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Changemakers honored at APHA Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet

The Paint Horse family is large, with members and horses found far and wide throughout the world. And while every member is important to the health and function of APHA, a few go above and beyond that call of duty to make long-lasting impacts on the breed. It is with great honor that APHA recognized the contributions of these outstanding individuals, clubs and horses at the APHA Hall of Fame & Awards Banquet, which took place February 28 at the 2016 APHA Convention in Richmond, Virginia.

Judge Emeritus
The newly created Judge Emeritus Award recognizes outstanding judges who have dedicated their careers to judging APHA-approved events; upon their retirement from the judging pen, recipients receive a commemorative trophy and customized Gist Silversmiths belt buckle.

2015 honorees include:

  • John Abrams, Edmond, Oklahoma
  • Burton Butler, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Jim Coones, Riverview, Florida
  • C.W. Englund, Cashion, Arizona
  • Jim Frazier, Purcell, Oklahoma
  • Linda Norton-Neely, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Duke Neff, Pleasant Hill, Missouri
  • John Rodgers, Culleoka, Tennessee
  • Tim Ternes, Sheffield Lake, Ohio
  • H. Fain Yearty, Holt, Florida

“We are so proud to have the opportunity to honor these leaders in our industry,” APHA Director of Judges Dave Dellin said. “They all have shown the character, commitment and discipline to blaze a path in judging that the rest of us are following.”

Distinguished Service Award
APHA member, breeder and Missouri Paint Horse Club founding member Clea Bobbitt of Eldon, Missouri. Clea Bobbitt is a longtime Paint Horse advocate who tirelessly works to promote the Paint Horse breed and APHA. It is for those roles and more that Clea was honored with APHA’s Distinguished Service Award.

Dedicated to both the breed and the association on the local, regional and national levels, Clea has been instrumental in the success of her regional club, as well as a valued national director and committee member. Her friendly and gregarious nature has made her a valuable asset to the association, and many APHA members count her as friend, mentor and cheerleader.

“Clea represents all that is right about APHA,” APHA Executive Director Billy Smith said. “If her energy and optimism were a virus, I’d hope we could all catch it.”
Exemplary Clubs

Every year, outstanding regional clubs are recognized with two premier designations: the President’s Club of Distinction award and the Gold Star Club award.

The Gold Star Club program is the first tier of regional club excellence—these clubs go above and beyond minimum regional club requirements, offering a variety of activities to encourage more participation from Paint enthusiasts who enjoy the camaraderie of their peers. The President’s Club of Distinction consideration is given to all Gold Star-designated clubs, and selected recipients embody the spirit of outstanding promotion and public service to their members, communities and APHA.

2015 President’s Clubs of Distinction recipients are:

  • Arizona Paint Horse Club
  • Southwest Washington Paint Horse Club
  • Texas Paint Horse Club
  • Virginia Paint Horse Club
  • Washington State Paint Horse Club
  • New England Paint Horse Club—Honorable Mention Recipient
  • Garden State Paint Horse Club—Honorable Mention Recipient

2015 Gold Star Club recipients are:

  • Indiana Paint Horse Club
  • Paint Horse Club Germany

APHA Hall of Fame
_dec4453Created in 2012 to coincide with APHA’s 50th anniversary, the association’s Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding horsemen and Paint Horses who have left a lasting impact on the fabric of the Paint Horse breed, the industry and the association. The fourth class of Hall of Fame inductees included the following 10 outstanding representatives.

  • Henry & Linda Bowlan

Tecumseh, Oklahoma

  • Jim & Roann Cartwright

Houston, Texas 

  • Bill & Linda Hittle

Hugoton, Kansas

  • Cotton Rosser

Marysville, California

  • Lewis Wartchow

Fitzhugh, Oklahoma

  • Bonnie Smoke

1981 sorrel tobiano mare, owned by Kelly Pritchett, Red Bluff, California

  • Delta Flyer

1982 sorrel tobiano stallion, owned by the Delta Flyer Syndicate, Huntsville, Texas

  • Rhett Butler

1959 black tobiano stallion, owned by Roann Cartwright, Houston, Texas

  • Ratchett

1975 sorrel overo stallion, owned by Bill Hittle, Hugoton, Kansas

  • Sacred Indian

1985 bay tovero stallion, owned by Elizabeth Brewer, Brighton, Colorado

“Part of our calling as APHA members is to remember the past and honor those who have made today’s APHA possible,” Executive Director Billy Smith said. “The honorees of the 2015 Hall of Fame class have certainly helped make APHA the world-class association it is today.”

Congratulations to all of our 2015 special award recipients. To learn more about each individual honor, click on the links below this story.

_dec4554Youth Support
Throughout the 2016 APHA Convention, attendees have had opportunities to donate to the American Paint Horse Foundation’s Youth scholarship initiatives—that included a silent auction, a raffle featuring two handcrafted Elite Custom Saddles and charitable giving opportunities during the APHA Hall of Fame & Awards Ceremony. All told, the APHF raised more than $18,000 earmarked for Youth scholarships and the Hall of Fame fund at this year’s Convention, thanks to the generosity of APHA members.


[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.] 

About APHA
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded in 1962. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.