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International exhibitors win big at APHA E-Shows

The June 1 APHA E-Show marked a special accomplishment—the first time an international exhibitor has won both the APHA E-Show High-Point and Paint High-Point Exhibitor award. Anita Newbigging from Mount Brydges, Ontario, Canada, earned the titles with her 2015 brown solid gelding Too Sleepy Tonight, with whom she’s competed in 18 classes at three APHA E-Shows. So far, they have earned 16 Paint Alternative Competition credits and more than $500 in cash and gift certificates for their E-Shows participation.

International exhibitors represent about 13 percent of the APHA E-Shows competition and that number continues to climb; E-Shows gives these international exhibitors a platform to compete head-to-head with other exhibitors from across the world from the comfort of their home barn. We chatted with Anita about her E-Show experiences and what keeps her coming back:


What drew you to compete in APHA E-Shows?

Anita: I am new to competing in the all-around events; I had purchased a dual-registered gelding, Too Sleepy Tonight, as an unbroke 3-year-old and had planned over the past two years to show him at APHA and AQHA shows in all-around events. With COVID-19 and shows being canceled, APHA E-Shows seemed like a great way to familiarize myself to a new association.

What do you love about APHA E-Shows? 

Anita: My favorite part of E-Shows is that I am able to show with exhibitors across the world. I can meet new exhibitors virtually and have more experiences with new people and horses that otherwise I would never have had the opportunity to show with. By showing in the same circles, I find that I can get a bit complacent since I know exactly how hard to show or where I can be lax. Also, since “Potter” and I are relatively new to the all-around events, we are still learning a lot about patterns and penalties. This has allowed us to make mistakes and make corrections at a much lower cost than if we were to haul to a show and pay the fees associated with a physical horse show. Payouts are always an asset, too!

The E-Shows are a great way for any level of rider or horse experience to get involved with showing and to have the option to have a critique if the exhibitor does not have a coach available at the time. I think overall, it could increase exhibitor attendance once restrictions lift.

Can you speak on the “exhibitor experience” for an APHA E-Show?

Anita: The “E-Show Video Day” looks much different today than my first attempt in May. Recently, I contacted Adam Winter with Winter Performance Horses in Michigan. As lead up to the show day, which is usually a Saturday spent videoing all classes, I practice and video the elements of the patterns and email them to Adam. Adam reviews them and forward his critique back to me; by show day, I am feeling prepared and confident that the elements of the pattern will flow.

I tend to create a “show day” feeling but without the glitz. Potter will get a bath, clip and banding but I do not get too involved with the face makeup on him or myself. I think it still gives the feel of the horse show but without the fine details. It is more about the experience and testing where the last week of riding has paid off or not while maintaining our competitive edge. And that is what brings me back each month—as a “do-it-yourself Amateur,” the APHA E-Shows team is great to work with and very patient with questions. But on top of that the E-Shows offer me something to work on every week in anticipation of the next E-Show.”

What has been your biggest learning experience while participating in APHA E-Shows?

Anita: My No. 1 lesson learned: if the pattern is good on the first attempt, it tends not to get better and taking multiple videos is not beneficial for anyone—horse, rider or video person. The first E-Show I competed in took seven hours to do the videos; now I can get all of them—usually five classes, shot in one day—done in three hours with tack changes and warm up. The most difficult part of the E-Shows is finding a person that is willing to video. Be nice to your video person—my mom and husband are very patient people.

Also, it has definitely fast-tracked where my comfort level is showing. This is a great venue for all riders—novice or open—to test where the training is without the added expense of traveling to a show.

What does it mean for you as an international E-Show exhibitor to be competing in this virtual environment with people all over the world?

Anita: Since accredited APHA judges are used, it is nice to know that by showing with people around the world at E-Shows, I am certainly more confident going to a show that is outside of my region and to know that my horse and I can fit in.

What does it mean to you to be able to earn PAC credits through E-Shows?

Anita: Receiving PAC credit through E-Shows has been a great asset. PAC provides a show record and awards on my horse when otherwise, he would not have received credit for successes at E-Shows. Wholeheartedly, I believe everyone wants to earn a record for the horse and exhibitor if it is available.”

Why should others take part in APHA’s E-Shows?

Anita: Coming from an area where climate is not very cooperative from November to March for riding and showing, this allows me to show at home and not worry about bad weather and traveling. This can extend our show season and keep the industry motivated and moving. Owners working their horses means farriers are working, trainers are working and promotes overall good mental health for exhibitors during these difficult times.

The COVID restrictions will lift at some point, and E-Shows will allow the horse and exhibitor to not have the “first horse show of the year” jitters and rusty areas that have normally been worked out when allowed to actually go to a physical horse show. This experience has allowed me to “meet” and show with a new group of people from all over the world and still feel like I am getting show time in when our season is traditionally very short due to weather limitations.


APHA E-Shows take place monthly and offer more than 30 classes to choose from at each show. Select Big Money classes with guaranteed payouts give you the chance to win even more! If you don’t want to compete but just want some advice, you can submit your video as a critique only and receive private, expert comments from APHA-carded judges. PAC credits give you the chance to put your E-Show success on your horse’s record and compete for PAC Year-End Awards! APHA E-Shows is a home for equestrians of all experience levels with any breed of horse, where the goal is to improve the bond with our horses and never stop learning. Visit apha.com/showing/e-shows/ for more information, patterns, entry forms, and results. The next E-Show will close Monday, July 27 at 5 p.m. CST. If you have any questions about the E-Show program email Director of Performance Development Elizabeth Lawhorn at [email protected].


[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 promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.