horse and rider
Peptos Smart Cookie (PT) & Shane Steffen • Photo by Kristin Pitzer

Paint Cow Horses Make Splash at APHA World Show

Cowy Paint Horses stole the limelight at the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) World Show Sept. 21-24. The John Justin Arena was full of color as splashy tobianos and overos displayed their moves on cattle both down the fence and in the boxing.

In the Junior Working Cow Horse, four horse-and-rider duos battled it out for the World title, and it was Peptos Smart Cookie (PT) and Shane Steffen who came out on top of the group. The 4-year-old son of Cookin Merada (PT) was bred by Laura Lindstrand.

“He’s been a good little horse; he’s really cowy, he’s fun down the fence, and we just kind of started showing him this year as a 4-year-old,” Steffen said. “He’s got a lot of talent, so I was just hoping to put a nice, smooth run together for him and let him do what he can.”

Controlling a cow nearly as big as himself, the stallion proved he could do quite a bit. With his owners, Finally Farm Paints Inc., cheering him on from the stands, he put in a pretty reining pattern, boxed the cow and circled up nicely at the end of his run.

Though Steffen and “Cookie” are from the Pacific Northwest and had a little difficulty at first adjusting to the humidity and heat in Texas, several days of rain and mist brought cooler temperatures to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and gave Cookie a break to perform at his best.

“He’s just the type of horse that he likes to go out and do his job,” Steffen said. “He’s one that doesn’t want to just stand around and just kind of have days off. He’d just as soon go out there and go work a cow, or just get out of his stall and go do something, so he’s been fun that way.”

Out of the Peptosmart mare Uvaldes Cow Smart (PT), Cookie has Equi-Stat earnings of $3,536. All of that has been won in the hackamore this year with Steffen in the saddle, and the duo has qualified for the spring’s National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to come down and for the owners who are willing to send me down the road with a good horse,” Steffen said. “Thank God for the ability to do it and thank my family for sticking with me and all the support I have.”

Michael Mize’s Three Cross Forty took the Junior Working Cow Horse Reserve World Championship. Piloted by Rick Steed, the horse is by Strait To Hollywood and out of Reminikita (by Reminic).

Amateur Working Cow Horse

horse and rider
Kellie Herrington & Repeat Plan (PT) • Photo by Kristin Pitzer

Usually, when a person breaks a foot, they are laid up for a while, with lots of rest and staying off the broken appendage. Not Kellie Herrington.

Three days after breaking her foot, she saddled up and rode Repeat Plan (PT) to the Amateur Working Cow Horse World Championship.

“I believed in my horse and I kind of hoped he could make up for my challenges,” Herrington said of why she chose to ride anyway. “Today is the first day I’ve ridden since I broke it, so I didn’t even really know if I could get my boot on, but I did.

“I hobbled my way up and my husband, Terry, was nice enough to come warm him up for me so I didn’t have to go through it,” she continued. “Honestly, it hurt a little bit, but when I was out there with the adrenaline, I didn’t feel it. I did have a little bit of trouble cueing with my foot, but luckily he’s a pretty good boy so he knew what to do.”

This was Herrington’s first year to go down the fence, and she went out of the boxing with a bang last year when she and “Repeat” won the APHA Limited Amateur Working Cow Horse World title. For Herrington, of Ponder, Texas, who has nearly $20,000 in lifetime earnings, getting to show her 15-year-old gelding, who has earnings of $72,807, has been a dream come true.

“I want Repeat to teach me how to go down the fence really good before I have to retire him!” she said. “My big aspiration is to keep him sound and healthy for as long as I can. You just don’t find these old war heroes as often as you’d like, been there done that, sound, ready to rock and roll. We do treat him like royalty, never push him – he’s always got the best.”

She said Repeat, who was bred by James and Jo Anne Carollo, and is by A Master Plan (PT) and out of the Docs Hi Lena mare Lenas Solana, acts like a “3-year-old Thoroughbred race colt,” adding you would never guess his age. With his big heart and lots of try, he loves the cow horse event, she said.

The duo is slated to compete at the NRCHA Celebration of Champions in the Novice Non-Pro Bridle this spring.

“This is my first year down the fence in that association as well, and I’ve had a lot of fun with it,” she added. “There’s a lot of different things to think about between the two classes.”

The Reserve World Championship went to Jane Hatfield and her homebred mare Dunnits QT Royal (PT) (Dunnits Gold King x KDB Royal QT Pie [PT] x Q T Poco Streke [PT]).

Limited Amateur Working Cow Horse

horse and rider
Amanda Romine & Dirty Denero (PT) • Photo by Kristin Pitzer

When Amanda Romine, of Sunset, Texas, brought her stunning bay and white stallion with a flowing mane and tail to the APHA World Show last year, it was shortly after she bought him, and she wasn’t sure how their performance together would go. But, the duo took third in the Limited Amateur Working Cow Horse. After another year of practice together, they returned this year to win the World title in the class.

“His first stop felt really good and he just stayed really honest. He felt good,” Romine said. “He’s a lot of horse, so I just wanted him to be in the right mindset, and loping a lot of circles was my main thing. I’ve got to schedule time to take care of this hair, too! I washed it at like 11 o’clock this morning and it’s still a little wet, but it’s really humid.”

The duo also showed in the Non-Pro Limited Working Cow Horse Challenge, and although they put in a great performance, an overturn penalty landed them in fourth place. Still, Romine was proud to go home a World champion, saying winning at the APHA World show was a huge goal for her, and “Possum” deserved the title.

“He’s so silly,” she said of the 5-year-old stallion. “He’s always busy, really goofy. He’s a funny horse.”

Possum, who was bred by Wayne and K.T. Wall, is by Ima Dirty White Boy (PT) and out of J R Smart San Tule (PT) (by San Tule Freckles). With $1,110 recorded in Equi-Stat, he is his dam’s only money-earner.

Next year will be a big one for both Romine and Possum. For one, the stallion will stand to the public for the first time in 2019. Secondly, it will likely be the last year Romine will box before she starts going down the fence.

“I definitely thank my husband [Justin]. He makes this happen for me. He supports me and thinks I’m the best in the world already,” Romine said with a laugh. “I couldn’t do it without him.”

Toni Steed rode her gelding Docs Guntini (PT) to the Reserve Championship. Bred by Karen Highfield, he is by The Great Guntini (PT) and out of Jag On Doc (PT) (by Double R Doc).