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2015 APHF Hall of Fame Inductees

Bonnie Smoke
1981 sorrel tobiano mare | Mr Gun Smoke (QH) x Roper’s Calcutta | Bred by Big D Products, Suisun City, California | Owned by Kelly Pritchett, Red Bluff, California

bonniesmokeWhen it came to reined cow horse competition, Bonnie Smoke was white hot. High-strung and hot-blooded, “Bonnie” was a spitfire, but her natural talent and athleticism in front of a cow spurred noted trainer and past National Reined Cow Horse Association President Smokey Pritchett to take a chance on the 2-year-old Paint mare in 1983.

The gamble paid off, and Bonnie proved to be an outstanding cow horse. At the 1984 California Reined Cow Horse Association World Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity, Bonnie placed fifth overall, the highest-placing Paint ever in the futurity at that time. She won the 1984 Montana Reined Cow Horse Snaffle Bit Futurity, the 1985 Idaho Reined Cow Horse Association maturity and captured a number of other top honors. Shown lightly at APHA events in the mid-1980s, Bonnie earned her Register of Merit in cutting.

Finishing her show career with reportedly more than $27,000 in earnings, Bonnie’s next challenge was producing another generation of talented performers, and she didn’t disappoint there, either. The dam of 11, her foals’ lifetime Equi-Stat earnings exceed $194,000 in cutting, reining and reined cow horse; they’ve won top titles at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, NRCHA Stakes, NRCHA Derby and the APHA World Show, among other accolades. Bonnie is the No. 2 lifetime leading Paint dam in NRCHA history, with offspring earnings of $73,864 in that association alone. Bonnie died in 2007 at age 26.


Henry & Linda Bowlan
Tecumseh, Oklahoma

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They say everything happens for a reason, and as such, Henry and Linda Bowlan’s foray into the world of racehorses was no misstep. Originally involved in halter-bred Quarter Horses, Henry made the switch to racehorses in the early 1970s, when Mike Levis sent Henry one—then all—of his horses to fit. When Shawne Bug (QH) was born on their property in 1974, he helped lay the foundation for Bowlan Farms’ ascent into racing royalty.

Purchased outright in 1979, Shawne Bug went on to sire earners of more than $4.4 million on the track, but he wasn’t the only top stallion to call Bowlan Farms home. The Bowlans added a bit of color to their pastures by standing Treasured, a 1985 bay tobiano stallion who became one of APHA’s first Million Dollar Sires. Their most notable resident, however, might be Judys Lineage. Bred by son Chuck, Judys Lineage was a star on the track but shone even brighter in the breeding barn; he is currently a $5 Million Sire and No. 2 on APHA’s Lifetime Leading Sires of Money-Earning Racehorses list.

Now in their fifth decade of racing involvement and 25 years in the Paint racing business, Henry and Linda are still regarded as top breeders of running horses. The couple has bred 139 registered Paints of their own to date, along with more than 50 others in partnership; among their most notable horses are Champion runners Awesome Fling, I Kick, Reckless Cat and Respectully Judy. In addition to being named APHA Leading Racing Breeders in 2008 and 2009, the Bowlans were honored in 2013 with the Paul Harbor Racing Distinguished Service Award for their contributions to Paint racing.


Delta Flyer
1982 sorrel tobiano stallion | Peppy San Badger (QH) x Delta | Bred by Lynn Anderson, Nashville, Tennessee | Owned by the Delta Flyer Syndicate, Huntsville, Texas

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Floyd Moore wasn’t surprised when trainer Kenny Patterson called to say he’d found the next 6-J Paints cutting superstar, but the cigar-wielding horseman almost dropped the telephone when he learned the price was $80,000 for a 2-year-old Paint colt. Kenny was confident the colt, Delta Flyer, was special,

With a sire and dam that could be considered cutting royalty, Delta Flyer seemed destined to make a splash in the National Cutting Horse Association, where the sorrel tobiano stallion stood out for more reasons than his chrome coat. A semi-finalist at the 1985 NCHA Futurity, Delta Flyer made history when he won the 1986 NCHA Super Stakes the following summer, laying down the highest score in the first go-round and a show-topping 220.5 in the finals to net a $170,000 paycheck.

Delta Flyer finished his career with earnings exceeding $260,000 according to Equi-Stat and proved a popular sire, begetting 307 registered Paints. Though only a handful were shown in APHA competition, they’ve earned more than 2,400 APHA points, eight world championships and seven reserve world championships. All told, Delta Flyer had 36 money-earning foals, capturing $171,576 in lifetime earnings for their sire, according to Equi-Stat. He died in June 1999 at age 17.


Jim & Roann Cartwright
Houston, Texas

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When Roann Daugherty Crawford first caught wind of the grassroots efforts to establish a national association for Paint stock horses in the early 1960s, she wasted no time saddling up and getting involved. With husband Jim Cartwright by Roann’s side, the couple helped firmly entrench the future of the breed in South Texas and beyond.

Described by APHA Founder Rebecca Tyler Lockhart as a “little blonde dynamo,” Roann already had deep roots in Texas’ Gulf Coast horse community. Her first horse at age 7 was a tobiano mare, and Roann accumulated a multitude of honors showing her Quarter Horses and cutters. Paints always had her heart, however, and the petite horsewoman easily stood out aboard her talented Paint cutter, Rhett Butler. Roann and Jim married in 1962, and the couple were enthusiastic about promoting the Paint breed. Jim was elected president of APHA in 1966. Roann served as a national director for the association, as well.

The couple founded the Gulf Coast Paint Stock Horse Association, APHA’s first chartered club—Jim served as president of that group, and Roann was on its board. One of the first Paint promoters in South Texas, Roann and Jim stood Rhett Butler and Hy Diamond Boy; the couple, along with daughter Scarlett, also raised and showed a number of champion Paints and Quarter Horses. Jim died in 1984, but Roann continued her involvement with Paints through the early 1990s. She resides in Concan, Texas.


Rhett Butler
1959 black tobiano stallion | Rex Albert (QH) x Dixie Albert | Bred by Dr. Mack Daugherty, Houston, Texas | Owned by Roann Cartwright, Houston, Texas

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When news of an association dedicated to Paint stock horses reached Roann Daugherty Cartwright’s ears, the South Texas horsewoman wasted no time getting her 3-year-old black tobiano stallion Rhett Butler on the books. Roann hauled “Rhett” to a show in Keller, Texas, where he was inspected and awarded registration No. 6 in the fledgling American Paint Stock Horse Association.

Roann immediately went to work proving the stallion’s merit, competing in APSHA and National Cutting Horse Association competitions. Rhett flourished in both venues and became well known as one of the breed’s early great cutting performers and sires. In addition to earning his NCHA Certificate of Achievement, Rhett won the NCHA High-Point Paint Cutting Horse trophy in 1965, 1966 and 1968. But Rhett’s talents weren’t limited to the cutting pen—the stallion routinely earned accolades in halter, Western pleasure and reining, too. In the APHA arena, Rhett was the Gulf Coast Paint Horse Club’s Champion All-Around Using Horse for five consecutive years and earned a multitude of national titles: 1963 reserve national champion Aged Stallion; national champion in Cutting and reserve national champion in Reining for 1964; and 1966 national champion in Cutting.

 


Lewis Wartchow
Fitzhugh, Oklahoma

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Tagging along with his father to Oklahoma’s brush tracks from an early age, it was no wonder Lewis Wartchow matured into a noted racehorse trainer himself. Hanging out his shingle in 1965, Lewis soon made a name for himself as a talented trainer, a soft-spoken, kind-hearted soul with a horseman’s eye and competitor’s spirit. Though he got his start training Quarter Horses and later branched into Appaloosas, Lewis was known as the “King of Paint Racing.”

The title was well-deserved. Paints under Lewis’ guidance logged 1,485 starts, winning 321 of those efforts, placing second 219 times and third in 196 races. Lewis is APHA’s No. 1 Lifetime Leading Trainer by races won and No. 2 for money earned by his charges, which totals nearly $2.16 million. A number of super-star Paints passed through Lewis’ program, including APHA racing world champions Awesome Jet, Treasures, Treasured Too, Texas Hero, Miss Super Dee and Texas Wildcat. The trainer logged 33 lifetime stakes race wins at Remington Park and a record-breaking six-win day at the track with his Paints in 1998.

 


Sacred Indian
1985 bay tovero stallion | Cherokee Indian x Sweet Spirit | Bred by W.E. and James Ball, Garland, Texas | Owned by Elizabeth Brewer, Brighton, Colorado

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Surging to the front of the galloping herd of yearlings, the tovero medicine hat colt seemed to know he was special, carrying himself with an air of self-assurance. Searching for a hunter-jumper prospect, Karen Banister saw those qualities too, and she soon purchased the race-bred stallion. Registered under her daughter’s ownership and named Sacred Indian—homage to the legends surrounding his markings—“Hatter” didn’t disappoint, making a name for himself as a top English and all-around performer and sire.

Accumulating nearly 500 points in 16 events, Hatter was certainly versatile. Superiors in hunter under saddle, hunter hack and jumping came in addition to 11 ROMs in events spanning racing to roping to barrel racing to Western pleasure. Crowned 1989 national champion in Hunter Hack, Hatter also earned a 1991 Cow Pony Race world championship, world championships in Jumping in 1992 and 1995 along with a reserve title in 1991, and a reserve world championship in Utility Pleasure Driving in 1990. Hatter tied for High-Point English Horse honors at the 1990 APHA World Show, and took home the same title and the Reserve All-Around Open Horse award in 1992. A Performance Versatility winner, Hatter still ranks No. 2 on APHA’s Lifetime Leaders list for Open Jumping.

 


Bill & Linda Hittle
Hugoton, Kansas

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With a deep family history rooted in Paint Horses—predating even the association itself—it seemed only natural Bill and Linda Hittle would make a name for themselves with the breed, too. Bill’s grandfather rode colorful stock horses on his Kansas ranch, and soon after Bill and Linda were married in 1963, they also got in on the action. Amid sprawling acres of fertile farmland where they raise grain crops and run a large cow-calf operation, the Hittles found a niche producing top-quality Paint Horses equally well-suited for the show ring or the ranch.

Thanks to a personal invitation from fellow Kansan and APHA founding member Claude Howard, Bill registered his first horse with APHA in 1963—that was Trigger Miss, a 1956 black overo mare. The family dove head first into the world of Paints, volunteering at the 1964 National Show and showing their own horses through the early 1970s. In 1975, Ratchett changed their lives forever. Spotted by Bill in a Nebraska pasture, Ratchett inspired the couple to develop a premier Paint breeding program around the sorrel overo stallion. Bill and Linda bred 169 registered Paints, most sired by Ratchett or his sons, and their foals proved popular commodities, often selling sight unseen to prospective buyers.

A lifetime member since 1982, Bill was elected to the Executive Committee in 1996 and served as APHA president in 2001–2002. Bill and Linda have two children—Barry and Kristina—and the couple still resides in Hugoton.


Ratchett
1975 sorrel overo stallion | Mardelle Dixon x Leo’s Silver Van (QH) | Bred by Terry McGinley, Chandler, Arizona | Owned by Bill Hittle, Hugoton, Kansas

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Ratchett was only 1 month old when Bill Hittle spied the colorful colt in a Nebraska pasture, but the Kansas horseman knew he could build a world-class breeding program around the pretty Paint. Though Ratchett wasn’t formally for sale, Bill refused to take “No” for an answer, and he finally struck a deal with breeder Terry McGinley.

Bred with racing and ranch-horse influences that were fashionable at the time, Ratchett made a name for himself as a pinnacle halter horse that could ride. Broke by Ronnie Stallings and hauled lightly by Bill as a 2-year-old, Ratchett hit the road hard as a 3-year-old under the guidance of trainers Tom and Cindy Nelson. Logging an estimated 80,000 miles that year, Ratchett closed 1978 with a number of new titles: APHA Champion, national champion 3-Year-Old Stallion and spots on the APHA Honor Roll in halter and Western pleasure. Over the course of his career, the stallion earned 272 halter points—including 83 grand champion titles—and 220 performance points in six events.

In January 1979, Ratchett was retired to the breeding barn, where he left an equally impressive mark. The sire of 373 registered foals, Ratchett’s offspring earned 5,354 halter points, more than 15,200 performance points, 31 world and national championships, and 27 reserve world and national champion titles. Among his foals are national champion Sockett, who is APHA’s No. 2 Lifetime Leading Sire of Halter Points Earned. The stallion’s final foals were born in 2001, and Ratchett died in 2002. Immortalized as a Peter Stone model horse, Ratchett’s legacy lives on through his foals.

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