Summer World Show Full Of Memorable Firsts; Stage Is Set For Upcoming Fall Show In Fort Worth

Summer World Show full of memorable firsts; stage is set for upcoming Fall Show in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, Texas-The American Paint Horse Association’s (APHA) summer edition of its 2009 World Championship Shows proved to be a success during its premiere. The Summer World Championship Paint Horse Show, held June 24 through July 4 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, held up to its expectation of representing the Association’s paramount horses and competitors.

Contestants at this year’s 11-day-long showcase came in from 35 states and four other regions around the globe. Even oceans could not keep APHA members from locations such as Hawaii, the Czech Republic, Venezuela and Australia from competing in Fort Worth last week.

The Summer World Show’s combination of Youth, Open and Amateur classes brought in 690 horses and 1,880 entries. A total of 94 World Championship trophy buckles were awarded this year to individuals claiming the coveted World title.

APHA Executive Committee President John Corbin said the show went very well especially considering it is the first of its kind under the new format. He said many competitors commented on the relaxing atmosphere and convenient schedules.

“I think everyone enjoyed themselves a lot more than in the past,” Corbin said.

Tough competition

Sixty-six classes were held June 25 through 30 to feature the 1,256 Youth entries in the show. The expanded class list was composed of all age divisions, riding disciplines and show experience levels.

After seven days of serious competition, trophy saddles and other prizes were awarded on June 30 to six High-Point and All-Around Youth competitors who accumulated the most points in their divisions throughout the show. The winners ranged from 5- to 9-year-old Walk-Trot competitors up through the “seasoned pros” of the Youth 14-18 division. They hailed from all corners of the country, representing California, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Utah and Texas.

Once the Youth began clearing out on June 29 and 30, the Summer World Show’s Open and Amateur contestants filed in. The Open and Amateur classes held in the Summer phase included Cutting, Ranch Sorting, Reining, Roping, Working Cow Horse and Team Penning and encompassed 613 show entries.

Eleven Sweepstakes and Challenge Series classes at this year’s World Show helped up the ante for Open and Amateur competition. Along with special prizes in the Sweepstakes and the Challenge’s Champion trophy buckles, courtesy of Gist Silversmiths, Sweepstakes and Challenge winners also received a cash payout. The Sweepstakes classes featured a $1,000-added purse and $5,000 was added to each Challenge class.

More than just a horse show

In conjunction with actual World Show classes, APHA hosted events such as a stick horse contest, video game tournament, golf cart decorating contest, boot scramble, party pix photo booth, dog races and Parents’ Western Pleasure class to create an engaging and memorable show atmosphere.

A heartfelt and moving presentation was made in conjunction with the American Junior Paint Horse Association (AjPHA) Year-End Awards Banquet on June 24. Gabriel Chavez, a 4-year-old diagnosed with histiocytosis, was granted his wish to visit Disney World through then AjPHA President Banks Ready’s “Painted Dreams” service project, which benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. After seeing Chavez’s enthusiasm around the trophy saddles that evening, APHA also decided to give Chavez his very first horseback experience later in the week aboard an American Paint Horse, courtesy of Spirit Horse Therapy Center.

The Youth Horse Judging Contest drew 220 non-mounted competitors in to this year’s show. Sixty-eight teams of AjPHA, 4-H and National FFA Organization members arrived on June 27 to judge nine performance and halter classes in contention for Champion Gist trophy buckles.

The highest scoring individuals in the contest also received a $500 scholarship, courtesy of Hart Trailers. Jacquelyn Lane, from Pueblo, Colo., and Ethan Hefner, of Newton, N.C., claimed the 13 & Under Junior and 14-19 Senior titles respectively.

“Paint for a Day” was another unique event held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center at the same time as the Summer World Show. Thirty-eight youth participated in the all-breed show on June 28. The event was designed to give local youth a taste of what it is like to own and show an American Paint Horse and to introduce them to AjPHA members at the show.

Near the end of its span, the Summer World Show presented APHA’s premier Freedom Challenge on the afternoons of July 2 and 3. Seven therapeutic riding centers, 32 participants and 25 horses attended the event over the two days. The Freedom Challenge established a precedent by awarding the Foundation’s first therapeutic riding grants with each participating center receiving $500.

To help celebrate Independence Day and the end of the show, APHA held a series of exciting events on July 4. In addition to the highly competitive Challenge classes that morning, a special “re-awarding” acknowledgement for APHA member and U. S. Air Force Lt. Col. Val Baker and the Freestyle Reining event capped off the day. Freestyle contestants entertained both the audience and judges with their renditions of songs ranging from “I Need a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler to “Black or White” by Michael Jackson.

With the Summer World Show’s completion, focus shifts to the second half of APHA’s new World Show format. The Fall World Championship Paint Horse Show, November 5 through 14, will feature all remaining Open and Amateur events along with the addition of “slot classes” and new Breeder’s Futurity events. Entry deadline is September 10.

For more information about the Summer and Fall World Shows, including entry details, results, schedules and awards, visit http://www.aphaworldshow.com or call APHA at (817) 834-2742, ext. 773.

More about the American Paint Horse Association

Since APHA was founded 47 years ago, it has registered nearly 1 million American Paint Horses at a rate of around 30,000 horses per year. The Association currently serves approximately 83,000 active members in 40 nations and territories. APHA works not only to record Paint Horse pedigrees, but also to preserve and promote the history, breeding, training, racing, showing, sales and enjoyment of American Paint Horses.

APHA joined with the following sponsors to help make this year’s show possible:

. Corporate – Barnmaster Inc., Chase, Gist Silversmiths, Hart Trailers LLC, Markel Insurance Co., New Holland, Pfizer Animal Health, Purina Mills LLC.

. Summer World Show – Alliance by Lynn Palm, Arena Werks, Big D, Blue Ribbon Custom Tack, Equine Sports Medicine, Hodges Badge Co., KC Montgomery Photographics Inc., Linda Massey, Metro Golf Cars, Paint Horse Journal, Paint Racing magazine, Platinum Performance, Russell Feed and Supply, Western Horseman Magazine, Video Horse World.

. Affiliate – National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA).

For more information about APHA and becoming a member, contact the Association at (817) 834-2742, or visit http://www.apha.com.