot of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) called the American Paint Quarter Horse Association (APQHA) had been formed in Amarillo to register non-solid colored foals resulting from the mating of two Quarter Horses. AQHA would not register these horses with excessive white markings, sometimes called “cropouts,” thinking that such markings were a sign of non-purebred breeding.

On June 3, 1965, the two organizations merged to become the modern day American Paint Horse Association, with headquarters in downtown Forth Worth, Texas. By the end of that year, APHA had 1,350 members and 3,800 horses in its registry. The new registry began registering horses starting with Number 2,600, which went to Tuff Cat, the colt that won the National Championship in the 1964 Stallion Class at the national show in Kansas City.

Endowed with championship breeding, Yellow Mount’s (registration number 3,300) contribution to the breed is second to none. Owned by Stanley and Jodie Williamson of Iowa Park, Texas, the big red dun overo stallion has contributed a total of 102,963 descendants to APHA’s registry, accounting for 10.1% of the total. The image of his head has become the face of APHA and is used on all logos.

Since 1963, regional Paint Horse clubs have brought the ideals of APHA—a friendly atmosphere, a high regard for its members, enrichment of Paint Horse ownership and the promotion of family values—to horse enthusiasts at the local level. Beginning with six clubs, the network of Paint Horse clubs has grown to 111 active regional and international organizations.

The first glimmer of a youth-based Paint Horse organization began in 1971, when an enthusiastic group of 40 young people representing 12 states met in Tulsa, Oklahoma. APHA began offering Youth memberships in 1972 and that number has grown to almost 6,000 members.

APHA shows

For the first time in history, horses must meet participation requirements for the 2012 World Championship Shows. Qualifying is done by participating in four different APHA-approved shows, with a minimum of eight judges total during the qualifying period.

APHA’s premier event—the World Championship Show— has evolved through the years and looks quite different today than at its 1963 inception. A traveling national horse show until 1985, the early years featured many firsts—the popular APHA Queen contest, first show held east of the Mississippi River (Lexington, Kentucky), first five-judge show, and unprecedented growth. In 1996, the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth, Texas, became the World Championship Show’s permanent home. In 2009, APHA debuted its dual-show format, offering a primarily Youth show in June and an Amateur and Open show in November.

Paints have made their mark on the racetrack as well in the last 50 years. In fact, they were raced long before official recognition of the sport by APHA in 1966. That year there were nine official races for a total of $1,290 in purse money. Today there are close to 500 official races per year with a total purse money exceeding $4 million.

As the horse breeding business continued to transform at a rapid rate, APHA assumed a leadership role, stepping to the forefront of Western breed registries. In 1997, the American Paint Horse Association became the second largest equine breed registry, second only to AQHA. APHA was the first Western horse breed to allow the use of transported cooled semen and was also the first to make online foal registration available to its members.

The Association has many events scheduled for this milestone year. On February 16, a reception will be held at the Chili’s restaurant in Gainesville, Texas, site of the old Curtwood Motel, one of the places where the founders met to plan the new association back in 1962. Memorabilia will be hung in the restaurant and a historical marker is planned for the site.

APHA 50th Anniversary Buckle

Beautifully designed by Gist Silversmiths, this limited edition buckle is crafted in silver and gold electroplate with two semi-precious ruby stones. The buckle is a colorful reproduction of the 50th Anniversary logo featuring the distinctive APHA horse logo in brown and white resin.


In anticipation of the anniversary, APHA recently created a Hall of Fame at its international headquarters in Fort Worth, and an inaugural class of 25 members and 25 horses will be inducted into this Hall of Fame at the Association’s annual convention in October. APHA has created a 50th Anniversary Gist Silversmith belt buckle, as well as a 50th Anniversary calendar detailing the history of the Association. Both items are available through APHA’s General Store.

APHA’s dedicated staff, executive committee, board of directors and members all look forward to an exciting year of celebration and will continue to work tirelessly to move the Association forward through the next 50 years and beyond.