Photos by International Horse Press
In a series of historic firsts, U.S. Ambassador to France Denise Bauer visited the 2022 NRHA European Futurity May 28 and rode an American Paint Horse after APHA extended an invitation to the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
Taking place about an hour south of Paris at BO Ranch, Ambassador Bauer toured the “French cathedral of reining,” visited with European Paint Horse owners, watched the competition and saw firsthand a beautiful example of American agriculture exports—horses foaled in the United States or produced using imported genetics.
Ambassador Bauer also took a Paint Horse stallion for a spin. After watching his rider, 9-year-old Emanuel Gebert of Germany, demonstrate reining maneuvers with “Lotti,” the ambassador took the reins and received a short lesson from Emanuel’s father, reining trainer Markus Gebert. A horse lover and equestrienne, Ambassador Bauer walked, jogged and learned to spin on the 9-year-old bay overo. Lotti was produced using genetics imported from the U.S. and foaled in Germany.
Originally, Austria was selected to host the 2022 NRHA European Futurity, until the sudden passing of event organizer Otto Ziehfreund last December. After a brief hunt for a new location, BO Ranch owners Gregory and Claire Morat stepped up to welcome one of Europe’s most prestigious reining events to France for the first time.
In another first, Chrome Cash debuted at the NRHA European Futurity. Thanks to Chrome Cash incentives, APHA paid out $10,000 USD in added prize money exclusively to registered Paint Horses and APHA members in four classes. (Full results coming soon.)
APHA President Melanie Cox-Dayhuff and APHA Executive Director Billy Smith spoke at length with Ambassador Bauer on the importance of the international market for U.S. Paint Horse breeders, as well as the impact on the U.S. economy.
“Horses are the only agricultural product that feeds the soul,” Billy said. “They bring us together and create unique connections that cross borders and jump language barriers. The American Paint Horse is an excellent ambassador for U.S. agricultural products.”
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
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 promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.