Winners Announced in the National Art Competition sponsored by Trail of Painted Ponies and Appaloosa Horse Club

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Early in 2013 the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) announced its partnership with The Trail of Painted Ponies in celebration of the ApHC’s 75th Anniversary. Today we are pleased to announce the results of the National Art Competition "Celebrating the Beauty and History of the Appaloosa Horse."

National Art Competition by Trail of Painted Ponies and Appaloosa Horse Club

There are few things more powerful than the connection between people and horses, as evidenced by the creative efforts put into this contest.

Artists and non-artists alike were encouraged to submit designs that embodied the “Celebrating the Beauty and History of the Appaloosa Horse” theme for possible production into a world-renowned Trail of Painted Ponies figurine.

Designs were accepted from March 1 to May 1, 2013. Prizes were awarded in two categories: 1) Breed and 2) Native Heritage. Artists selected from five copyrighted and registered Painted Ponies forms on which to submit their design. There was no submission fee, and artists were able submit multiple designs. Judging was based on beauty, skill, creativity and originality, along with the concept and story of the design.

The top designs received before April 1, 2013 were featured on the facebook pages of Trail of Painted Ponies and Appaloosa Horse Club.

Each art competition held by The Trail of Painted Ponies has a system of judging that allows enthusiasts (art, horse, breed, Painted Pony) to vote for their favorite. We set up two categories in this competition – one celebrating the Native heritage of the Appaloosa breed, the other its natural beauty – and let our public online voting system determine the top three winners. Because there were so many excellent submissions, we also decided to create a fourth finalist in each category, awarding that artist with an Honorable Mention.

“The Trail of Painted Ponies is proud to have partnered with the Appaloosa Horse Club to create this exciting new art competition which celebrates the beauty and history of the Appaloosa horse and the 75th anniversary of ApHC,” said Rod Barker, founder, The Trail of Painted Ponies. “This art competition raised invaluable awareness of the great work of the Appaloosa Horse Club, while searching for the best new artistic talent in America. The winning Painted Pony from this competition may have the honor of being crafted as a collectible figurine from The Trail of Painted Ponies.”

"We appreciate the interest in the Painted Ponies competition and want to thank everyone who shared their talents. There are few things more powerful than the connection between people and horses, as evidenced by the creative efforts put into this contest," adds ApHC CEO Steve Taylor.

And the winners are:

Native Heritage Catagory
First Place: Blood Brothers by Kelly Kurtz
Second Place: Sweet Dreams by Jesse Leach
Third Place: Bonded at Birth by Carrie Heale
Honorable Mention: Commemoration of the Spirit by Tesha Hammonds

Beauty of the Appaloosa Breed Category
First Place: Ghost Wind by Billie Campbell
Second Place: How the West Was Colored by Sharlene Rayl
Third Place: Spot by Janee Hughes
Honorable Mention: Artist's Palette by Darynn Bednarczyk

To view the winning designs, read the design back stories and meet the artists visit the art competition online at

The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) was established in 1938 with a mission of preserving, promoting and enhancing the Appaloosa breed. The ApHC has since registered more than 700,000 Appaloosas, which are known for their distinctive color, intelligence and even temperament. True to their reputation as an extremely versatile breed, Appaloosas can be found in nearly every discipline including racing, endurance riding and serving as reliable family horses. The international breed registry is headquartered in Moscow, Idaho, the heart of the Palouse region—the Appaloosa breed’s namesake and point of origin.

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Merida McClanahan, ApHC Director of Marketing
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