The room was all smiles as APHA members got to reunite and celebrate the past, present, and future of the American Paint Horse Association at the 2017 APHA Convention in Irving, Texas. Photo © Brett Sanders

The Rock Candids and Report from APHA Convention

The room was all smiles as APHA members got to reunite and celebrate the past, present, and future of the American Paint Horse Association at the 2017 APHA Convention in Irving, Texas. The convention was held from Thursday, February 23 to Monday, February 27. The 2016-2017 APHA President, Susie Shaw, opened this year’s conference with a warm welcome and shared her appreciation for everyone involved in making this past year a huge success.

The APHA Convention feature meetings that discuss specific aspects of the association, from rule changes to registration. All members are encouraged to attend these meetings to share their opinions and become informed on what’s going on inside of the APHA.

Many educational opportunities provided this year enhanced the knowledge of APHA members. One opportunity was the APHA Coat Color Genetics seminar held on Sunday. This seminar was presented by Samantha Brooks of the University of Florida Genetics Institute. Samantha Brooks is not only an assistant professor but heads the Brooks Equine Genetics Laboratory.

Almost every convention attendee sat in to hear her fascinating information on the advancements of genetic testing for paint markers and other traits such as jumping ability and speed. Brooks also made an impressive opening statement about how APHA Executive Director, Billy Smith, educated her on the fact that the APHA deals with 50 to 100 horses a week and what the association struggles with in determining whether or not the horse is eligible for regular registry. These studies hope to eliminate this issue and ensure a more colorful breed for the future of the paint industry.

The APHA also celebrated their 5th class of Hall of Fame inductees. Brad Perkins informed members, prior to the Hall of Fame banquet, on how to not only nominate a person to the Hall of Fame but what kind of precautions and procedures are carefully taken when selecting who deserves a spot in this program. Awards were given to several regional clubs such as the Texas Paint Horse Club for their exceptional performance in its dedication to members, the community, and in the promotion of the APHA. Carolyn Dobbins also received the Paint Professional Horseman of the Year award for her outstanding leadership in the APHA community.

The 2017 APHA Convention made history with the committee’s decision to pass and extend several rules. RG-070-1 was passed with early implementation, allowing a horse with two APHA registered parents that does not exhibit natural paint markings, Regular Registry status if the horse possesses one paint trait and an APHA approved genetic test confirming that the horse carries at least one paint pattern gene. This rule helps the APHA with registering horses and will help future paint horse breeding decisions.

Another rule passed was an extension of SC-160 with hopes to create a more humane environment during APHA competitions. The extension of SC-160 better defines how signs of inhumane treatment should be handled and allows disqualification for abuse according to the judge in circumstances where cuts, abrasions, or blood is evident.

The 2017 APHA Convention was wrapped up with the swearing-in of the President-elect and committee members for 2017 to 2018. President-elect, George Ready, concluded the convention with a speech regarding his future as the president of the APHA. Ready discussed how he encouraged members to positively consider change and new ideas for a stronger association and continue the tradition of being a breed that is open to beginners. The President-elect’s speech and the effort put forward by all who attended the 2017 APHA convention, reflects the passion they have for this breed.

CLICK HERE to view the candids sponsored by The Rock and kindly taken by GoHorseShow reporter and intern, Brett Sanders.

For more information about APHA or activities during the convention, please click here.