2020 APHF Hall of Fame Inductees
1971 sorrel tobiano stallion | Gill’s Q Ton x Miss Scooter Cliff & Martha Johnson, Kansas City, Missouri
Durn Scooter defined versatility of the Paint Horse throughout the 1970s and ’80s—the 1971 sorrel tobiano stallion was a powerhouse performer, accumulating 1,524 lifetime points in 11 Open and Amateur events. Bred by Dr. Charles Bloomquist of Castle Rock, Colorado, Durn Scooter was purchased by Cliff and Martha Johnson of Kansas City, Missouri, as a yearling and was part of their family for the rest of his life.
In particular, Durn Scooter was a Western riding powerhouse. He was APHA’s Open Western Riding national champion in 1975 and world champion in 1985, and took home the reserve national championship in 1976 and 1982. And paired with Martha, Durn Scooter also earned 1982 and 1990 reserve national championship in Amateur Western Riding. An APHA Champion and Performance Versatility winner, Durn Scooter earned APHA’s 18th Superior All-Around award in 1980. All told, the stallion tallied nine Superiors and 18 Registers of Merit. According to the May 1981 Paint Horse Journal, Durn Scooter was the breed’s highest point-earning performance horse from 1966–1980.
“Everyone always asked how I trained him to do the things he did, especially Western riding, but the secret was I didn’t train him—he trained me,” Martha Johnson Stull said. “His athletic ability, endurance, heart and disposition made his small stature irrelevant. Durn Scooter was a once-in-a-lifetime horse.”
The sire of 106 foals, Durn Scooter had 23 offspring earn APHA show records of their own; they accumulated nearly 600 halter points and more than 2,100 performance points. He passed his love of showing, his elegant lead changes and calm nature to his foals, says James Johnson, son of Cliff and Martha. Among his top performers were Scooter’s Skychief, a 1977 tobiano gelding who was his sire’s highest point-earning offspring with 881 points and earner of a Superior All-Around Champion title as well. Durn Scooter died in September 2002 at age 31.
Ima Gallant Jet
1990 chestnut overo stallion | Jetamatic x Hugable Dixon Mike Holloway, Brandon, Mississippi
With a bald face and four even, high-white stockings, the cherry red chestnut overo Ima Gallant Jet stood out in APHA competition throughout the 1990s. Shown at halter as a yearling, “Jet” earned 58 points and stood grand four times and was reserve on 13 occasions. But his true calling was as a performance horse, and his debut at age 2 kicked off nearly 10 years of domination as an all-around performer.
Jet’s greatest strength was in Western pleasure, counting for 1,507 of his 4,251 lifetime points. He brought a modern twist to the event, and Mike Holloway, who owned the stallion for most of his life, says Jet changed the Western pleasure landscape for the Paint breed.
With Melissa Dukes, Jet took home a pair of 1994 world championships in Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation and Western Horsemanship. And later with Elizabeth “Spike” Roberts Brewer in the saddle, the duo clinched the No. 1 Amateur titles for 1996 and 1998. He closed his career with two Performance Versatility titles, 15 Superiors and 30 Registers of Merit. When he retired in 1999, Jet was the lifetime point leader for Amateur Western pleasure.
As a sire, Jet sired 182 foals, with 63 of them earning more than 21,000 APHA points, five world championships and seven reserve world championships. Among his most notable offspring are Ima Huggable Jet, a multiple world champion with more than 7,000 lifetime points; world champion Ima Gallant Titan, who has more than 3,500 lifetime points; and Jets Smokin Jose, with more than 1,500 lifetime points. Jet died in April 2003 at age 13.
1997 sorrel overo stallion | Socketts Imprint x Squeezin N Pleazin Pamela Medford, Terrebonne, Oregon
Breeder Robert Haas Jr. set out to produce the best in the halter world, and RH Imprinted is certainly part of his success story. The product of one of his first top stallions, Socketts Imprint, and the Mr Conclusion mare Squeezin N Pleazin (QH), RH Imprinted was a statuesque frame overo stallion who commanded attention wherever he went.
After winning his first halter world championship as a 2-year-old in 1999, RH Imprinted was sold to Roland Bartels, who added a 2001 Amateur halter world championship to his resume. The stallion also captured the 2001 Open Aged Stallions world championship as well, and returned to claim his fourth world championship in 2005, when he was under the ownership of the RH Imprinted LLC syndicate. RH Imprinted as purchased in June 2009 by Pamela Medford’s Buffalo Creek Paint & Quarter Horses. She had previously partnered on the stallion as part of the RH Imprinted LLC.
“When Imprinted was led from his stall, I was absolutely stunned and shocked by the awesome beauty, conformation, musculature and calm disposition of this horse. I instantly fell in love—in my mind, he was as perfect as any horse I had ever seen. Over the years, I saw first-hand the quality of his progeny,” Pam said. “RH Imprinted was one of a kind. I miss him even today. He was truly a giant among horses.”
RH Imprinted left an equally strong impression on the Paint world as a breeding stallion, siring 378 foals. More than one-third have earned APHA show records, including 20 who have collectively earned 34 world championships, along with earned of 39 reserve world championships. The stallion was euthanized in November 2010 at age 13.
Shes Doolins Nikita
2001 black tobiano mare | Doolins Hotrodder x Miss Conchita Bar (QH) Alena Helmcke, Appel, Germany
From the moment Alena Helmcke set eyes on Shes Doolins Nikita as a foal, the young horsewoman knew the mare was special. Alena was just 12 at the time, but she instantly recognized the calm, cool potential in the tobiano weanling. If the mare was anything like her sister Doolins Cascarita, also owned by Alena, she was certain to go on to big things.
The hunch paid off, and it wasn’t long before “Niki” jogged her way into the spotlight. Primarily trained and exclusively showed by Alena, Niki earned 1,431 lifetime APHA points, two Performance Versatility titles, 12 Superiors and 16 Registers of Merit. At the European Paint Horse Championships, Niki also earned 14 gold medals, 10 silvers and eight bronzes over her lifetime.
Tragically, Niki passed away after delivering her first foal, Hot Intent, in 2013. At the time of her death, Niki held the record for the most medals earned at the European Paint Horse Championships, and she was inducted in the Paint Horse Club Germany’s hall of fame. Now, Niki is the first European horse to be inducted into the APHA Hall of Fame as well.
“She always had fun doing her job,” Alena said. “She always had her ears forward, waiting for her next job. She seemed to say, ‘What are we going to do now?
“She was not only a horse, but a friend, a part of me, my inspiration and my drive. The countless beautiful memories remain unforgotten.”
Dr. John & Anita Hertner
Time flies when you’re having fun, and both John and Anita Hertner have had plenty of that over their years with APHA and their Paints.
Sharing a love of horses, the couple met while attending college in Colorado, and they married in 1966. Introduced to the Paint world in the late 1960s, the couple jumped in as owners, exhibitors, breeders and leaders, and they’ve never looked back. They moved to Nebraska in 1974, where John took a job as a professor after finishing his doctorate.
The couple balanced work and show life deftly, often leaving for a Paint show after classes concluded on Friday and hauling back home late on Sunday to make it back in time for John’s Monday morning lectures. Fly Skip Fly, a chestnut tobiano stallion, was born in 1974, and he became a cornerstone of the Hertners’ showing and breeding efforts; a Superior All-Around earner, “Fly” sired 116 foals.
Involved with the Nebraska Paint Horse Club, the Hertners soon expanded their involvement to APHA’s national body. In additional to several decades spent as national directors, John and Anita also served on numerous APHA advisory committees. John was elected to the APHA Executive Committee in 1991 and was the 1996 APHA president; he later served as the American Paint Horse Foundation president too, and was APHA’s parliamentarian for 20 years.
Anita’s passion for recreational riding is palatable, and she was influential in developing opportunities for those enthusiasts within APHA. She’s attended every APHA Fort Robinson trail ride and served as chairman of the Recreational Riding Committee since its inception. She also spent more than 25 years as a 4-H horse leader. Together, the Hertners’ wisdom and enthusiasm have been vital to the association.
A wheeler-and-dealer—fostered by a lifetime spent in the car dealership business—Dick Sell brought the same philosophy to his Paint Horse operation. In his late 20s at the time, Dick and his wife, Willa, moved from Wisconsin to Colorado in 1954, which afforded Dick the opportunity to realize a lifelong dream of owning horses. Experimenting first with Appaloosas and Quarter Horses, Dick soon transitioned to Paint Horses, realizing there was untapped opportunity that came from producing horses with chrome. He purchased several broodmares from W. L. Miller and produced his first foal crop in 1961, which included the foaling of future superstar and APHA Hall of Famer Adios Amigos.
Harkening back to his salesman roots, Dick didn’t hold onto horses long and knew he needed to help create demand for his product—his focus was halter quality that could also perform, he said in a January 1997 Paint Horse Journal article. Working with fellow breeders like Jack Campbell, Dick helped establish the Rocky Mountain Paint Horse Association.
In the late ’60s, the Sells relocated to California, and it was there that legendary stallions passed through the horseman’s program, including Gambling Man, Mr Robin Boy and Painted Robin Jr. From that came top-quality foals that made their own legacies, such as Real Impressive, Our Annie Robin, Obsesed To Impress and Perpetualized, who reportedly fetched the highest price ever paid for a Paint weanling when he was sold to Betty and Jerry Wells, according to the PHJ article. “Raising quality Paint Horses, going to shows and dealing with people in the business were the happiest years of my father’s life,” daughter Cynthia Sell Allen wrote.
“We treasure the many belt buckles, titles and awards he earned during his career breeding and showing his beloved Paint Horses,” said son Mike Sell. He was honored and humbled just to be nominated to the APHA Hall of Fame.”
Dick passed away in 2019 at age 92.
Practically raised on the back of a horse, trotting across the land composing her father’s Kansas ranch, Wanda West was a lifelong horse lover. Her passion for the graceful animals—especially those whose flashy white markings made them especially cherished—never waned, and Wanda fostered the same in generations of her family and others.
Wanda and husband Bill established B&W Quarter Horse and Paint Ranch in Abilene, Kansas, in the early 1970s, which included breeding, raising and showing Paints. Some of their notable horses included national champions Barlink Spade Spot, Ms Dandy Supreme—Wanda’s all-time favorite—and Bourbon Street, along with world champions Bourbon Street Lady and Bourbon St Style.
Known for her spirit and indelible work ethic, Wanda managed a dress shop and ran the Wests’ grocery store business while also tackling the chores that come with ranch life. Along the way, she still found time to mentor local 4-H youth and enthusiastically helped others immerse themselves in the horse community.
That passion for helping others eventually led Wanda to APHA leadership, where she served as a national director or alternate and committee member for 25 years. The horsewoman also served as president and vice president of the Kansas Paint Horse Association for 10 years, was an active leader for the World Wide Paint Horse Congress and was a founding member of the APHA Zone 3 Committee.
“Horses were Wanda’s passion—particularly the American Paint Horse,” said Wanda’s grandson, APHA President Casey West. “She devoted countless hours to APHA, the Kansas Paint Horse Association and many fellow horse lovers without expecting anything in return.”
Wanda died in June 2019 at age 85, but not before leaving an indelible mark on the fabric of APHA.