The American Paint Horse Association’s (APHA) Ride America program recently announced its 2012 “Saddle Stars” for the association’s 14 worldwide zones.
This year-end award is given to the rider in each zone who logs the most hours annually (January 1-December 31). The Saddle Stars for 2012 are:
Zone 1 – Will If I Want and An Ace to Win with Tristan Troudt of Priest River, Idaho.
Tristin is new to APHA’s Ride America program and has logged 1,127 hours in the first year aboard his 5- and 7-year-old tobiano geldings near his home in Northern Idaho. He credits their suitability on the trail to the fact that they were raised in a wilderness setting and are not easily startled. APHA’s Zone 1 is an international zone comprised of Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
“Traffic, work, college and stress all fade away when I’m on my horses,” Tristin said. “It is my escape from a busy life.”
Zone 2 – Docs Solid Impression and Sue DeKalb of Gilroy, California
Sue and her 15-year-old bay solid Paint-bred gelding “Doc” have amassed just over 9,148 hours in her 10 years of Ride America participation, including 856 hours logged in 2012. . APHA’s Zone 2 consists of Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah. Sue’s favorite place to ride is Henry W. Coe State Park, the largest state park in northern California, with more than 87,000 acres of wild open spaces.
“Doc notifies me when animals are around, and then he becomes the perfect tripod so I can photograph them,” Sue said.
Zone 3 – Black And Tuff Strait and Shirley Seefeldt of Edgemont, South Dakota
Still in the saddle at age 76, Shirley and “Kota,” her 8-year-old black solid Paint-bred gelding logged 2,129 hours in 2012 riding in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Shirley was the hours leader in the geographically large Zone 3, comprised of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming.
“Kota will go any place I ask him,” Shirley said. “He does not spook or balk at anything, and he carries me with care. At my age, I don’t know a better way to enjoy our beautiful country.”
Zone 4 – Sparks A Dancin and Kent Midgett of Robstown, Texas
For the second year in a row and with 766 hours logged in 2012, Kent and “Patches,” his 13-year-old black tobiano mare finished at the top of APHA’s Zone 4, which includes Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Ride America participants since 2010, the pair split their trail time between the Texas Hill Country and the South Texas beaches.
“Riding washes away all of my problems and worries,” Kent said. “But the most important reason I ride is that I get to be with my best friend.” Kent also credits Patches with “an uncanny ability to know my every need and what I’m going to do before I do it.”
Zone 5 – Kodiak Country Gun and Kristine Schefers of Foley, Minnesota
Krissy bought “Kodi,” her 14-year-old black overo gelding in 2009, one year before she enrolled in APHA’s Ride America for the first time. With 339 hours logged in 2012, the duo took the top slot in Zone 5, which is comprised of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.
“I enjoy logging my hours in different parks and state forests,” Krissy said. “Each one has something unique, and I love to see how much I can teach Kodi along the way. Right now we are team sorting, trail riding and part of the Benton County Mounted Patrol.
Zone 6 – Skip A Ruckus, Two Coats Of Jerry and Out To Shock You All with Alice Singleton of Mount Vernon, Arkansas
Alice Singleton, avid trail rider and longtime APHA Ride America participant, took the top 2012 honors in Zone 6 with her three Paint geldings. The Mount Vernon equestrienne and her three mounts amassed 926 hours in 2012, surpassing riders from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Since enrolling Skip A Ruckus in the Ride America program in 2002, Alice has logged a total of 4,011 hours on the 14-year-old sorrel overo gelding. One year later, she added Two Coats Of Jerry to the saddle log program and has completed a total of 1,778 hours aboard athe sorrel overo gelding, who is also 14 years old. She has only been logging hours on her newest and youngest trail horse, 9-year-old sorrel overo gelding Out To Shock You All, for two years, but the duo have already completed 430 hours.
The Mount Vernon equestrienne’s favorite places to ride include APHA’s Fort Robinson Trail Ride, held annually in Nebraska, as well as Pine Grove Trails in Leslie, Arkansas, and Hidden Springs Farm in El Paso, Arkansas.
“We have spent so many hours together, my horses and I have developed a special bond only created with love and time,” Alice said. “Riding is my personal therapy and the perfect way to explore our wonderful world.”
Zone 7 –Dudesmidnight Satinka with Barbara Savoy of Reinholds, Pennsylvania
Barbara Savoy and her 2005 black tobiano mare, nicknamed “Satinka,” repeated as the top Zone 7 Ride America participants, logging a total of 1,424 hours. Zone 7 encompasses Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. Barbara’s logs her hours on her own farm in Pennsylvania.
“I am always learning something new from my mare,” Barbara said. “It is more rewarding to me than winning in the ring.”
Zone 8 – Playboysbuckunleo and Zip A Tat Tat with Shirley Hart of Leesburg, Ohio
Shirley Hart and her eight-year-old overo mare, Zip A Tat Tat, repeated their 2011 success with 2012’s top hours in APHA’s Zone 8, which is comprised of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. In 2012, she also logged saddle time on a new mount, Playboysbuckunleo, a 5-year-old chestnut tobiano gelding for a total of 1,151 hours.
“I love meeting like-minded people along the trails,” Shirley said. “It’s such a pleasure to spend time in the country with my Paint Horses.”
Zone 9 – HR Kidnights Clu and Kidnight Color Design with Tammy Dobek of Marianna, Florida
2011 Ride America Saddle Star Tammy Dobek repeated for 2012 honors in Zone 9, which includes Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and the Caribbean Islands. Once again riding her 2008 black tovero stallion and 2006 black solid Paint-bred mare, she finished the year with total of 2,509 hours.
“I have been blessed to raise both my horses since birth and have trained them every step of the way,” Tammy said. “The rewards are beyond measure when I ride, my equine partners are a huge blessing in my life.”
Zone 10 – Socketts High Socks with Ainsley Nickel of Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
Ainsley once again captured APHA Ride America Saddle Star honors for Zone 10 with her 2012 total of 1,255 hours. Unlike the previous year, when she logged hours on three Paint Horses, Ainsley only rode her overo mare Socketts High Socks, in 2012. Zone 10 is made up of the Western Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan and Yukon.
“My mare is as excited to head out on a ride as I am,” Ainsley said. “We go to a lot of horse shows and any time we get to spend on the trail is a treat.”
Zone 11 – Musics Lily Casper with Taylor Laroche of North Lancaster, Ontario, Canada
A relative newcomer to APHA’s Ride America program, Taylor and her 2009 red dun solid Paint-bred mare “Lily” captured the Zone 11 title with 354 hours. Zone 11 is comprised of the eastern Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
“Lily is the perfect trail horse because she has a happy-go-lucky temperament and is willing to try anything, even if it is the first time,” Taylor said. “I love experiencing our improvement through lessons and regular training.”
Zone 12 – Allstar Crash Hancock with Stephen Cox of Carbury-County, Kildare, Ireland
For the second year in a row, Stephen and his 12-year-old black overo stallion, nicknamed “Cowboy,” took home the Zone 12 top honors, amassing 356 hours. Zone 12 includes all European countries.
“Cowboy is a big horse with a big heart,” Stephen said. “Hitting the trails with up to 26 other horses, including mares, Cowboy always steals the show with his cool and calm demeanor.”
Zone 14 – HMF Perception with Lee Ann Hall of Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia
Lee Ann and her 2007 sorrel overo gelding “Jake,” repeated their 2011 success with 2012’s top hours in APHA’s Zone 14, which is comprised of Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. Logging 48 total hours, Lee Ann splits time between showing and trail riding.
“Even though I show Jake, I really enjoy the trails,” Lee Ann said. “We have 200 acres that adjoins a forest, and I love to ride there with friends.”
APHA’s Ride America program is designed for anyone riding an American Paint Horse. Program participants enroll their horse and log their hours in the saddle, moving up through the 14 achievement levels—from 100 to 10,000 hours—with those hours permanently recorded on the horse’s official lifetime performance record. Participants also earn patches, certificates of achievement and discounts on Ride America clothing, tack and trail riding accessories. To find out more about Ride America, see APHA.com/rideamerica or call (817) 222-6439.
About the American Paint Horse Association
The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) is the world’s second largest equine breed association. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. In fulfillment of its global 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 more than 55,000 active youth and adult members around the world. For more information about the American Paint Horse Association, visit apha.com or connect with Paint Horse fans globally at facebook.com/americanpainthorse or on Twitter @APHANews and @WorldShow.