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American Paint Horse Association’s Gamble on ‘Paint Vegas’ Pays Off

FORT WORTH, Texas—Paint Horse exhibitors who were willing to take a

chance on the American Paint Horse Association’s (APHA’s) new show in

Las Vegas in early December came up winners in “Paint Vegas”

competition that paid out more than a half million dollars in cash.

Although the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority likes to

promote the slogan “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” the show

is the talk of the town for Paint Vegas competitors who hailed from

27 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Germany and Canada.

APHA logged 380 horses and 777 paid entries for its newest show, held

December 5–10 at the South Point Casino and Equestrian Center in Las

Vegas, Nevada.

California led in the number of horses entered with 123, followed by

Texas with 54 and Arizona with 27.

Over the six-day show, APHA paid out $513,500 in cash, which included

$225,000 in added money in the Open and Non-Pro classes and $288,500

in slot classes.

While the association sanctions more than 1,250 shows around the

world annually, the World Championship Paint Horse Show in Fort

Worth, Texas, has been the major APHA-sponsored showcase where Paints

vie for high honors. And, while the World Show will continue to be

the association’s premier annual event, APHA expanded its prestigious

show circuit about 1,200 miles west last December, opting to award

big cash payouts in Las Vegas, in lieu of points and world titles.

Paint Vegas classes included barrel racing, cutting, halter, hunter

under saddle, reining, roping, trail, Western pleasure, Western

riding, working cow horse, working hunter and yearling longe line.

Many classes were also dual-approved with a number of performance

organizations, including the National Reined Cow Horse Association

and the National Reining Horse Association.

During the show, APHA debuted its first “slot classes.” The APHA

“slot” was actually a place reserved and paid in advance for select

competition. Purchasers were required to pay for their Paint Vegas

slots early in 2006 and then name the horse and exhibitor later in

the year.

Money was jackpotted in each slot class and the top 10 competitors

divided up the sum, with the highest places winning the most. Cost of

a slot class was $2,500 for halter, Western pleasure and hunter under

saddle classes. For longe line, the cost of a slot was $1,500. In all

classes, slot owners could elect to sell or lease their slots to

another competitor, but restrictions on horses and exhibitors were

the same.

In all, APHA collected money for 127 slot entries for a total of

$288,500. This included 30 slots for Maiden Yearling mares with a

$75,000 total payout, 29 slots in longe line for $43,500, 27 slots

for maiden stallions and geldings with a $67,500 total payout, 23

slots for Western pleasure with $57,500 in payouts, and 18 slots in

hunter under saddle for a $45,000 class payout.

APHA leaves Vegas a winner

“The general feedback we are getting from owners, exhibitors and

those who just came to see Paint Vegas is that this is the type of

show they would like to do again,” said Lex Smurthwaite, APHA’s

executive director.

“People liked the hours of the show, which was generally held during

the day, leaving evenings free. And they enjoyed having a show in a

fun, entertaining environment.

“Of course, the big paybacks were popular, as well as the exciting

new classes. Our challenge now is to identify a similar show for

2007, and to keep all the positive aspects of this event in place.

“APHA exhibitors told us they were willing to take a chance on this

show, and the gamble paid off.”

More about Paint Vegas

To learn more about the show, visit aphapaintvegas.com. At this site

you will find complete results, daily news from the show, and you can

obtain video highlights.

More about APHA and American Paint Horses

Currently, American Paint Horses are being registered at APHA’s Fort

Worth, Texas, headquarters at a rate of more than 40,000 horses each

year. APHA has registered more than 885,000 horses in 49 nations and

territories since it was founded 44 years ago, and now serves more

than 100,000 active members around the world. Among its many

activities, APHA works to preserve bloodlines and maintain the

outstanding characteristics of the American Paint Horse breed.

For more information about APHA, contact the association at (817)

834-2742, or visit apha.com.


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