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Destin Tonkin chases Supreme Champion dreams at the 2022 Halter Million

“We are hoping to follow in the footsteps of ‘Chica,’ ” Destin Tonkin said.
It’s a lofty dream, especially when “Chica” is Macho Town Chica, APHA’s last APHA Supreme Champion winner, a title she earned in 2002. Destin owns the mare, along with two of her offspring. She brought Chica’s final foal, Chicas Last Initials, to compete at the 2022 APHA/WCHA Halter Million in Fort Worth, Texas.
After Chicas Last Initials—“Lizzie”—was born, Chica suffered a uterine rupture. Veterinarians gave the mare just a 10 percent chance of survival, but the resilient Chica persevered, thanks to the care of Idaho Equine and Dr. Liz Scott.
“A couple of days post foaling, she just crashed. She had 10-15 gallons of blood in her abdomen. They put her on blood stopper, they kept her for two weeks and she survived,” Destin said. “They saved her, but obviously she’s done having babies.”
“That’s how Lizzie got her barn name,” chimed Linda Sanders, Destin’s mother. “Dr. Liz Scott is the vet that took care of her and saved Chica’s life.”
With Chica enjoying retirement amid Destin’s green pastures at home in Eagle, Idaho, Destin’s focus has shifted to Lizzie, a 2021 sorrel overo filly out of Initials Only (QH), and 3-year-old Istylin Baby Blues, a 2019 chestnut overo gelding by Istyle. She enlisted Matt and Erin Henderson of Albany, Oregon, to help prepare Lizzie for the Halter Million. Both Destin and her 13-year-old daughter, Gracie, showed Lizzie, netting several Top Fives and Top 10s. Chica was a late bloomer at halter, Destin recalls, so she expects Lizzie’s best years to be ahead of her, too.
And while they’re casually eyeing the possibility of another Supreme Champion in the future, Destin and Linda are honored to be a part of Chica’s APHA legacy.
“Everything is so specialized these days. All-arounds are king of a dying sport, but we’re not ready to hang it up. Chica wasn’t just a one shot wonder. She actually reproduces her quality and passes it on,” Destin said. “It’s important to us to keep it going and keep those stories alive. Who knows if there will be a 41? It would be really cool if one of her babies were No. 41.”

[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 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.