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PHJ Pro Team Spotlight: Tim and Shannon Gillespie

You’ve seen them in the Paint Horse Journal and around the horse showsproviding expert advice and assistance to horsemen of all disciplines. The Paint Horse Journal Pro Team consists of 12 APHA world champions who believe in a consistent presence in the Journal. 

Meet PHJ Pro Team members Tim and Shannon Gillespie

Tim has been an APHA member and successful exhibitor since his days as a Youth. He was APHA’s No. 1 Youth of 1981 with Super Skipbar, and went on to earn six world and national titles in his time as a Youth and Amateur exhibitor before turning pro in 2007. Tim has been an advertiser in the Paint Horse Journal since the 1980s and a Pro Team member since 2012.

Shannon is a third-generation horsewoman and multiple APHA champion who grew up competing in all-around events. Shannon showed as an Amateur for several years before opening Gillespie Show Horses in Whitesboro, Texas, with Tim, where they focus on producing top-quality Western pleasure, hunter under saddle and all-around horses. Shannon has been a PHJ Pro Team member since 2014.

Tim Gillespie

Favorite restaurant: Keiichi in Denton, Texas (Thanks to Erica Greathouse and her mom for getting me hooked!)

Favorite fast food: Sonic, especially during happy hour!

Favorite movie: “Tommy Boy”

Favorite TV show: “Shameless”

First time showing? When I was 4 years old on “Popcorn,” who also came into the house and attended all of my birth­day parties until I was 10.

Good luck charm: A great staff to help at the horse shows

Two things you can’t live without: Duct tape and zip strips (in no particu­lar order)

If you couldn’t show Paints, what discipline would you compete in? I would be an endurance rider … but it would still be less miles than what I put in on a normal day.

Business tips for other trainers: Stay completely honest, fair and nice with your customers, and don’t get greedy. I believe it has helped me a lot. I was a client for many years before I became a trainer. I got to watch a lot of trainers run their businesses and learned from how they treated me.

Advice for someone looking to buy a new horse: Ask around and try to buy horses from people who have good reputations. Have a trainer be your agent if you’re not experienced in buying horses. It is much like buying a house—I believe you will save a lot of heartache if you have an agent to assist you.

Shannon Gillespie

Favorite food: Mexican. I try to find the best restaurants in whatever city we are in.

Favorite movie: “Love Actually”

Favorite TV show: Anything from Shark Week

Favorite vacation destination: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

First time showing? In the lead-line class when I was 2 years old! I was born into this; I’m a third-generation horse nut.

Any good luck charms or superstitions? I definitely have lucky bits and other equipment. And I hate to admit it, but I have certain undergarments I always have to wear on show days.

One thing you can’t live without: Mascara and face grease—we all need our makeup!

If you couldn’t show Paints, what discipline would you compete in? I would love to show hunters before I retire.

Business tip for other trainers: Don’t cut corners, be fair and honest with your customers and—most importantly—never lose sight of your love of horses.

Advice for someone looking to buy a new horse: Do your homework! Know what you are looking for and what are deal-breakers. It’s like choosing a spouse—don’t settle. You need to be in it for the long haul! Work with people you can trust, and have a veterinarian and third party who will give you a professional, objective opinion.

The PHJ Pro Team features professionals who are experts in a variety of disciplines and pass along their knowledge to guide clients to the winners’ circle. For more information on the Paint Horse Journal Pro Team and how you can become a member, visit apha.com/phj/phj-pro-team. Special thanks to our PHJ Pro Team sponsors: Olathe Boot Co.Horseware Ireland and Kimes Ranch Jeans.


[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 creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.