million spectators to see beautiful Paints in action
Paint Horses proudly bear the colors for Six Flags Over Texas
WORTH, Texas-American Paint Horses are bearing the six flags that
have flown over Texas during the past 500 years as part of an exciting
new outreach program undertaken by the American Paint Horse Association
American Paint Horses made their debut at Six Flags Over Texas
in Arlington, Texas, recently as part of the theme park's "Rangers
and Outlaws" show. The American Paint Horse Association is sponsoring
the exciting performance, which is a salute to the Texas Rangers.
(APHA photo by Darrell Dodds)
two months, from June 8 through August 11, APHA is supplying nine
highly talented Paint Horses to the Six Flags Over Texas theme park
in Arlington, Texas. The horses are part of the thrill-packed "Rangers
and Outlaws" Wild West Show, sponsored by APHA. The 20-minute adventure
brings to life a true story of how the Texas Rangers fought outlaws
and brought justice to the silver-mining town of Shafter, Texas,
show runs four times each day for 65 straight days and about 2 million
visitors to the park during that time will have the opportunity
to see the adventure. It is estimated that about half of those spectators
will be under the age of 18.
of our primary missions is to promote the outstanding qualities
of Paint Horses and to try to familiarize as many people as possible
with the breed," said Jim Kelley, APHA's executive secretary. "In
many cases, we just want people to know what defines an American
Paint Horse. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the
breed to a young audience. Through the American Paint Horse Association's
'Rangers and Outlaws' show, we're able to introduce our breed to
millions of people in a fun and entertaining environment. We were
thrilled when Six Flags asked us to be part of the show."
Paint Horses ride in precision drill-team formation as they carry
the six flags that have flown over Texas as part of a two-month performance
expected to be seen by nearly 2 million people this summer. (APHA
photo by Darrell Dodds)
Buehler, director of human resources and administration for Six
Flags Over Texas, and a longtime horse breeder, sought out APHA's
help in finding the horses.
wanted traditional Western stock horses -- ones with excellent conformation
and athletic ability," said Buehler. "Of course, we also needed
them to be even-tempered, intelligent and trainable. And, we wanted
horses that were really attractive. Having been involved with horses
for 30 years, I know that American Paint Horses have all those qualities.
Paint Horses have stolen the show."
part of the APHA-sponsored "Rangers and Outlaws" performance, American
Paint Horses charge out into an arena and gallop full speed in precision
drill-team formation as riders in Texas Ranger attire carry giant
replicas of the six flags that have flown over Texas. The flags
include those of Spain, France, Mexico, Texas, the Confederacy and
the United States of America.
the performance, lawmen and outlaws alike ride Paint Horses. The
show is filled with non-stop action, including gunfights, stunts,
a daring escape from a blazing hotel, and even a giant water tower
explosion and silver mine calamity at the finale. Ten actors, whose
specializations also include stunts and horsemanship, are part of
the show, according to Robert Keith, the show's director and stunt
a special feature of the "Rangers and Outlaws" show, members of
the audience are invited to leave their seats after the performance
to talk with the actors and get a close-up view of the horses. This
"meet and greet" event is popular, especially with the younger members
in attendance. The actors, who have developed a close bond with
the horses, field numerous questions, many of which center around
the beautiful American Paint Horses.
APHA "Rangers and Outlaws" show is part of Six Flags' Best of Texas
Festival - a 65-day summer-long event dedicated to highlighting
the Lone Star State's history, animals, lifestyles, music, cuisine
and other special attractions.
the entertainers at the Best of Texas Festival are the Dallas Cowboy
Cheerleaders and the Apache Belles, a world-famous precision dance
and drill team from Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. The renowned
Light Crust Doughboys, who have been playing popular Texas swing
for seven decades, will be a featured act twice daily.
addition to Texas-style entertainment, Lone Star cuisine is a big
part of the Best of Texas Festival. Chicken-fried steaks and big
burgers are part of the food fare. The world's largest fruitcake,
whipped up in a stainless-steel cement mixer, will also be on display.
year, we decided to go all out with the biggest and the best of
everything's that great about Texas," said Steve Calloway, vice
president and general manager of Six Flags Over Texas. "And that's
why we wanted Paint Horses here, too."
paints the town
This is the second time in the past two years that APHA has answered
the call to showcase the breed in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex,
which has a growing population of more than 5 million people.
spring 2001, when officials at the Fort Worth Zoo needed a horse
to take up residence in their innovative $40 million "Texas Wild!"
exhibit, they turned to APHA for help. They asked the Fort Worth-based
association if it could come up with a horse that would serve as
an icon of the West, and Texas in particular.
association did just that, finding a beautiful American Paint Horse
named Ollie Oops, who was born and bred in the Lone Star State.
is estimated that more than 1.5 million people visited "Ollie" at
the zoo last year, and read zoo placards describing American Paint
Horses. Millions more will see the easy-going, loud-colored gelding
in the years ahead.
a family-oriented organization," said Kelley. "Our commitment to
donating a beautiful Paint to the Fort Worth Zoo and finding beautiful
performance horses for Six Flags is just one way we're reaching
out to families. We want families to realize that this breed has
a lot to offer.
we put beautiful Paint Horses out there before the public, the attributes
of this breed are easy to see," Kelley added.
Paint is a great horse for children and parents alike. Whether you're
just learning to ride, or want to compete at the highest level,
an American Paint Horse can take you there.
the message we're trying to get across."
Since its founding 40 years ago, APHA has registered more than 660,000
horses. Currently, American Paint Horses are being registered at
APHA's Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters at a rate of about 57,000
horses each year. The association serves nearly 100,000 members,
who are located in every U.S. state, throughout Canada and in 34
other nations around the world.
employs 160 people and has an annual operating budget of $15 million
for activities worldwide.
the many qualities that make Paint Horses desirable are their sound
conformation, versatile athletic ability, intelligence, calm temperament,
willing disposition and beautiful coat color patterns.
more information about the American Paint Horse and APHA, visit
http://www.apha.com/, or call (817) 834-2742,
about Six Flags
Six Flags Inc. is the world's largest regional theme park company.
The company owns and operates 38 parks throughout North America,
Latin America and Europe. Six Flags theme parks serve 40 of the
50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
parks annually host more than 50 million guests worldwide. For more
information, visit the Six Flags Web site at http://www.sixflags.com/.