Following the Nez Perce War of 1877, the Appaloosa became a relatively obscure breed. In January 1937, however, the Western Horseman magazine published the first of several articles on the Appaloosa horse written by Francis Haines. These articles sparked the interest of Appaloosa owners from all around the country. Realizing the importance of preserving and improving the spotted horse breed, Claude Thompson, a long-time Appaloosa breeder, along with the help of a small group of dedicated horsemen, established the Appaloosa Horse Club in 1938.
In 1947 George Hatley was appointed executive secretary of the ApHC and the club’s records, contained in a shoe box, were moved from Moro,Oregon to the Hatley’s house in Moscow, Idaho. At this time there were 200 registered horses and 100 members. Over the next two decades the ApHC grew by leaps and bounds, necessitating four moves to larger quarters; the Club finally occupied its present building in 1974. George Hatley continued to lead the ApHC for 31 years until his retirement in 1978. At this point, over 300,000 Appaloosas had been registered and the ApHC was the third largest registry among light horse breeds.
Presently, the ApHC is an international breed registry with more than 635,000 Appaloosas’ records and 33,000 members. Today Appaloosas are used in nearly every equine discipline, including racing, jumping, dressage, reining roping gaming, pleasure and endurance. Outside the competitive arena Appaloosas are used as working ranch horses, trail horses, lesson horses and as safe and reliable family horses. The ApHC is dedicated to developing and providing programs and services to support Appaloosas and Appaloosa advocates through both competitive and non-competitive events.
For more information on these ApHC programs please visit Appaloosa.com.