SEPTEMBER 2000 BACK ISSUE
Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 09/2000; 2:00:00PM.
Dedicated Riders Reach APHA Milestones
FORT WORTH, Texas-While trail riding one day with her treasured Paint Horse, Son Seeker Dowanza, Frankie French made a vow to her late father, C.W. Blevins. She pledged that she would honor his memory by reaching a special riding program goal that would require seemingly endless hours of dedication over the next few years.
"My father was always so proud of my accomplishments riding horses over the years," said Frankie, of Graham, N.C. "He was my mentor, and he always encouraged me to ride."
So ride she did, right into the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) record books as one of the few people to reach the 3,000-hour level in the Ride America® program. Frankie's travels on her 7-year-old sorrel overo stallion took her to four states-West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. "I rode up in the mountains, down on the beach and everywhere in between," recalled Frankie. "I did it for my father."
Making a vow on horseback and carrying it through is nothing new to Frankie, who was married on horseback four years ago in Myrtle Beach, S.C. "There were 600 horses on the beach that day, even the preacher was on horseback," recalled Frankie.
Next year, Frankie hopes to head back to Myrtle Beach and log 2,000 more hours on her Paint Horse-this time to honor her mother.
Frankie, who said she rides between one and eight hours per day, is a strong proponent of APHA Ride America. "I think this is one of the greatest programs an association can offer," said Frankie. She said she has enjoyed setting and accomplishing trail-riding goals and has developed a special bond with her Paint Horse in the process. For her accomplishments, Frankie will receive a patch and BMB customized saddle pad.
Two receive 1,000-mile awardsTwo Canadian residents also rode their way to award-winning levels as part of the American Paint Horse Association's Ride America program.
Colleen Coulthard, of Castor, Alberta, logged 1,000 miles of riding around her hometown on Cactus Dandy, her 6-year-old sorrel overo gelding.
Heather Harrison, of Gagetown, New Brunswick, reached her milestone atop Justa Nuisance, her 8-year-old chestnut breeding stock mare.
The Ride America program recognizes participants for reaching achievement levels ranging from 100 to 3,000 hours. Awards vary from Ride America patches for each level, to water bottles, saddle bags, halters and lead ropes, and customized saddle pads. Awards are provided by APHA and BMB Tack.
For more information on Ride America, contact program coordinator Patty Lavelle at (817) 834-2742, extension 248, or send an e-mail to her at firstname.lastname@example.org