2021 APHF Hall of Fame Inductees
Kenny & Pauli Crull
Lifelong horsemen Kenny and Pauli Crull found their paths intertwined with the fledgling Paint breed in the late 1960s, and it was through the organization that they met, married and founded Crull Paint Horses in Monticello, Indiana.
After showing a friend’s Paint Horse, Pauli says she liked the people and the horses so much that she decided to purchase one of her own. The lucky horse was Hojo, a 1966 bay overo gelding that Pauli campaigned to an APHA Champion title, the breed’s first Performance Versatility award, a reserve national championship in hunter under saddle, and the association’s 13thSuperior All-Around title.
Kenny worked as a mechanic and helped found the Michigan Paint Horse Club in 1967 and served as its first president. Pauli focused her efforts as a professional trainer, but both shared a love of Paint Horses. They first met at the 1977 APHA Convention and married later that year. The couple moved to a small farm in Indiana, where they launched a business centered around breeding, training and showing Paints.
In 1982, they purchased the young stallion Classys Norfleet, who went on to sire more than 100 foals. His offspring included national champion Ollie Norfleet, who became the cornerstone of the Crull’s program. Kenny and “Ollie” earned an APHA Amateur Champion title and a world championship at halter. Pauli showed the stallion in Open events, securing his APHA Champion, Performance Versatility and Superior All-Around titles. He went on to sire almost 250 foals, including multiple world champion titleholders.
Both Kenny and Pauli served as APHA national directors and members of various advisory committees, and Pauli was instrumental in developing the association’s Amateur program. In 2006, she was honored with the Distinguished Service Award. An APHA judge since 2001, Pauli retired as a judge emeritus in 2020. Kenny passed away in 2018, and Pauli remains committed to APHA.
“They have been tireless ambassadors for the Paint Horse breed. Showing, training, breeding and selling Paint Horses, they have been able to make their small five-acre farm a household name,” fellow horseman Clint Fullerton said. “They were ahead of their time by representing what the APHA breeders’ landscape looks like today in a time of large breeding operations dominating the scene. This is an honor for them, an honor to Kenny’s legacy and an honor and example to small breeders everywhere.”
Cliff & Martha Johnson
Kansas City, Missouri
Some called them the “backbone of APHA in the Midwest,” but one thing is certain: if there was a job that needed to be done, Cliff and Martha Johnson of Kansas City, Missouri, were there to lend a hand.
Though Cliff first got involved with Appaloosas, he switched his focus to Paints in 1970 and the Johnson family never looked back. They dedicated themselves to promoting APHA, which included helping develop the Missouri and Mo-Kan Paint Horse clubs, running the APHA booth at events like the annual National FFA Convention, and helping coordinate the 1975 National Show and 1995 APHA Convention in Kansas City.
“Cliff and Martha both dedicated many long hours, days and years to APHA; they were avid supporters of the breed and were constantly promoting it,” said their son, James Johnson. “No matter what you needed, they were there.”
Owner and operators of Horse Trailer Sales and Repair, the Johnson family was entrenched in chrome at home, too, where colorful horse dotted their pastures. They raised nearly 100 Paint foals, including many sired by Durn Scooter, their 1971 sorrel tobiano stallion who created his own a legacy as a Western riding powerhouse with Martha in the saddle. Durn Scooter was inducted into the APHA Hall of Fame in 2021.
Beyond their own backyard, Cliff and Martha were longtime APHA leaders on the national stage. Cliff was an APHA judge for 27 years and served more than 30 years as a national director. Both shared their insight as valued members of various APHA advisory committees. In 1997, Cliff and Martha were honored as APHA’s Distinguished Service Award recipients. Cliff died in 2006, but not before leaving a lasting impression on the Paint community far and wide.
“They were the ‘go-to folks’ for everything. If they saw a need, they saw it was filled,” fellow APHA member Ann Jones said. “It wasn’t about them; it was about the wonderful, glorious Paint Horse and the people who loved them.”