Before APHA was the world’s second-largest equine breed registry with more than 1 million horses registered to date, it was an idea that took root in a horsewoman’s heart. Rebecca Tyler Lockhart had a visceral love of colorful stock-type horses, and once she saw a need to create a registry dedicated to those eye-catching horses. Once that idea took root in her mind, the horsewoman leapt into action, dusting off her boots and recruiting like-minded horsemen from around the country to rally behind her cause.
On February 16, 1962, Rebecca and 16 horsemen and -women gathered at the Curtwood Motel’s cafe in Gainesville, Texas, where they scratched out the framework for the fledgling American Paint Stock Horse Association.
“Before the day was over and after countless cups of coffee, the groundwork was laid. One after another, these individuals affixed their names to a single sheet of paper proclaiming their dedication to the breed … and to the association,” stated a May 1987 Paint Horse Journal article.
Read more about that first founders’ meeting in the Paint Horse Journal article “A Breed Apart,” originally published in the February 2012 issue.
As the association’s secretary/treasurer, Rebecca bore the burden of getting APSHA off and running. She recorded the pedigree of the first registered American Paint Horse—Bandit’s Pinto, a black-and-white tobiano owned by Flying M Ranch in McKinney, Texas—on August 11, 1962.
“I had a responsibility to a lot of people,” Rebecca said in the April 1992 Western Horseman article. “I had told them it would work, and I had to be certain that it did.”
The hard work and dedication of Rebecca and other Paint Horse pioneers promised success for the young breed. By the end of 1962, 250 Paint Horses had been registered with the APSHA, and the association counted 150 members. The APSHA became known as the American Paint Horse Association in 1965.
Today, as we celebrate the association’s 60th anniversary, APHA is the world’s second-largest equine breed registry with more than 1.1 million registered horses and more than 41,000 members around the world. For all the successes APHA and the Paint Horse breed enjoys today, credit must be given to the handful of Paint Horse enthusiasts who showed up to the Curtwood Motel on February 16, 1962, and took a chance on one horsewoman’s vision. And though the Curtwood Motel is no longer erect, a Texas Historical Marker commemorates the location as the origin of the American Paint Horse Association.
“To those farsighted individuals and to the countless others like the who have dedicated themselves to the breed and to the association, the entire membership owes a tremendous debt of gratitude. They built better than they thought,” summarized a June 1983 Journal article.
[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 in 1962. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.