Designed to showcase talented Paint Horses, attract new exhibitors and provide additional incentives for longtime competitors within the zone, the inaugural Northeast Paint Horse Championship did all that and more August 9-10.
Taking place in conjunction with the Northeast Connection Zone 7 Zone-O-Rama, a well-established Paint Horse show that was one of the Top 20 competitions in the country in 2013, the Northeast Paint Horse Championship featured a select slate of 17 classes designed to recognize and reward exhibitors who reside in the northeastern United States. Championship classes were selected by the Zone 7 show based on popularity in the region.
To be eligible for the Northeast Championship classes, exhibitors and the horses’ owners were required to live in Zone 7—Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia—and be current APHA members. Also, neither horse nor exhibitor may have placed in the Top 10 of a halter or performance class at the APHA World Championship Show within the last five years.
Northeast champions received beautiful custom Gist Silversmiths trophy buckles, and medallions were awarded to second- through 10th-place exhibitors. Awards were sponsored by APHA.
Alison Umberger, a member of the Northeast Paint Horse Championship committee and APHA national director, says the championship format was a hit.
“I was very happy with the inaugural Northeast Championship classes,” she said. “Interest in the classes grew throughout the weekend, and they provided a great showcase for the talented horses and riders of Zone 7. It was wonderful to see so many proud, smiling faces showing off their championship buckles around the show grounds.”
The Northeast Paint Horse Championship was one of two pilot events taking place in 2014; the second event, the Northwest Paint Horse Championship, takes place August 15-17 in Albany, Oregon.
“I would like to thank APHA for allowing Zone 7 to pilot the Northeast Championship concept this year,” Alison said. “I think these championship classes are a great complement to a zone show and hope to see the program continue and expand.”
“I absolutely loved the idea of the classes. It was such a nice idea and an awesome experience. My horse, My Zippers Dirty, and I won a buckle, and I am so thrilled about it,” she said. “Thank you for doing these classes and this whole championship. It means a lot to me and the other residents who were able to compete for the championship buckles. Overall I would say the Northeast Championship was an incredible experience and a complete success!”
Unofficial results of the inaugural Northeast Paint Horse Championship are as follows:
- Open Halter Mares, All Ages—Her Style Is Blue, exhibited by Adina Barnett, owned by Clint Walker and Adina Barnett
- Open Halter Geldings, All Ages—Blacklist (pictured right), exhibited and owned by Dale Brelsford
- Amateur Halter Mares, All Ages—Her Style Is Blue, exhibited by Adina Barnett, owned by Clint Walker and Adina Barnett
- Amateur Halter Geldings, All Ages—Blacklist, exhibited and owned by Dale Brelsford
- Youth Halter Mares, All Ages—My Zippers Dirty (pictured right), exhibited by Grace Murtagh, owned by Trish Leahy-Murtagh
- Youth Halter Geldings, All Ages—The Big Maneuver, owned and exhibited by Sydney Schmidt
- Open Western Pleasure—Instinctively Dirty, exhibited by Marty Dixon, owned by Jeannie Lipphard
- Open Hunter Under Saddle—Totall Darkness, exhibited by Erin Fick, owned by Carla Perri
- Open Trail—Dun Hot Roddin, exhibited by Emily Corbitt, owned by Claire Silver
- Amateur Western Pleasure—Sudenly Sophisticated, exhibited by Adam Deardorff, owned by Carol Staub
- Amateur Western Horsemanship—Sudenly Sophisticated, exhibited by Adam Deardorff, owned by Carol Staub
- Amateur Hunter Under Saddle—All Rights Reserved, exhibited by Brandy Barniak, owned by Julie and Brandy Barniak
- Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation—Back In Luv, exhibited and owned by Danielle Mangamaro
- Youth Western Pleasure—Your Invited Too, exhibited and owned by Madison Messick
- Youth Western Horsemanship—Your Invited Too, exhibited and owned by Madison Messick
- Youth Hunter Under Saddle—Krymsunized, exhibited and owned by Kylee John
- Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation—Krymsunized, exhibited and owned by Kylee John
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.