Special to the Register
Gainesville Daily Register
Fort Worth —
In a formal ceremony at the Fort Worth Hilton on October 5, association founder Rebecca Tyler Lockhart of Gainesville and her American Paint Horse Cherokee Maiden, a 1960 bay tobiano mare, were inducted into the American Paint Horse Association’s (APHA) Hall of Fame. Sired by Osage Dan and out of Maggie, Cherokee Maiden was bred by H.W. Harbour of Ringling, Oklahoma. Cherokee Maiden was APHA registration No. 23.
The Hall of Fame was created this year in honor of APHA’s 50th Anniversary to celebrate the horses and people who laid its foundation for success. Fifty members—25 people and 25 horses—were selected as the Hall of Fame’s first class, consisting of only the first pioneer humans and horses who either contributed directly to the founding the association or made significant contributions to its early growth.
Lockhart was a bona fide horsewoman from an early age.
Well known for her circa-1950s accomplishments as a show ring exhibitor and horse breeder, she decided in the early 1960s that there was a need for a Paint Stock Horse registry. As a result, APSHA was formed in a Gainesville cafe on Feb. 16, 1962.
The association’s first secretary, Lockhart used her promotional skills and considerable contacts to open the doors to the Paints at show venues throughout the country.
A master horse breeder, she contributed many top show and breeding horses to the breed. Fellow inductee Cherokee Maiden—Rebecca’s first registered Paint—was a cornerstone matron whose descendants can still be found in the working arenas.
Sold to Rebecca Tyler as a long yearling, “Cherokee” went on to become a top halter and Western pleasure performer.
In February 1963, she earned grand champion mare honors at the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth — the first major show venue to open its doors to Paint Horses.
In 1963, she was named as the APSHA High-Point Senior Halter Mare and Reserve High-Point Horse. A top producer as well, she was the dam of leading sires Hank-A-Chief and Cherokee Siemon.
One of the first mares registered by Rebecca Tyler, Cherokee Maiden died in the mid-1980s.
The 50 inductees were chosen from a large field of candidates by a five-member Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
Serving on the selection committee were: former APHA President Dr. John Hertner, chairman; former APHA Executive Secretary Ed Roberts; former APHA staff member Wanda Williams; former APHA President Diane Paris; and former Paint Horse Journal Features Editor Frank Holmes.
“This is an amazing start to what will become a first-class Hall of Fame,” APHA Executive Director Billy Smith said. “I can’t think of a more challenging job than picking the inaugural class to the APHA Hall of Fame. The committee worked tirelessly.”