Professional Horsewoman
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Kelley Wainscott honored as 2023 Markel/APHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year

APHA professional Kelley Wainscott of Sanger, Texas, is the 2023 Markel/APHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year.

Wainscott began showing horses in 1985 as a Youth. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she was a member of their championship horse judging team and helped curate individual and team honors at top competitions around the country. She later coached the team, as well. After graduation, Wainscott embarked on her career as a halter trainer. Since 2000, she has bred, trained and shown more than 250 world champions across four breeds.

An APHA member for more than 25 years, Wainscott has served as a Markel/APHA Professional Horseman since 2018 and a restricted halter judge since 2019. She serves on the World Show and Professional Horsemen advisory committees, as well. Beyond the Paint world, Wainscott is a professional horsewoman in the American Quarter Horse Association, a board member, director and committee member for the World Conformation Horse Association, and a judge for both organizations.

Wainscott and her husband, Adam, own and operate Covenant Show Horses in Sanger, Texas, where they specialize in halter horses.

“Kelley is a very professional, confident and giving horsewoman,” nominator Sandy Curl wrote. “She’s always willing to help wherever she is needed. Her knowledge of the halter horse is beyond what would be expected of a trainer, and she is willing to share her knowledge and experiences.”

APHA Director of Judges and Professional Horsemen Sandy Jirkovsky agrees.

“Whenever help is needed, Kelley Wainscott is there to lend a hand,” Jirkovsky said. “She’s always among the first to volunteer her time and horses, from helping develop our horseIQ educational judging courses to making sure we have exceptional horses to present in our judging contests. Kelley is the epitome of a Professional Horseman: an honest, ethical, trustworthy promoter of the Paint Horse and APHA.”

Honoring the 2023 Markel/APHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year

Wainscott will be honored on June 27, 2024, at the APHA Hall of Fame & Awards Ceremony, taking place at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas, in conjunction with the 2024 APHA World Championship Show. Other year-end award winners honored at the event include APHA’s newest Hall of Fame class, High-Point Open Exhibitor, Judge Emeritus recipient, Don Manuello Ring Steward Award winner and more.

2024 APHA Hall of Fame & Awards Celebration

June 27, 2024
Round Up Inn, Will Rogers Memorial Center
Fort Worth, Texas
Save the date—tickets will be available soon!

Event Details: Email Jennifer Crites at


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About APHA

The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association. More than a million horses in 59 nations and territories have been registered since 1962. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.