For Lori Buschbacher of Springtown, Texas, being a part of APHA is about more than a communal love of horses with chrome—it’s about networking with a community of likeminded equestrians willing to help others in the Paint community. At the 2016 APHA World Championship Show, Lori discovered just how far that helping hand extends.
A barrel racer at heart, Lori headed to Fort Worth to compete in the Paint Barrel Racing Incentive Program Sweepstakes with Smokin Guns N Roses, her 2003 bay tobiano gelding. She also planned to test the waters of another class—Tobiano Color—the following day, at least until an unanticipated personal conflict pulled her away from the show.
“I was unable to show due to a work emergency, and my husband, who is activity duty military, was unable to show ‘Caliber’ because he had to report back to duty after two-weeks’ vacation; he’s spent the last six months overseas,” Lori said. “Though I live here in Texas, my husband is stationed in South Carolina.”
Friend Mary Anne Black, Caliber’s breeder and an APHA national director from Idaho, rallied around Lori and used her APHA connections to help find someone to show the tobiano in his November 6 class. Halter trainer Jamie Lanoue of Hockley, Texas—a U.S. Air Force veteran himself—agreed to take the lead and show Caliber.
“Jamie didn’t bat an eye about Caliber being a barrel horse; he actually encouraged me to show him in the new performance halter classes, too,” Lori said. “On Monday morning, Jamie’s team went to work, made Caliber beautiful and then showed; they ended up ninth overall!”
For Lori, the biggest surprise came when they tried to pay Jamie for his assistance.
“Jamie ran his hand down Caliber’s neck and back and said, ‘This is from one military family to another,’ ” Lori said; the trainer refused to accept payment. “Jamie only met me for 10 minutes and treated my horse as one of his own; he didn’t care that he wasn’t a world champion halter horse. He was willing to help out. Jamie showed me that it’s not always about filling your pocket with dollar bills; it’s about helping others achieve their goals.”
For Jamie, the decision was a no-brainer.
“I was just glad I could help out a fellow military person and have the opportunity to give back a little,” he said. “I’ve been in that situation, too, and had instances where people have helped me out when I needed it. This was just my way of paying that back.”
[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 creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.