Earlier this month, APHA Executive Committee members approved a charter application for the China Paint Horse Association, making it the association’s first affiliate in East Asia.
While the number of APHA members and horses registered to Chinese owners is relatively small, interest in Paint Horses and Western riding is growing, particularly among parents and children. An Tao, a long-time Paint Horse enthusiast, has been working for years to bring American horses to China and promote Western riding in the country. He is one of the affiliate’s founding members and leader.
“For me as the first Chinese president, I think the timing is right this year to introduce the American Paint Horse to China,” he said.
The club plans to work to promote the breed and boost the popularity of Paints in China, with a focus on attracting more youth to Western riding.
“We want to drive more teenagers to choose Paint Horses and encourage more frequent exchanges between Chinese and American equestrians,” An said.
Reining is increasing in popularity as well, and the Chinese hope to begin competing in reining events both at home and abroad in the near future.
“We are delighted to welcome the China Paint Horse Association to the APHA family,” said Irene Stamatelakys, APHA’s director of international membership. “They are a great group of people who are truly passionate about Paints. We’re looking forward to working with the CPHA to offer more educational opportunities and activities for Paint Horse owners and young riders, whether they currently own horses or not.”
Twenty percent of APHA members live outside of the U.S. With the recent addition of China, APHA has 14 international affiliates as well as seven in Canada. To find an APHA club near you, visit our website. To contact the China Paint Horse Association, send an email or WeChat message to An Tao (WeChat ID: athorse).
[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.