More often than Paint breeders are comfortable with, a solid color foal is born out of one or two Paint parents. Though this horse may be out of championship bloodlines and have the potential to go to the top of the breed, it is immediately labeled a Breeding Stock Paint, a title that has come to be a nasty one for me, a proud owner of a beautiful mare that no registry seems to want in the show ring. The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) will register these horses, but they will not allow them to compete with color horses at breed shows, offering a few token "breeding stock" classes at local club shows. These classes are not offered at the world level. The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), though the horses are out of the same bloodlines, have the same conformation and meet AQHA's color standards, will not register them because one or both parents were Paints. Other than open shows, these horses have nowhere to really show, and the prestige and honor that accompanies a world title has been denied them. A call to AQHA gets a firm "no"; a call to APHA gets a "we're reviewing it at the next convention." There are many horse owners now who aren't even bothering to register their Breeding Stock horses anymore. Something's got to change in one or both registries- these horses have to be allowed to compete at the same level as other horses of their kind.
What Could Be Done
APHA could allow Breeding Stock horses to compete in all but the "color" class. Performance classes should be open to all registered Paints, regardless of color markings. This would be the simplest option by far; the horses are already registered. It's just up to APHA to do it.
APHA could set up a parallel show program for Breeding Stocks offering the same classes as the color horses get. They currently do offer "Breeding Stock Classes" at local club shows, but only seven classes have been approved to be offered, not leaving much to choose from. APHA could set up local Breeding Stock affiliate clubs that are allowed to offer the full program of classes, and then either have a separate Breeding Stock World Show or allow them to compete fully at the regular APHA World Show.
AQHA should evaluate certain Breeding Stock horses for membership. A Breeding Stock horse that has a tobiano parent and a solid parent or two tobiano parents carries NO COLOR GENE. They are as likely to have a paint offspring as any solid quarter horse; the only way to get a paint out of these horses is to breed them to one. However, it is true that the overo gene can be recessive. What AQHA should do is allow Breeding Stocks with tobiano or solid parents into the registry, because they are not going to pass on any color. Horses with one or two overo parents should be allowed full registration into APHA, because they could pass on color. AQHA could allow Appendix registry, like it does for 1/2 Thoroughbreds, if they wanted to monitor full admission.
A third registry for Breeding Stock horses could be formed. There is a significant number of these horses out there that would be eligible. The formation of a new registry would be difficult, but if APHA and AQHA continue to ignore these horses the way they have, they leave no other option. It would be a color registry branching off of Paint, much like Palomino and Buckskin are to Quarter Horse. It would take a while to reach the size and prestige of these others, but at least Breeding Stock horses would have an option for showing among other horses of their kind.
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