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Greatest Paint Horse show on earth expected to feature nearly 2,000 horses

World Championship Paint Horse Show set for June 22—July 5 in Fort Worth, Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas-Approximately 2,000 horses will compete for some of the highest honors awarded by the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) at the World Championship Paint Horse Show, to be held June 22-July 5 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Approximately 2,000 horses are expected to compete in the World Championship Paint Horse Show for prestigious World Championship titles.

The World Championship Paint Horse Show is an annual non-qualifying event open to all APHA Regular Registry horses and Breeding Stock halter mares. This year, the show will include 168 classes, five challenge series classes, three sweepstakes events, three select sales, a trade show and many other special activities. Youth, amateur and professional horsemen and horsewomen will exhibit their horses during the two-week show, demonstrating their skills in halter, Western, English, cattle, driving and speed classes.

Activities are held in the three major arenas and in other facilities throughout the sprawling 85-acre Will Rogers Memorial Center, which is located in the heart of Fort Worth's cultural district.

The World Championship Paint Horse Show is the largest single-breed horse show held in the Lone Star State, based on the number of horses exhibited. In addition, it attracts thousands of contestants and spectators each year who are fascinated by the talent and beauty of the American Paint Horse. Last year's World Show attracted more than 144,000 visitors.

"This is a special time we all look forward to, since it is the premier event that highlights the versatility and athleticism of American Paint Horses," said Jim Kelley, APHA executive secretary. "We invite people from throughout the world to join us for 14 straight days of excitement.

"There is no charge for parking and admission is free," Kelley added. "For family entertainment, you can't beat what our World Show has to offer."

Activities for everyone
In addition to competition for World Championship titles, some highlights of the show this year include:

American Junior Paint Horse Association (AjPHA) Horse Judging Contest
One of the most popular events for youth, the AjPHA Judging Contest is expected to draw 100 teams. Judging takes place in the Will Rogers Arena on Friday, June 27, at 8:30 a.m., with an awards breakfast to be held at the Roundup Inn on Saturday, June 28, at 7 a.m. Youth entered in this event judge four halter and four performance classes. For the third year, Hart Trailers of Chickasha, Okla., is sponsoring the competition. According to the National Horse Judging Team Coaches Association, the AjPHA event is the largest horse-judging contest for youth in the nation.

Colorful youth activities
A creative and fun way for AjPHA youth to compete both on and off their horses, the Team Tournament features four team-oriented events: a hippology contest that tests youngsters' knowledge of horses, a parade of teams participating in the show, a talent contest and performance class competition.

Horse & Rider seminars
APHA and Horse & Rider magazine have teamed up to present their sixth annual seminar series. These horsemanship clinics will be held in the Will Rogers Memorial Center's W.R. Watt Arena. On Saturday, June 28, from 9 a.m. to noon, clinician Chris Cox will present "Horsemanship 101." He will teach novice riders how to build confidence and to cue their horses gently and effectively. On Sunday June 29, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., Tim McQuay will present "Troubleshooting Your Reining Pattern." He will describe common reining problems and offer world-class advice during his demonstration. Also on Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Cleve Wells will offer a clinic named, "Finesse Your Cues." Wells will demonstrate how to finesse reining cues and leg aids to enhance a horse's Western pleasure performance. The Horse & Rider seminar series is sponsored, in part, by the Kent Group.

Bank One Challenge Series
This competition will include the 3-Year-Old Western Pleasure Challenge, 3-Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle Challenge, 3-Year-Old Reining Challenge, 3-Year-Old Cutting Challenge and 4-Year-Old Cutting Challenge. Winners receive trophies from the National Snaffle Bit Association, the National Cutting Horse Association and the National Reining Horse Association.

Sweepstakes Competition
Back by popular demand is the Team Penning Sweepstakes. In addition, the 2003 World Championship Paint Horse Show will feature the Winnebago Freestyle Reining Sweepstakes, as well as the Bridleless Western Pleasure Sweepstakes.

World Showcase Sales
These sales, to be held in the West Sale Arena, will showcase some of the finest Paint Horses on the market today. Performance and pleasure geldings will be offered Saturday, June 28, at noon. Following that sale, 25 elite yearlings will be sold. The mare and stallion session begins Sunday, June 29, at 1 p.m. Preview sessions will be held prior to every sale.

Colors of the West Trade Show
Always a popular attraction during the World Championship Paint Horse Show is the Colors of the West Trade Show, which will be held every day during the show from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall. More than 100 vendors selling a wide variety of products related to the horse industry will be exhibiting at the Trade Show. For those interested in all things equestrian, this is a shopper's paradise.

Winnebago Freestyle Reining competition
At the conclusion of the World Championship Paint Horse Show on Saturday, July 5, the lights go down and freestyle reiners take center stage in the John Justin arena. As part of this competition, both riders and horses are in costume and perform reining patterns set to music. Riders are in control of both the pattern and the theme. Previous themes have included reining skits from the musical Grease, to a horse and rider in Spiderman costumes performing to songs from that movie. Spectators who arrive late for this competition will have to settle for standing-room-only, as this entertaining finalé always draws a large crowd.

APHA partners add value to the World Show
APHA has partnered with a select group of companies who offer World Show contestants a total cash and product package valued at more than $400,000. Those sponsoring partners include the following.

Corporate sponsors: BMB Tack; Barnmaster, Inc.; Bank One; Circle Y of Yoakum; Gist Silversmiths; Hart Trailer Manufacturing; Markel Insurance Company; Pfizer Animal Health and The Kent Group.

World Show sponsors: Boulet Western Boots, Metro Golf Cars, Pro Stepps, Charlotte's Saddlery, Western Horseman magazine and Winnebago Industries.

Associate sponsor: Hodges Badge Company, Inc.

The youth judging contest held during the World Championship Paint Horse Show, sponsored by Hart Trailers, is the largest horse-judging contest for youth in the nation. It will be held June 27, followed by an awards reception on June 28.

World Championship Paint Horse Show action takes place at three major arenas and in the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Youngsters will ride tall in the saddle at World Championship Paint Horse Show, set for June 22 through July 5 in Fort Worth, Texas. The first week of the show is dedicated to youth events and activities.

A history of show success
APHA has hosted a World Championship Paint Horse Show with youth, amateur and open events continuously since 1989. That year, 866 horses participated. The total number of horses competing at the 2002 show represents a 114 percent increase over total horses involved at the 1989 show. That year, APHA logged 1,720 entries. For 2002, entries totaled 4,536, representing a 164 percent increase over the 13-year period. In 2003, APHA expects another strong year for participation.

More about the World Championship Paint Horse Show
For more information on the World Show, including a complete schedule, a list of accommodations offering special rates, entry details and more, please visit

More information about APHA and American Paint Horses
Of the more than 720,000 horses registered by APHA since 1962, 498,000 of them - about 66 percent - have received their registration certificates in the last 10 years alone. The Paint Horse enthusiasts who drive those numbers live in 43 nations and have helped make APHA one of the fastest-growing horse breed registries in the world. The Association has approximately 104,000 members.

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