Paints and the special exhibitors who love them have a new avenue to strut their stuff, thanks to the creation of APHA’s new Challenged Horsemen and American Paints program. Designed for equestrians with medically diagnosed conditions and impairments, CHAMPS offers opportunities for participants to show their Paints—and earn APHA-exclusive rewards—at a variety of venues.
“We’re so excited about the creation of CHAMPS and the opportunity to encourage a love of Paints in exhibitors everywhere,” Senior Director of Show & Contest Holly Slaughter said. “Our breed is known for its versatility and temperament, which makes Paints the perfect fit for a program like CHAMPS; we’re excited to watch this opportunity grow!”
Recently approved by the APHA Executive Committee, CHAMPS offers events for both independent and supported exhibitors. CHAMPS classes may be held at APHA-approved shows or in conjunction with U.S. Para-Equestrian events or as standalone CHAMPS competitions.
Walk-only, supported walk-jog/trot, independent walk-jog/trot and independent walk-jog/trot-lope/canter divisions are available, to allow exhibitors of all ability levels to enjoy the CHAMPS program. Available classes include showmanship, barrel racing, hunt-seat equitation, hunter under saddle, trail, Western horsemanship, Western pleasure and reining.
Points will be awarded in each class per horse/rider combination, and points will be listed on the horse’s APHA performance record. A year-end high-point award will be available for the supported walk-only, independent walk/trot and independent walk/trot/canter divisions.
Any breed of horse may participate in CHAMPS, however, only registered Paints are eligible to earn APHA points and year-end awards. Additional rules regarding horses, tack, assistance and more can be found here.
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.