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Special guests make this year's show historic
World Championship Paint Horse Show tops 1,800 horses for fourth straight year

FORT WORTH, Texas-The World Championship Paint Horse Show continued its pattern of success with another eventful 14-day run of spotlighting the talents of some of the most outstanding horses in the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) registry.

For the fourth consecutive year, more than 1,800 horses competed in the show, held June 22 through July 5 in the Will Rogers Memorial Center, Fort Worth, Texas. There were actually 1,850 horses competing in the show this year. Entries in the show totaled 4,700, with 1,482 in open, 1,475 in youth, 1,037 in amateur and 446 in novice amateur classes, along with 260 in futurity and specialty classes.

Rex Peterson and Walt Disney's "Hidalgo" were special guests recently at the World Championship Paint Horse Show in Fort Worth, Texas. (APHA photo/Jerry Circelli).

The first week of the show was dedicated to youth activities, including the world's largest comprehensive judging contest for youngsters. Approximately 400 youth participated. Other activities included a youth team tournament during which American Junior Paint Horse Association (AjPHA) members competed both on and off their horses. The Team Tournament featured four team-oriented events: Hippology, Parade of Teams, Talent Contest and Performance Classes.

The second week included exciting open, novice amateur and amateur competition.

Youngsters enjoyed the unique opportunity to meet renowned Hollywood horse trainer Rex Peterson and Disney's American Paint Horse movie star "Hidalgo," at the recent World Championship Paint Horse Show in Fort Worth. Peterson signed autographs and performed on the horse. (APHA photo/Rebecca Overton)

An annual non-qualifying event open to all APHA Regular Registry horses and Breeding Stock halter mares, the World Championship Paint Horse Show included 168 classes, five challenge series classes, three sweepstakes events, three select sales, a trade show and many other special activities. Exhibitors demonstrated their skills in halter, Western, English, cattle, driving and speed classes.

Activities were held in the three major arenas and in other areas 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. It is estimated that the show attracted more than 144,000 visitors this year.

Hidalgo takes a bow as APHA President Forrest Nelson awards Rex Peterson the "Legendary Achievement Award," which the trainer also accepted on behalf of Walt Disney Studios, Director Joe Johnston, Producer Casey Silver, Actor Viggo Mortensen and "Hidalgo." (APHA photo/Rebecca Overton)

Mid-way through the show, APHA sponsored a World Showcase Sale, featuring some of the best yearlings, mares, geldings and stallions on the market.

Sippin Zippin topped this year's World Showcase Sale record, as well as last year's record, during the Stallion and Mare session, with a sale price of $32,500.

Also during a special demonstration, Tim McQuay, the National Reining Horse Association's (NRHA) leading open lifetime money earner, demonstrated reining skills on RR Star. McQuay couldn't have taken a better or more popular Paint reining horse to the World Show. RR Star made reining history in May at the NRHA Open Derby Finals in Oklahoma City, Okla., when he became the first horse ever to win the open derby after capturing the open futurity two years earlier. In 2001, when the sorrel overo won the open futurity, he was the first American Paint Horse to accomplish that feat.

Disney Paint Horse and trainer visit, receive award
Another special guest who made the World Championship Paint Horse Show popular this year included a horse portraying "Hidalgo" in an upcoming Walt Disney Pictures movie by the same name. Renowned trainer Rex Peterson and his assistant, Kevin Manning, traveled with "Hidalgo" 1,400 miles from Hollywood, Calif., to appear at the show in Fort Worth. Peterson signed autographs for an overflow crowd, while children and adults of all ages got the chance to meet, pet and learn more about the horse.

Peterson was instrumental in finding a total of five registered American Paint Horses to star in the film. He has trained horses for several popular films, including "Black Beauty" "The Horse Whisperer," "The Black Stallion," "Return of Black Stallion," and "The Electric Horseman" to name only some.

The world's largest comprehensive judging contest for youth continues to be well-attended at the World Show, with approximately 400 youngsters participating this year. (APHA photo/Jerry Circelli).

World Show attendees also got a first look at a "Hidalgo" movie clip preview that was played in the John Justin Arena throughout the show. At the end of the show, Peterson showcased "Hidalgo's" talents to a loud and receptive crowd.

APHA presented a special "Legendary Achievement Award" to Peterson, who accepted on behalf of himself, Walt Disney Studios, Director Joe Johnston, Producer Casey Silver, Actor Viggo Mortensen and "Hidalgo." They were credited for their brilliant and outstanding work in showcasing the beauty, talent and versatility of the American Paint Horse breed in the epic action-adventure.

Colors of the West Trade Show
Always a popular attraction, the Colors of the West Trade Show added another interesting dimension to the World Show. More than 100 vendors selling a wide variety of products related to the horse industry exhibited at this shopper's paradise that offered all things equestrian.

APHA partners add value to the World Show
APHA partnered this year with a select group of companies who offered World Show
contestants a total cash and product package valued at more than $400,000. Those sponsoring partners included 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, Buz Post, Metro Golf Cars, Pro Stepps, Charlotte's Saddlery, Western Horseman magazine and Winnebago Industries.
Associate sponsor: Hodges Badge Company, Inc.

Tim McQuay and RR Star made the Horse & Rider horsemanship clinic at this year's World Show extra special with their visit to Fort Worth on June 29. (APHA photo/Jerry Circelli).

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 2003 show represents a 114 percent increase over total horses involved at the 1989 show. That year, APHA logged 1,720 entries. For 2003, the 4,700 entries represented a 173 percent increase over the 15-year period.

More about the World Show and complete results
For more information on the World Show, including features, highlights and complete results, visit

More information about APHA and American Paint Horses
Of the more than 730,000 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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