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June 30 / By Jessica Hein, Paint Horse Journal

Two classes at the AjPHA Youth World Championship Show featured an extra special bonus in addition to the standard world championship award presentation. The Elegant April Memorial Award and the Pretty Versital Memorial Award are presented to the winners of the Youth Working Hunter 14–18 and Youth Aged Mares classes, respectively, in honor of two legendary show horses.

Elegant April Memorial Award
Cameron Rohn of Westworth Village, Texas, took home the 2014 Elegant April Memorial Award on June 30 for his win in the Youth Working Hunter 14–18 with Secret Treasure (left). The 2003 black overo gelding by Prince Stanley (TB) and out of Tabatreasure was bred by Dalene Knight of Redmond, Oregon and is owned by Shannon Rohn.

The Elegant April award is presented the world champion of Youth Working Hunter 14­–18; additional tiers are awarded if the horse-and-rider duo also win Youth Hunter Hack 14–18 and Youth Hunter Under Saddle 14–18 or Youth Hunt-Seat Equitation 14–18. The three-tier trophies and scholarships are courtesy Jennifer and Margie Chan of Elegan Paint Horses in honor of their multiple world champion Elegant April (below).

“Ellie,” a 1991 sorrel overo mare by Robins Scribbler and out of Rosy Outlook (QH), earned 937 Youth points and 201 Amateur points with Jennifer, including a total of eight world and three reserve world championships. She also earned 639 Open points, two world and two reserve Open world championships. After the mare died in 2003, the Chans decided to memorialize her with a special award, which they present annually at the Youth World Show.

“We wanted a special award that not only highlighted the unique ability required to win a special combination of classes like Ellie did, but also an award that would highlight that special bond that every kid has with that one special horse,” Jennifer said. “Our time together was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and while I would give anything to have my best friend back, it is somewhat comforting to know that the Elegant April Memorial Award will keep her memory alive forever.”

Pretty Versital Memorial Award
Capturing a win in Youth Aged Mares on June 29, Presley Parker and FF Infallible (left) took home the Pretty Versital Memorial Award. FF Infallible, a 2009 sorrel overo mare by Hear The Cheers (QH) and out of Fantacy Funds, is owned by Presley and was bred by Tommy and Judy Ford. Together, Presley and her mare defended their 2012 and 2013 world championship titles in Youth halter.

The Pretty Versital award is presented annually to the winner of Youth Aged Mares by Burns Skyview Ranch Inc in honor of their five-time world champion mare, Pretty Versital (pictured below). The 1996 buckskin overo mare by Mr Far Verse and out of Fluorescence (QH) was purchased by the Burns family in 2000. During her show career, Pretty racked up 1,495 halter points along with five world championships and three reserve world championship titles. Yet despite all of her accolades in the show ring, it was Pretty’s kind nature that made her part of the family.

“It was a great feeling walking into the ring with her, but it was even better watching my 5-year-old son show her,” Richard said. “Lots of horses are broke for a kid to show, but Pretty Versital is the only one you could say you trusted 100 percent. She loved kids; she showed the best when a kid was showing her—if she wore a shirt, her buttons would have popped off. She always knew where they were and was careful with every step she took.”

Unfortunately, Pretty was euthanized in spring 2003 following an unsuccessful colic surgery.

“We knew we had to do something to recognize such a wonderful mare,” Richard said, “so with the help of Clayton Gant with Cowboy Bronze, the Pretty Versital Memorial Award was created. We decided it would be given to the world champion Youth Aged Mare because Pretty loved being shown by the kids the most. The award itself depicts the night we buried her. My two sons, arm in arm at the edge of her grave with the ribbon and books they were about to place on her body, with Pretty behind them looking down from heaven.”

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[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]

About APHA
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.

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