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APHA APHA adds incentives for competitors at USTRC National Finals
Veteran roper and his American Paint finish strong in team roping competition

FORT WORTH, Texas-Todd Pinkston of Canadian, Texas, and his 6-year-old American Paint Horse gelding, Ladybugs Sugar Bar, roped in their best year yet in rodeo competition, earning more than $43,000 during 2001.

Heeler Todd Pinkston rode his Paint Horse Ladybugs Sugar Bar to a national finals championship in USTRC competition held recently in Oklahoma City, Okla. APHA awarded $4,500 as part of its special incentive program to three Paint ropers in the Novice, Amateur and Professional payout categories.
(APHA photo by Ross Hecox)

The bulk of those earnings came at the United States Team Roping Championships (USTRC) National Finals, held Oct. 21-28 in Oklahoma City, Okla. In that competition, Pinkston and his team partner, Donald Hall of El Reno, Okla., each picked up $38,150 in prize money for winning a special USTRC Shoot-Out roping event. Hall, the team's header, rode an American Paint Horse named Time Piece.

For being enrolled in a special American Paint Horse Association (APHA) bonus program and earning the most money in the Amateur payout category, Pinkston picked up an additional $1,500.

Every year, APHA offers a $1,500 bonus to the owners of the highest money-earning APHA-registered horses enrolled in its incentive program in three payout categories-Professional (including USTRC Open and No. 11 roping divisions), Amateur (including USTRC No. 9, 8 and 7 divisions) and Novice (including USTRC No. 6, 5 and 4 roping divisions).

While Pinkston has owned several Paints during a roping career that has spanned more than 25 years, he said there is something special about Ladybugs Sugar Bar. "He's a good worker, he runs hard and he just fits me. How you and the horse work together is really important. It can make you or break you.

"This gelding puts me in the right position. Whether I'm heading or heeling, he knows where to go to put me in the right spot. I don't know how he does it, myself, but he works great on both ends of a steer."

Pinkston's earnings this year all came while he was roping at six USTRC roping competitions around the United States. The incentive money he picked up from APHA, said Pinkston, was a welcome addition.

Harlan Mott of Elkins, Ark., picked up $1,500 from APHA in the Novice payout category, roping as a header on Skips Wounded Knee. The same amount went to Ned Tietjen of Jarales, N.M., who roped as a header on Titans Hi Deal in the Professional payout category.

"We're always pleased to see American Paint Horses participating and performing well at the USTRC National Finals and in all roping events," said Jim Kelley, APHA assistant executive secretary. "It's a testament to the athleticism and intelligence of the breed.

"Through these team roping incentives, our goal is to reward our members for their outstanding work on their Paints when they're participating at events outside of APHA-approved shows."

Team roping
Team roping is a timed event at which a steer is released from a chute and given a head start down an arena. Two riders on fast horses follow. The first roper, called the "header," secures the front end of the steer by roping him around the horns or neck. The second roper, the "heeler," finishes the run by skillfully roping the steer around its hind feet. According to USTRC, team roping has its roots in early ranching days, when two ropers immobilized a cow for branding or medical attention. Since then, it has evolved into one of the most popular rodeo sports. For more information on team roping, the USTRC, and details about roping divisions, visit the organization's Web site,

More information about APHA

Since its founding 39 years ago, APHA has registered more than 640,000 horses. Currently, American Paint Horses are being registered at APHA's Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters at a rate of about 62,000 horses each year. The association serves about 100,000 members, who are located in every U.S. state, every Canadian province and in 39 other nations around the world.

Sound conformation, versatile athletic ability, intelligence, calm temperament, a willing disposition and beautiful coat color patterns are among the many qualities that have made Paint Horses popular and desirable over the years.

APHA employs 160 people and has an operating budget of $15 million for activities worldwide. For more information about the American Paint Horse and APHA, visit, or call (817) 834-2742, extension 788.


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