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First ever Great Lakes Paint Horse Championship a smash hit

APHA’s Paint Horse Championship series made its debut in Zone 8 in May—the Great Lakes Paint Horse Championship took place May 14–15 in Cloverdale, Indiana, as part of the Great 8 Championship, where it was welcomed with open arms. More than 100 exhibitors entered classes ranging from longe line to trail, and at the end of the weekend, top exhibitors laid claim to custom Gist Silversmiths belt buckles and medallions sponsored by APHA. 

To be eligible for the Great Lakes Paint Horse Championship classes, exhibitors and horse owners must reside in Zone 8—which includes Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio—and meet other eligibility requirements. APHA sponsored awards for up to 15 Paint Horse Championship classes, with the show selecting the specific events to offer.

Show Manager Heather Pelletier was thrilled with the turnout and is looking forward to continuing to grow the Great Lakes Paint Horse Championship next year. 

“It was very successful. We had 103 entries in the buckle classes alone. I know there was a small group that came just for those classes, but their trainer convinced them to do the Youth classes as well,” Heather said. “In talking to people, some were very hesitant about Paint shows to begin with, but they made a lot of friends along the way.

“Everyone is really excited for next year. I’ve had a lot of suggestions for different classes to give other people a turn, so we’re going to rotate classes. We might add another day because the show has become so big and busy to make the schedule easier.”

 Congratulations to the following Paints and their connections: 

  • All Age Halter Mares: Drop Top Diva, exhibited by Norma Streeter Hamilton               
  • All Age Halter Geldings: Heza Cool Star, exhibited by Michael Woolsteen                         
  • Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation:  Zipped Up All The Way, exhibited by Caitlin Arthur      
  • Amateur Showmanship: Gentlemen Prefer Legs, exhibited by Vanessa Froman    
  • Amateur Trail: Struttin My Assets, exhibited by Brandy Smith                                    
  • Novice Amateur Hunt-Seat Equitation: Howie Dance, exhibited by Danielle Tester            
  • Novice Amateur Horsemanship: A Colored Investment, exhibited by Nicole Bourgeois
  • Novice Youth Showmanship: Ton Of Trouble, exhibited by Makayla Blauwkamp     
  • Novice Youth Horsemanship:  Standards Gold Watch, exhibited by Livia Hillenburg
  • Youth Hunter Under Saddle 18 & Under: Eazy On My Assets, exhibited by Madison Blauwkamp                     
  • Youth Western Pleasure 18 & Under: Eazy On My Assets, exhibited by Madison Blauwkamp  
  • All Age Hunter Under Saddle: Eazy On My Assets, exhibited by Madison Blauwkamp 
  • Longe Line: Invite A Special Lady, exhibited by Todd Olsen                                      
  • All Age Western Pleasure: Drop Top Diva, exhibited by Norma Streeter Hamilton               
  • Solid Paint-Bred Western Pleasure: Only Lillies Will Do, exhibited by Rachel Russell       


[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. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.