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History of ESPHC

Seated, left to right, are Dr. Mel Dewey of Homer, Pres.; Pat Callahan fo Chittenango, Sec.; Bob Shuert of Homer, Treas.; "Kelly" Callahan, Vice-Pres.: Standing, l to r, are Directors Art Christmas of Tully and Bernard Hoban of Penn Yan.

In November, Barb Essengard attended the first meeting, at the ever popular local horse crowd dining establishment, Raphael’s on State Fair Blvd., in Lakeland. NY. Barb wrote an article that for in the Nov. Issue of her Horse Bits magazine. The following is a summary of her notes.

Many people were in attendance.  Some of the names I am sure will bring fond memories of many that are no longer with us.  The Art Christmases, the Jack Popes, Mel “Doc” Dewey, Bob Shuart, Pat McDonough, Ann Shayler, Kathy Davidson, Marty Bays, the “Kelly” Callahan’s, and the Mudge’s to name just a few.

The membership to the club, at that time, was $10.00 per member (no family memberships).  Barb also included the information about how to get your horse registered with the American Paint Horse Association. “For those who have spotted horses and may be interested in getting them registered as Paint Horses, the rules are briefly as follows:

  1. For animals born before 1963 registration may be with parents unknown.
  2. For animal born after 1963, one parent must be either registered Paint Horse, registered AQHA, or registered Thoroughbred (Jockey Club).
  3. For animals born after Jan. 1, 1970 one parent must be registered Paint and the other either reg. Paint, AQHA or T.B. There is a “hardship clause” and anyone really interested in registering an animal should call either Mel Dewey, at Homer, Punk Hoban at Penn Yan, Bob Shuart at Homer, or Pat Callahan at Chittenango right away as the books are closing only two months from now.  They have rule books and applications they can send you and may also be able to answer any other questions you might have.”

 Bernard “Punk” Bernard Hoban from Penn Yan, NY was also there as he had been one of the driving forces for bringing the Paint Horse to New York State.  In the years before the state of ESPHC, “Punk” had been attending various APHA activities.  In my oldest edition of “The Paint Horse Journal’s” May-June 1968 (that I can find at the moment), “Punk” and Joan Tolhurst were listed as 1968 Board of Directors for New York.  ”Punk” was also listed as a life member of APHA along with Rebecca Tyler. By 1971 areas had been developed by APHA and as Area Sixteen. We are now currently Area 3.

The Empire State Paint Horse Club is the oldest club in Zone 7, with its charter being awarded in November 1969.  The next club in our zone was the Garden State Paint Horse Club in 1973.

The First Annual September Futurity Paint Horse Show sponsored by the Empire State Paint Horse Club was held Sunday, Sept. 20, 1970.  By reviewing the show program, we learned that the show was held at Highview Farms, Pittsford, New York.  It began at 9:30 am (boy those were the days when we got to sleep in) and Mr. Jack Timmons was our judge (only one judge to watch for, wow).  We had 37 classes that included 6 futurity classes.  Note that the futurities were for ‘70 Stallions, ’69 Stallions, ’70 Mares, ’69 Mares (no gelding classes), 2 yr. Old Pleasure and a 3 yr. Old Pleasure futurity.  Entry fees for Open classes were $5.00 per class and we even had paybacks of $20, 15, 10, and 5.  The youth only paid $2.00 per class. To earn money for the club we raffled off a paint filly. The names on the program brought back fond memories of the many people that had a large part in running the show.  The names included: Dr. Mel Dewey (our first president), Rose Neuman, Edward Donahue, Joan Tolhurst, John North, Mr. & Mrs. Art Christmas, Mr. & Mrs. Pat McDonough, Mr. & Mrs. Bob Shuert, Mr. & Mrs. William Tolhurst, Mr. & Mrs. Gary Bowles, and Mr. & Mrs. Kelly Callahan.

Since that first show so many years ago, things have changed.  The show moved around, to various sites during the 70′s, from Pittsford to Palmyra. By the mid ‘80’s the show went to the Chemung County Fairgrounds in Horseheads.  It took a short 3-year stint at the NYS Fairgrounds in Syracuse and returned to Horseheads in 1991.

In the winter of 1971 the club held its first Stallion Service Sale and the first SSA Futurity Class was held Sept. 26, 1972 at the fall state show.  In 2011 the ESPHC held its 40th Annual Stallion Service Sale. One of the few remaining Stallion Service Sales in the region.



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