Colleen Dubsky, an active longtime APHA member and state director from Schuyler, Nebraska, died August 12. She was 69. Services are scheduled for August 19 at 11.a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Schuyler.
The horsewoman grew up with a love of Paints, thanks to her parents, and she in turn passed that to her children and grandchildren. Colleen loved watching her family compete. And although she’s been a longtime APHA World Show attendee, she usually stayed on the sidelines—that changed in 2019, when Colleen showed Facing The Music to fourth overall in Amateur In-Hand Trail. Passionate about APHA, Colleen also served as a state director or alternate from 2012 to 2022, and has been a member of various advisory committees since 2013.
Colleen and her family were featured in the June 2016 Paint Horse Journal article “Equine Inheritance,” which showcased families who shared a love of Paints across multiple generations; an edited excerpt appears below:
For more than 40 years, Colleen Dubsky’s family has made Paint Horses their passion. It started with her parents, Donald and Carolyn Croghan, and a horse named Skip Sky Hi. The 1969 palomino overo gelding earned 483 points, four APHA Champion titles, 17 Registers of Merit and a Superior with riders that included Colleen’s brother, Mike, and sister, Vicky. “Skippy” could win all day, from morning halter class to late-night barrels and poles, Colleen says. The gelding even came out of retirement to show Colleen’s then-6-year-old daughter, Courtney, the ropes in halter, showmanship, pleasure, trail, horsemanship and games.
“Growing up, I don’t think we ever missed a World Show,” Colleen said.
Colleen, who lives in Schuyler, Nebraska, says one of her greatest Paint memories is when Courtney was Reserve High-Point Youth 13 & Under at the 1990 APHA World Show with King’s Valentine, a 1978 dun overo mare. That same year, Mindy won the Walk-Trot Western Pleasure class aboard Windy Breeze, a 1986 black overo mare. Both horses were raised by Donald and Carolyn.
“We didn’t travel with a trainer,” Colleen said. “So my kids were on their own. To go in there and win was just a big highlight for me.”
Courtney has recently taken a break from showing, but the family has a fourth generation carrying their Paint banner: Courtney’s sons, 13-year-old Justin and 10-year-old Levi, and Mindy’s daughter Addison, age 9, show in all-around events.
“I grew up with horses, and I guess a love for Paints was just kind of instilled in the rest of us too,” Colleen said. “As they grew up, they just never got away from it.”
Showing Paints, Colleen says, allows her family to see and spend time with one another.
“We like showing Paints because we can do it as a family,” Colleen said.
APHA extends condolences to Colleen’s family and friends.
[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.]
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 in 1962. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.