APHA’s top-tier achievement awards are designed to recognize the versatility of the Paint Horse breed, and Silver N Old Gold is the epitome of the do-it-all horse. From the top of APHA’s show standings to the barrel race pay window and back again, “Rooster” and rider Ron Larson have showcased their mettle on the road to earning the APHA Superior Amateur Champion award.
Based in Racine, Minnesota, Ron is a veteran rider with a penchant for homegrown success; horseback by age 6, the now-60-year-old horseman enjoys finding younger mounts and logging the hours and developing the skills himself.
Rooster is one such success story. The 2001 bay overo gelding by Zippos Old Gold (QH) and out of Miss Black Tux was purchased by Ron and his wife, Debbie, in 2007. Though he was bred and trained for Western pleasure and Western riding, Rooster soon proved his versatility by earning points and awards in pole bending and barrel racing. Then, when ranch riding became an APHA-approved event, the pair teamed up to complete one big goal: the Superior Amateur Award.
The top achievement for non-professional riders and their Paints, the Superior Amateur Award requires a minimum of 270 Amateur points, including 30 points from Amateur halter. Versatility is key to this award, as horses must earn Superiors in four performance categories and four additional Registers of Merit in other events.
Ron and Rooster finished ROMs in ranch riding and reining in September of 2015, just four months into their return to the show scene after a multi-year hiatus. With the final titles clinched, the pair became only the eighth team ever to finish the Superior Amateur Award.
To commemorate this monumental achievement, Ron and Rooster receive $2,500 and a Cowboy Bronze crystal trophy, courtesy APHA. Their success is also profiled in the September 2016 Paint Horse Journal—watch your mailbox to read the full story. Congratulations, Ron and Rooster!
[Reprinting all of part of this story is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provide back to apha.com.]
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.