Erin Henderson from Albany, Oregon, has an awe-inspiring passion for halter horses. She and her husband, Matt, were both born and raised in the halter-horse world, and have been breeding, training and showing Paints together for over 10 years.
“What I love best about the halter horse industry is the fact that anybody, from being able to walk to barely being able to walk anymore, can do it,” she explained. “It really is inclusive, not exclusive.”
The Henderson team brought a full load of horses to the 2023 APHA/WCHA Halter Million. On September 30, Henderson added another title to her long list of professional accolades when she won a reserve world championship with Intentionallydesigned, a 2014 sorrel overo gelding owned by Walt and Annie Schobel of Running Springs, California. What’s special about this achievement, however, is that Henderson didn’t win it alone. She is eight months pregnant with her first child.
Showing in her late third trimester presented some extra challenges for Henderson at this year’s Halter Million, but the horsewoman says that it has also made every moment all the more rewarding.
To help commemorate the special occasion, Henderson plans to order a duplicate reserve world champion buckle for her daughter—perhaps APHA’s youngest reserve world champion.
“It’s a little more work packing around a little one, but it is so rewarding at the same time,” she said. “We are cutting it a little close expecting a little one within three weeks, but that is not stopping us from coming out here and doing what we love. My goal was to be able to say that she won a buckle before she was born, and we did it!”
[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.