By Abigail Boatwright
Longtime Paint owner Stephanie Moss-Stahl of Berryton, Kansas, has always wanted to compete at the APHA World Championship Show. But when this year’s youth and open shows combined, it seemed like the perfect time to take the leap. Both Stephanie and her son, 17-year-old Robert Moss, will be competing with their weanling filly V Va Voom, “Kandi,” and yearling gelding Virtuosso, “Louie,” in halter classes, and she is thrilled for the opportunity.
“Our trainer, Lindsay Black, said, ‘There’s room in the trailer,’ so we made sure it was filled with both people and horses, and we said, ‘Let’s go!’” Stephanie said.
Purchased from Kellie Nihiser, bay overo Louie and chestnut overo Kandi each have their own personalities, and they’ve bonded with the family, Stephanie says.
“My son will go in their stalls when they’re lying down, and when he pets them, they lean back and put their head on his legs,” Stephanie said. “It’s like they’re just another part of the family. But they do know when they see the lights, it’s game time to stand and shine. They like having jobs.”
Between Stephanie, 17-year-old Robert, and trainer Lindsay, they’ve entered every futurity, Amateur, Youth and Open class available for their horses. They’re also going to observe all they can throughout the show.
“Because my son was also able to come, we were going to go in every halter class we could find,” Stephanie said. “Even though we predominantly show halter, we love to watch the other classes because our halter horses will be riders soon.”
Being able to show at the World Show is incredibly meaningful for the 30-year Paint owner and competitor.
“I’m speechless,” Stephanie said. “This is the best in the world, and people come from everywhere. I don’t know if you could compare it to the Emmy’s or the Grammys, but it’s just the best of the best. It’s like the greatest show on earth. Like the big top, but with horses.”
Stephanie’s daughter Tori Moss, 19, is joining her mom and brother in Fort Worth to as their official show groom. The family plans to stay for a week and looks forward to experiencing all that the World Show has to offer.
“The fact that we’re able to come and meet our friends we have on Facebook, getting to put a name and a face with someone you’ve messaged with but never met in person—the people that I never would have met if it weren’t for my horses, brings this all together,” Stephanie said. “And it sounds silly, but I’m most excited about seeing the stall set ups, the walk into the tunnel and all the vendors. It’s like a world within itself.”
[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. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.