By APHA Executive Director Billy Smith
Photos below by Chad M. Davis, AIA
From the January/February 2020 Paint Horse Journal
It’s done. By the time you read this, APHA’s new international headquarters will be in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. For the first time, we’ll have the rare privilege to tell the Paint Horse story to millions of would-be owners and aficionados. And if they don’t fit into either of those categories, we’ll make sure Paint Horses are top-of-mind when people think about the cowboy’s horse.
One of the first things you’ll want to do when you get to Fort Worth is pick an entrance—front or back—and make your way to the Rebecca Baker Paint Horse Legacy Loft. That’s where we honor our Hall of Fame recipients, Distinguished Service Award winners and past presidents. Because of the unselfish gifts given by the Rebecca Baker family, this uniquely beautiful space was made available. DSA recipients and past presidents will be featured on wood-grained picture walls, and guests can view nostalgic and moving Hall of Fame videos commemorating each honored inductee, both human and Paint Horse. Rebecca Baker’s legacy of honoring great Paint Horses makes this space even more remarkable.
As you walk up the ornate stairwell leading to the loft, you’ll see the names like the World Wide Paint Horse Congress and the Kansas Paint Horse Association, Westwood Group, Ron and JoAnna Shelly, Jackie and Steve Mellon, and Tom and Marilyn Crowley, whose sacrificial gifts made this space happen in a grand way that all Paint Horse owners can appreciate for years to come. But before you make the trek up the stairs, you’ll notice a shiny APHA logo embedded in the polished concrete—perhaps a 100 years from now someone will dig up that location and find a time-capsule filled with contents thoughtfully contributed by APHA staff.
Because of the generosity of Pat Newman, you’ll also be able to take a walk through the past in the ornately designed Patrick Newman Family Gallery. This illuminated gallery offers four views of the history and splendor of the Paint Horse over the years. We will remake this multi-dimensional space periodically so each time you visit, you’ll see something new.
Each time the APHA staff meets to discuss future initiatives, they’ll do so in the MC’s Dragon Ranch LLC Conference Room. Marylyn and Paul Caliendo graciously funded this intimate and beautiful meeting area that will be furnished through a gift from Brumbaugh’s Fine Home Furnishings. The Brumbaughs contributed all of the accent furniture throughout the space so members can feel welcome and relax at various locations throughout our office’s 12,000 square feet.
You’ll also notice the beginnings of a collection of artistically designed steel column wraps that the City of Fort Worth, Will Rogers Memorial Center, and Mike and Colleen Holloway helped launch. We have room for about 10 more that could honor someone’s farm, beloved horse or family. If you enter through the front door, you’ll see APHA’s first brick-and-mortar retail space, the PH Barn Door. A significant feature to the store area is a small theatre modeled from a traditional grain bin. Because of the generosity of Past President Dr. Craig Wood, visitors can step in, wear a three-dimensional headset and take a ride on a Paint Horse in a variety of disciplines. This offering provides lots of wow power.
And, of course, millions of guests will fawn over the world-famous Legacy of Color bronzes.
After you’ve taken some time to admire it, look down. Eched in the bricks that surround the four spectacular Paint Horses, you’ll see the names of those who made contributions to make the move happen, lead by the significant gift of the Amon Carter Foundation.
When you admire both the building and the bronzes, offer a hearty thank you to the American Paint Horse Foundation’s board of directors for their tireless effort to make this space beautiful and memorable. They are: Tom Crowley, president; Marylyn Caliendo, Capital Campaign chairwoman; Kelly Boles-Chapman, Suzonne Franks, Ann Jones, Meredith Landy, Robin Robinett, Laurie Roden, Jennifer Sheriff and Dr. Maurice Wilkinson.