For the first time in APHA history, candidates from Australia and New Caledonia made APHA’s roster of international judges, paving the way for more APHA-approved events in that region of the world.
Following the inaugural 2018 APHA horseIQ Oceania Education Summit, which took place in Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, in November, nine candidates went through the judge applicant testing process. Four were granted provisional APHA international judging cards:
- Leanne Bartlett of Canungra, Australia
- Lee Ann Hall of Kilkivan, Australia
- Jeffrey Hall of Kilkivan, Australia
- Celine Pialla-Lasbleiz of La Foa, New Caledonia
This event was made possible through the financial support of APHA, the American Paint Horse Club of Australia and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Market Access Program. APHA judge Sandy Jirkovsky—the Judges Committee chairwoman and an APHA Professional Horsewoman—was the lead instructor, assisted by APHA’s Director of International Membership Irene Stamatelakys.
“This is the first time we’ve organized a judging seminar outside of the United States or Europe,” Irene said. “The Oceania Summit attracted 15 attendees, so we were truly pleased as the participation level and international scope surpassed all our expectations.”
Seminar participants included Amateur exhibitors, equine professionals and judges carded with other associations bringing a wealth of experience to the table.
“To the best of my knowledge, we’ve never had APHA-approved judges living in Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific Islands,” Irene said. “As a result, the high cost of flying judges from the United States meant there have been very few APHA-approved events in those countries. We hope this will be a game-changer for the region going forward, and Paint owners there will have more opportunities to enjoy their horses.”
Prospective judges from outside the United States and Canada will have yet another opportunity to learn and to test at the International Equine Judges Seminar coming up at the end of January 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition, APHA tentatively plans to return to Australia with another Educational Summit in 2019 and back to Europe in 2020. For more information about future events, contact APHA Director of Shows Amanda Cormack.
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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 in 1962. APHA’s mission is to inspire, nurture, promote and provide meaningful experiences to generations interested in preserving the versatile Paint Horse.