Absolute success for three-of-a-kind

by Michelle Reichert


The third of Sir Isaac Newton’s “Three Laws of Motion” states that, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” As it turns out, this is especially true for three exceptional Paint siblings from Iowa. What a surprise for the Scheckel family when they did their first embryo transfer on their mare Absolutely Thrilling and ended up with a bay tobiano filly, a buckskin solid colt and a palomino solid colt. Photography by APHA STAFF.

The Scheckel family of Bellevue, Iowa, has been breeding horses for more than 15 years, but this past year has been an exceptional one. Their time and investment has proven worthwhile with the birth of three embryo transfer foals out of their mare, Absolutely Thrilling, and by the legendary halter stallion, Kids Classic Style (AQHA). All three now have earned titles at the Fall World Championship Show (there’s the “equal”).

At the Paint Vegas show in 2006, Tom Scheckel and his family spotted a beautiful black tobiano weanling filly, Absolutely Thrilling, and made plans to buy her. The transfer was complete in December 2006. Casey Veach, Tom’s daughter, said, “The mare was our favorite. We showed her a lot, but she never did get any titles. But, she was always our favorite because even though she wasn’t very tall, she was so pretty.”

Absolutely Thrilling was only 2 years old when they harvested three embryos out of her and bred to Kids Classic Style (AQHA), a buckskin whom the Scheckels also recently purchased at last year’s World Show. Each embryo was transferred to recipient draft mares and was born within a few weeks of each other. A peculiar note is that none of them looked alike (there’s the “opposite”). The first was a palomino Solid Paint-Bred colt, the second a bay tobiano filly and the third a buckskin Solid Paint-Bred colt. They are named Absolutely Solid, Absolutely Classic and Absolutely Stylin, respectively. “They look totally different. Totally different body shapes, totally different colors. They are three totally different horses. The mare put the pretty on these foals, but Kids Classic Style put the height.” Absolutely Solid, who is also registered with the Palomino Horse Breeders Association (PHBA), won the World Champion Solid Paint-Bred Weanling Geldings title in addition to being a world champion with PHBA as a weanling. Absolutely Stylin was Reserve World Champion Solid Paint-Bred Weanling Stallion and Absolutely Classic was Reserve World Champion Open Weanling Mares. Casey and her husband Jason show the weanlings in the Amateur classes and J. T. Mitchell and Leon Borcherding show them in the Open. Tom loves the buckskins so his favorite is Absolutely Stylin. “We keep giving him a hard time because he didn’t like the palomino, and the palomino has the most titles now,” Casey said with a grin.

The Scheckels are rightfully pleased with the equally impressive, but intriguingly different, outcomes of this cross. The weanlings were the dam’s first offspring, and she is bred back again, this time herself, to Kids Classic Style AQHA. “It’s been a great year and we can’t wait to see what we get the next time,” said Casey.

Viva Mexico!
Success at the World Show for Mexican-bred Miss Ali Tramp

 By Michelle Reichert


Miss Ali Tramp, a Mexican-bred Paint Horse, was the World Champion in Open Tobiano Weanling Mares and Reserve World Champion in Breeders’ Futurity Platinum Tobiano Weanling Mares. This bay tobiano filly was sired by Premenitions Tramp and out of Sparkle N Skip AQHA and is shown here with Terry Sartain who showed her in the Open Tobiano Weanling Mare class, Executive Committee member Mary Parrott and APHF President Cheryl Newman.

Manuel Mora Rojas of Jalisco, Mexico, had the dream of bringing some of his Mexican-bred Paint Horses to the APHA Fall Championship Show, and for a moment it almost didn’t happen. One phone call, one moment in time, and all seemed lost when a handler who was to pick up one of the horses couldn’t find her at the quarantine site in Mexico. Upon receiving the phone call that she was missing, Rojas took quick action to have the horse located by the handler through photos and searching every stall and paddock on the property. At last, she was found in the very back pasture, hidden from view.

“From now on, she will have someone accompany her through the quarantine process from beginning to end,” said Rojas. The missing filly was Miss Ali Tramp, who went on to win the World Champion title in the Open Tobiano Weanling Filly class and was the Reserve in the Platinum Breeders Futurity Tobiano Weanling Mares class. She is the first-known Mexican-bred Paint Horse to win a title at the World Show. Before she came to the United States, she had been shown in Monterrey, Mexico, and won. People had expressed interest to Rojas about buying her but he wouldn’t sell her. He had his sights set on the APHA World Show.

Rojas brought five horses with him from his ranch, Rancho los Duraznenses, to his first World Championship Show. Several had success, but Miss Ali Tramp was the one to earn a world championship. The filly is also double-registered, but not the way we usually find in the United States with a double-registered Paint/Quarter Horse. The filly is double-registered with the Mexican Paint Horse Association and APHA.

“This will be big news when we return to Mexico,” said Rojas. “People watched her on the APHA Web site’s live feed and have been calling us during the show, congratulating us.” Rojas is the current secretary for the Mexican Paint Horse Association and has been involved with them for several years. This is the first year they have been putting on officially-recognized APHA shows and they are excited about what the future holds. “Our goal is to develop our Youth and Amateur programs,” said Rojas. “It’s a family affair down there,” said Rojas, “and Youth are the backbone of every association.” His nephew hopes to come to the World Show next year and show in the Youth division.

Armando Hernandez of Diamond H Ranch in Skull Valley, Arizona, works with Rojas to get the horses back and forth across the border and ready to show. He also owns Miss Ali Tramp’s sire, Premenitions Tramp. He enrolled him and the mares into the Platinum division of the Breeders’ Futurity so that offspring of the stallion can compete at that high level. Miss Ali Tramp has definitely lived up to that. Hernandez said many other halter people in the U.S. have expressed interest in showing in Mexico and he has tried to give them advice to help them make that transition easier. Now that Mexico hosts officially-recognized APHA shows, Hernandez said he hopes that interest will continue and he encourages people to enter the competitions. The interest to attend the shows is great in Mexico and people are transitioning over to the Paints very quickly, he said. “We hope one day to have our own World Show in Mexico. The interest is there. We have large crowds at our shows, everyone comes to watch,” said Hernandez. “In the aisleways at the show, you have to move people to get your horse through.” APHA has also been helping the Mexican Paint Horse Association establish tracking for Paint Horses that are in Mexico. “We hope that with APHA’s help, we can double or even triple our number of registered Paint Horses,” said Hernandez. “There are going to be many more members and many more horses.” Our goal is to have more Youth and Amateur, to develop this part of our Club. Right now, our Honor Roll points count and breeders of Breeders’ Trust-enrolled foals get their points just like here in the U.S. We want people to come down and show. They just have to be prepared to make the four-day wait in quarantine to cross over.”

The team of Hernandez and Rojas shows what it takes to make the international partnership possible and viable. They were proud to share Miss Ali Tramp’s success this year and look forward to the future of their horses and their programs. “People are now breeding down there to send them to the World Show and are proud to have a Mexican-bred Paint,” said Hernandez. The future looks bright for the Mexican Paint Horse Association and its relationship with APHA. Manuel Mora Rojas and Armando Hernandez are proving that the partnerships between Mexican and American Paint Horse breeders are growing and thriving. According to the 2008 Annual Report, there are 109 APHA members and 193 Paint Horse owners in Mexico. In 2009 Mexico offered nine APHA-approved shows. “It is growing very quickly,” said Hernandez. “Every time APHA sends someone down to Mexico to our shows, the interest grows even more.”

"Many stories have been told regarding the origin of the name Skull Valley.

There is documentation to demonstrate that the name dates back at least to 1864 when the first gubernatorial party arrived in the future Prescott. While it is a fact that there were several severe battles with Indians after the arrival of white men in Skull Valley, the name actually derives from the fact that the first white man who entered it found piles of bleached Indian Skulls. The Skulls were found by Captain Hargraves' company of the First California Volunteers, while escorting Coles Bashford to Tucson in March of 1864. The Skulls were the remnants of a bitter battle between Apaches (Yavapais) and Maricopa (Pima) in which the latter were the victors. It is reported that the Apaches (Yavapais) had stolen stock from the Pima villages and were pursued by the Maricopas (Pimas). The dead were left where they fell.

At least thirty-five more Skulls were added to the bleaching bones as a result of a fight on August 12, 1866, in which six freighters (the chief of whom was a Mr. Freeman), five citizens and four soldiers battled more than one hundred Indians. The fight took place not more than three miles from the Skull Valley Station. Apparently the Indians were those who had stopped the same party from proceeding on its way on the first day of the month, forcing them to return to Camp McPherson, as the Skull Valley Station was called. A private citizen rode back to the post for help when the Indians appeared. He returned accompanied by Lt. Oscar Hutton, who demanded to know why the Indians had stopped the train. The Indians replied, as they had once before, that the water, the grass, and the country belonged to them and that all whites must leave the Valley within the week. After sharp words on both sides, the battle was joined. When the bloody conflict ended, twenty-three Indians lay dead in the immediate vicinity and several more were found at some distance from the battleground. These too were left where they fell."

(Byrd H. Granger, Will C. Barnes' Arizona Place Names, 5th Printing, 1975)


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