Paints climbing the ranks in dressage

Flashback Too Robin, Miss Handy and Rhapped Four Pleasure are competing in the upper levels of dressage.

Three American Paint Horses are steadily climbing the upper-level dressage ranks, proving that this traditional discipline can be mastered by an untraditional horse-and with style.

Flashback Too Robin came to Meris Greges of Athens, Alabama, as an unstarted 2-year-old in 2003, testing the mettle of Greges and other barnmates with unruly behavior both under saddle and while being handled on the ground. But, Greges stuck with him on the advice of her trainer, Eugene Abello, and this year the pair recently made their Fourth Level debut. They were featured in the April 30 The Chronicle Of The Horse article “Non-Traditional Breeds Defy the Odds in Dressage.” The colorful 2001 sorrel overo gelding is sired by roping stallion Tru Too Robin and out of the Thoroughbred mare Queen Of Coyle. “Flash” has earned 40 PAC credits and Certificate of Recognition for dressage through APHA’s Paint Alternative Competition program.

“Flash has surpassed my wildest expectations and has taken me with him,” Greges said. “I love it when I’m asked what kind of warmblood he is-I proudly say he is an American Paint Horse.”

Moving quickly through the levels of dressage, Miss Handy will make her Grand Prix Level debut this year. The 2002 sorrel solid Paint-bred mare has moved from Training Level to Grand Prix in only five years and has added musical freestyle to her repertoire as well. “Missy” has also earned more than 200 PAC credits and her Certificate of Achievement in dressage. The 15.3-hand mare, by Mihi and out of Just Handy (QH), is owned by Wendy Gray Bizzaro of Chatsworth, California.

Bizzaro hopes more Paint Horse owners will try their hand at the dressage discipline.

“I would encourage anyone who has a Paint to know that they could definitely achieve their dressage goals,” she said.

Rhapped Four Pleasure is another colorful Paint Horse promoting the breed in dressage. The 2004 bay tobiano mare is competing in Third Level dressage, expecting to advance to Fourth Level later this year. Owned by Laurie Hinson of Lebanon, Oregon, she is shown by Sarah Gammie. The mare is sired by Rhapped In Blue and out of Paddys Devil (QH).

“This mare exemplifies the charisma, talent, and mental willingness to do what is asked,” Hinson said.

APHA now allows horses competing in USEF and USDF dressage competitions to earn regular show points for their horses’ performance record based on the scores received at the highest test of each level from Training Level and up. Horses competing in other dressage events can also earn PAC credits with their horses record.

For more information about earning APHA points in dressage, or to learn more about the PAC program, call the APHA Performance & Show Department at (817) 222-8455.

About APHA

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.