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PHJ Pro Team Spotlight: Wade & Laura Spell

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 two of our PHJ Pro Team members: Wade and Laura Spell.

Wade and Laura own and operate Spell Show Horses in St. Louis, Missouri. Wade, a Markel APHA Professional Horseman, has been a member of the PHJ Pro Team since 2012. With more than 50 world champion titles to his credit, he specializes in developing Western pleasure futurity horses.

Previously a successful non-pro and athlete on the University of Georgia’s Western varsity equestrian team, Laura Spell has won multiple world and reserve championships in both Youth and Open APHA competition. Focusing on hunter under saddle prospects, Laura has been a member of the PHJ Pro Team since 2014.

Wade Spell

Nickname: Tator

First horse: A half-Quarter Horse, half-gaited horse named “Caress.”

First time showing: 9 or 10 years old on a pony.

Any superstitions? I cannot wear or show in anything yellow.

One thing you can’t live without: My baby blanket. My mom took me home from the hospital in it, and I have kept it ever since.

Back-up career: I would show and raise miniature horses because they are so darn cute.

Advice for a new trainer trying to make it in the Paint Horse industry: Have good work ethic and treat your customers right.

Laura Spell

Nickname: Rodette

Children: Wade and I have one fur baby, “Peanut Butter” Spell

First horse: A pony named “Cracker Jack.”

When did you start showing? My mom had me showing horses before I can even remember.

Any superstitions? I don’t like being videotaped while showing.

One thing you can’t live without: Mountain Dew and chocolate.

Back-up career: I would show cutters. They look really fun to ride!

Advice for up-and-coming trainers: Be patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight. 

Advice to pick the right trainer: Find someone who shares similar goals for you and your horse.

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.


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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.