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2016 APHA Convention Recap

Filed under: Club & Show News,Club and Show News |     
Image courtesy of APHA.

Image courtesy of APHA.

PHJ release


RICHMOND, VIRGINIA — The Annual Convention and Membership Meeting of the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) took place February 26–29 in Richmond, Va., where leaders of the Association met to select the group’s Executive Committee; decide on rule change proposals; recognize outstanding regional clubs and individuals; induct the fourth class of APHA’s Hall of Fame; attend various educational seminars; and work within committees to continue to advance the popular breed registry and membership association.

Executive Committee

APHA’s 2016-2017 Executive Committee now includes:

  • President: Susie Shaw, Parsons, Tenn.
  • President–Elect: George Ready, Hernando, Miss.
  • Vice President: Dr. Craig Wood, Owenton, Ky.
  • Senior Committee Member: Mike Short, ​Shiner, Texas
  • Fifth Committee Member: Casey West, Abilene, Kan.
  • Sixth Committee Member: Karen Thomas, Morganton, N.C.
  • Immediate Past President: Ron Shelly, Georgetown, Texas

Susie Shaw was sworn in as APHA President on February 29.

The newest member to the Executive Committee, Karen Thomas, was elected and sworn in as Sixth Committee Member on February 29 as well. Involved in the horse industry for more than 30 years, Thomas is the manager of Double C Acres, a breeding, training and showing facility operated by three generations of her family in Morganton, N.C. A lifetime APHA member, she has been involved regionally and nationally, serving as an APHA national director since 2008 and has been a member of several committees.

Educational Opportunities

One of the focal points of the APHA Convention is the opportunity for continuing education in areas of breeding, competition, leadership, communication and more. This year, attendees enjoyed an educational seminar on Paint Horse genetics presented by Dr. Samantha Brooks of the University of Florida, communication training presented by renowned motivator Dr. Rick Rigsby, the popular “Game Plan” seminar designed to foster exhibitor and judge education, and several other informative seminars presented by regional clubs, APHA members and staff.

Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in several additional social activities while attending the Convention. Longtime APHA Corporate Partner Markel Insurance hosted a welcome reception on February 26. Members enjoyed a complimentary reception prior to the Hall of Fame & Awards Banquet on February 28 hosted by APHA Corporate Partner Farnam in celebration of the company’s 70th Anniversary. The four-day Convention concluded with a tour of Colonial Williamsburg.

Regional Clubs Honored

Three APHA regional clubs were honored as part of the Gist Affiliate Awards program where they received substantial prizes courtesy of longtime APHA Corporate Partner Gist Silversmiths. Winners of the randomly selected drawing for 2015 were:

  • 1st Place: Garden State Paint Horse Club—$2,500 in product certificates
  • 2nd Place: Mississippi Paint Horse Club—$1,500 in product certificates
  • 3rd Place: Paint Horse Club Germany—$1,000 in product certificates

Nine outstanding regional clubs were recognized February 28 with two premier awards: President’s Club of Distinction and Gold Star Club honors.

The Gold Star Club program is the first tier of regional club excellence—these clubs go above and beyond minimum regional club requirements, offering a variety of activities to encourage more participation from Paint enthusiasts who enjoy the camaraderie of their peers. The President’s Club of Distinction consideration is given to all Gold Star-designated clubs, and selected recipients embody the spirit of outstanding promotion and public service to their members, communities and APHA.

2015 President’s Clubs of Distinction recipients are:

  • Arizona Paint Horse Club
  • Southwest Washington Paint Horse Club
  • Texas Paint Horse Club
  • Virginia Paint Horse Club
  • Washington State Paint Horse Club
  • New England Paint Horse Club—Honorable Mention Recipient
  • Garden State ​Paint Horse Club—Honorable Mention Recipient

2015 Gold Star Club recipients are:

  • Indiana Paint Horse Club
  • Paint Horse Club Germany

Youth Leadership Conference

Members of the American Junior Paint Horse Association (AjPHA) helped “Paint the Globe” during the 2016 AjPHA Youth Leadership Conference, presented by APHA Corporate Partner LubriSyn. Held annually in conjunction with the APHA Convention, the conference brought young horsemen and –women together to discuss industry trends and topics, build their leadership skills and enjoy fun activities, including a youth-exclusive Paint Horse genetics education session; a scavenger hunt with winners receiving $500 scholarships, courtesy of LubriSyn; and a day trip to Washington D.C.

Hall of Fame & Awards Banquet

Several outstanding individuals, clubs and horses were recognized at the Hall of Fame & Awards Banquet. The newly created Judge Emeritus award was presented to 10 honorees. The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Clea Bobbitt of Eldon, Mo. Five APHA members as well as five Paint Horses were inducted into the APHA Hall of Fame. View details about all the honorees at apha.com or via http://bit.ly/1RF1Bpc.

In addition, throughout the 2016 APHA Convention, attendees had opportunities to donate to the American Paint Horse Foundation’s (APHF) Youth scholarship initiatives—that included a silent auction, a raffle featuring two handcrafted saddles by APHA World Show Sponsor Elite Custom Saddles and charitable giving opportunities during the APHA Hall of Fame & Awards Ceremony. All told, the APHF raised more than $20,000 earmarked for Youth scholarships and the Hall of Fame fund at this year’s Convention, thanks to the generosity of APHA members.

Rule Changes

With nearly 30 rule change proposals brought out of committees, the APHA Board of Directors passed 25 rules presented for voting. For more information on the rules that were passed, implementation schedules and a summary of tabled or defeated proposals, visit apha.com or http://bit.ly/1LutYXI.


“Our association is made up of great people who work hard for the betterment of the Paint Horse breed, and our annual Convention is always a great reminder of that,” APHA Executive Director Billy Smith said. “I want to personally thank everyone who made this productive event possible, including our members, staff, affiliates and corporate partners.”

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