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Meet Mr. January 2014

The AJ 2014 Calendar Featured Stallion, Mad Desire (January 2014)

Summer Landscape - Bavaria

Mad Desire, “Bugsy,” is owned and loved by Johanna Downs of Yorba Linda, California and stands at the Dal Porto Ranch in Brentwood, California. He is a 2009 stallion by TD In Three (QH) and out of Kela Figment. Mad Desire was raised and started on his show career by Marco Bertazzoni of La Pavarana Ranch in Pilot Point, Texas.

Downs’ love for horses re-emerged while watching her sister Julie Flagtwet win the Two-Year-Old Halter Mares class at the 2010 World Show. She informed her niece Brooke Flagtwet that she was serious about buying a horse from the World Show. Brooke chose the yearling stallion based on specific criteria she wanted: his royal pedigree, impeccable conformation and exquisitely expression-filled face.

With Julie’s expertise and guidance, Downs began preparing Bugsy to compete in the World Championships of 2011 and 2012, to be followed by a breeding career.  He returned to the World Show as a two-year-old, taking a unanimous Non-Pro Championship win with Julie Flagtwet and an Open Reserve World Championship with Terry Sartain.

By the end of 2012 and with many National and World Championships under his belt, as well as the year-end Three-Year-Old High-Point Stallion award, Dal Porto Ranch—which was hired after the World Show in 2011 to assist in the training and showing—began working on his career as a sire. Bugsy passed the 5-panel test N/N across the board and began to attract mare owners from the USA, Europe and Australia. He has frozen semen prepared, with several great mares in foal down there. Nicole Wilson is his Australian representative and some of his biggest supporters are from down under. He is gearing up for an exciting first-breeding season in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Please take a look at this young stallion for your favorite mares in 2014!




Medallions Awarded:
2012 Bronze – Halter – Three-Year-Old Stallions

Open Awards:
2012 Year End Top Ten – Three-Year-Old Stallions
2012 Register of Merit – Halter
2012 Reserve National Champion Three-Year-Old Stallion Open
2012 Reserve World Champion Three-Year-Old Stallion Open
2012 National High-Point in the Nation
2011 World Champion Two-Year-Old Stallion N/P
2011 Reserve World Champion Two-Year-Old Stallion Open
2010 World Champion Yearling Stallion N/P

Non-Pro Awards:
2012 Register of Merit – Halter


Bred By:
Marco Bertazzoni
La Pavarana Ranch
Pilot Point, Texas

Owned By:
Johanna Downs
Yorba Linda, California

Standing At:
Dal Porto Ranch
Steve & Carol Dal Porto
8650 Byron Highway
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 625-4535

Destiny Zeiders’ Zippo Psychic Vision Youngest Non-Pro Supreme Champion Horse

Destiny Zeiders of Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, is ecstatic at winning the ApHC Non-Pro Supreme Champion Horse award with her mare, Zippo Psychic Vision, “Tia,” the fourth and youngest horse ever to claim this prize. Additionally, all points for this award were accumulated on the regional circuit.

“I think the biggest excitement comes from this being a home-bred, owned and trained horse,” Zeiders said. “Tia is out of my youth all-around mare Psychic Power and by the late ZipposCountryBoy. In 2005 after college I thought I would really like to get back into showing and doing the all-around events, but coming out of college I knew I didn’t have the money to spend on a ‘made’ horse, so I decided my best option would be to breed for what I wanted.”

Zeiders had won two 1999 Youth World Show titles in showmanship with Psychic Power, so she knew she already had a quality mare. Some friends of hers had acquired World Champion western pleasure horse ZipposCountryBoy, so all was set for a winning Appaloosa combination to be produced the following year.

“She is like a custom order for me,” Zeiders said. “I really wanted a buckskin filly with flakes over her hips and that is exactly what I got!”

The Non-Pro Supreme Champion Horse award is given to horses who have earned at least 100 points, at least 40 of which must be in halter classes and 60 in performance at a limit of 10 points per individual performance class. Additionally, the horse must have Registers of Merit (ROMs) in four of the five performance categories, and points have to be awarded by at least five different judges.
Only four horses have been issued this award: ImAPrettyBoyFloyd, age 13, 2001; Rock Solid HH, age 14, 2002; Applaud For Me, age 10, 2009; and now Zippo Psychic Vision, age 6, 2012.

Zippo Psychic Vision has 43 total Non-Pro halter points and 222.5 total Non-Pro performance points, as well as the Non-Pro Champion Horse award and Non-Pro ROMs in Hunter Under Saddle, Keyhole Race, Reining, and Hunter in Hand Mares.

Because of a back problem and cellulitus with Tia in 2011, Zeiders said this award was not even on her radar until some friends suggested she shoot for it. As the health problems restricted her to halter and showmanship classes—traditionally the hardest to earn—she found that she was only missing a few equitation and working points. Earning these, however, came down to the wire at the last regional show of 2012, Garden State in Branchville, New Jersey.

“Going into the show I needed two more anything points to get the performance total, four games points and one reining point,” Zeiders said. “Once I got the games points in the morning and the performance points in the afternoon I was able to breathe a little easier. Reining was the last class at the show and as I was finishing and walking out of the ring with Tia, it started to downpour. Thankfully it held off enough for me to get finished. When they announced the results I think everyone thought that my mom and I were crazy for jumping around in the total downpour.”

Even though she knew she had the points—earned during regional shows in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, New York and her home state Pennsylvania—for the award, waiting for official confirmation was stressful.

Zeiders attributes these points to much hard work, extensive practice and training. She broke and started training on Tia doing showmanship, halter and English. In 2010 she started working with local Quarter Horse trainer Holly Thomas on Western Pleasure, Trail and Equitation. During the winter of 2011-2012 she went to Dutch Chapman Reining Horses to get herself acclimated with reining to try securing those points. She had trained her own games horses since her youth, so she honed that aspect during winter.

Earning this award was an astounding accomplishment, but Zeiders has her sights even higher: Finishing out her own personal Non-Pro Supreme Champion award, for which she needs a handful of equitation points. After this, she’d like to shift her focus slightly.

“I really enjoy showing the all-around, but I think my heart is more in the speed classes.”

Horses have always been a significant part of Zeiders’ life, since owning a pony at age five. When she was 11 she acquired her first show Appaloosa mare, Dream In Pajamas, who is now 25 and still under her care. She got into Appaloosas because the farm at which she first took lessons had mostly Appaloosas. She only showed a few times during her youth career, but decided she wanted to do more after college.

“I have enjoyed the friendships and the camaraderie since coming back into the circuit,” she said. “I think this is one of the best things about showing Appaloosas.”

Registration Q & A

Q: Karen from Iowa writes, ”I recently bought a beautiful black horse with an Appaloosa coat pattern. I have no idea if his parents are Appaloosas, but someone told me I could register him with the ApHC. Is this true? If so, what do you need from me?”

A: Dear Karen, thanks for your question! We are always surprised at the number of people who own horses that look like Appaloosas but have unknown parentage. The ApHC prides itself on being one of the only registries offering registration rights and privileges to horses that appear to be Appaloosas but have unknown or unapproved pedigree. But first, a few simple requirements must be met.

ApHC-registration for horses with unknown or unapproved pedigree is referred to as Hardship-registration. To alleviate the possibility of perpetuation of an unknown or unapproved pedigree, all horses ApHC-registered through Hardship-registration must be gelded or spayed.

Geldings and spayed mares are eligible for Hardship-registration when they display the following characteristics so as to be eligible for Regular (#) ApHC-registration classification:

I. an Appaloosa coat pattern so as to be eligible for Regular (#) registration classification, or

II. mottled skin and white sclera encircling the iris of the eye, or

III. mottled skin and a striped hoof in the absence of a white leg marking.

To apply for Hardship-registration, simply go to, click on Registration, then on Downloadable Forms. Print the Hardship Registration Application and complete it to the best of your ability. The ApHC understands that with a Hardship gelding or spayed mare, you may not know the exact foaling date, or gelding date, so it is perfectly fine to submit your best estimates. If the pedigree is unknown, or does not meet ApHC bloodline requirements, write “Unknown” where sire and dam information is requested. Your gelding or spayed mare will then be ApHC-registered with an unknown pedigree.

Along with the Hardship Registration Application, submit four current color photographs of your horse, including both sides, a direct face, and a rear view, clearly showing all face and leg markings. We also recommend you submit close-up photographs of the horse’s Appaloosa characteristics, brands, and/or scars.

Hardship-registration and an ApHC membership introduce you to a multitude of ApHC programs and services, increase the value of your horse by certifying ownership and create showing, trail riding, and award-earning opportunities for you, your horse, or a future owner. For horses with unknown parentage, the nominal $100 ApHC member fee is an amazing savings considering there are no Stallion Breeding Reports, DNA typing, or Approved Breed Listings required!

Please note there are additional fees and requirements for Hardship-registration applicants when one or both parents are registered with the ApHC or an approved breed.

For assistance with Hardship-registration, please contact the Registration Department at 208.882.5578 ext. 300. We will be more than happy to walk you through the process so that you have that desired ApHC Certificate of Registration in your hands in no time!

Click here to find out more.

Out & About

Appaloosa Wins Big at Arizona Sun Circuit

By Laura Gilmer
Portion reprinted with permission from

A unprecedented win at the Arizona Sun Circuit has brought to the limelight a young and talented gelding named Solo Cup. The three-year-old Appaloosa competed against Quarter Horses and ended up beating everyone in a deep open three-year-old western pleasure class with Troy Compton in the saddle.

“He is the best horse I have ever had next to (multiple AQHA World Champion) Cool Krymsun Lady,” says owner, Sara Heeley, who along with her husband Pat, run Heeley Pleasure Horses located in Van Meter, Iowa. “Solo Cup gives you a hundred percent all the time. No matter how he would have ended up, I couldn’t be prouder of this Appaloosa who has done nothing but impress me. If anyone ever told me an Appaloosa would be one of my favorite horses, I would have laughed at you but this horse has done everything I have ever asked of him. He will always have a home with me.”

World Champion trainer Troy Compton, who rode Solo Cup to the win in Arizona, is also very impressed by this talented gelding. “He is phenomenal and takes a full stride and throws his legs out there exactly how we want the top western pleasure horses to look,” says Compton, who has been friends with Pat and Sara for many years. “We often think of Quarter Horses as being the superior breed but there are some nice Appaloosas out there and Solo Cup is a testament to that fact.”

In 2012, Solo Cup won the two-year-old Open at the Appaloosa Nationals, the two-year-old BCF Color at the NSBA World Show, the Open Two’s at the Appaloosa Show at the Reichert, and at the Appaloosa World he won the ApHC Open Two’s with Troy Compton and the ApPHA Open Two’s with Patrick Heeley.

“Of course, he went above and beyond at the World and let me show him four weeks after having a baby and not riding for seven months,” says, Sara, who had an adorable baby boy named Hudson in October. “We ended up third in the Non Pro Maturity against horses that were two, three, four, and five years old.”

Solo Cup is also branching out and trying new events. Beth Case showed him in the three-year-old hunter under saddle class in Arizona and looked impressive in his debut. The Heeley’s plan to continue showing him in the western pleasure, hunter under saddle and Jason Martin of Highpoint Performance Horses plans to teach him the western riding.

“His future is wide open and I look forward to what is in store. No matter what, I love my Solo Cup,” Sara says.

Solo Cup is sired by up-and-coming Appaloosa stallion, Chocolatey (Harry) and stands at BSB Quarter Horses in Sturgis, Michigan. Harry is a 2005 stallion by Hot Chocolate Chip and out of Pass In Style. He is owned by Noelle Schmidt of Stillwater, New Jersey. By the end of his three-year-old year, he was a five-time NSBA champion at such shows as the Reichert Celebration and Southern Belle. He is also the recent sire of ApHC Color Limited Champion, Chocolate and Jack.

“I am very excited with all of Solo Cup’s accomplishments, and the greatest thing is that Pat Heeley, who trained and won so much with my stallion, Chocolatey, continues to win big with Chocolatey’s get,” says owner, Noelle Schmidt. “I believe Chocolatey opened a lot of doors for the Appaloosa breed with his many NSBA wins, and now he continues his legacy when his get do the same at these major shows with an audience full of mainly AQHA spectators. With this kind of notoriety, my hope is that more AQHA people may consider keeping a good Color horse on the trailer to haul to these shows. The money is definitely there and our horses have proven themselves to be competitive not just in a Color pen but also in an Open pen.”
BSB Breeding Manager Shelley Donovan is also very excited about this young stallion’s offspring. “We are so proud of Team Heeley and Compton. Pat and Sara are true believers that the Chocolatey kids can compete with everyone,” Donovan states. “Chocolatey is a real ambassador for the Appaloosa breed by breaking down those spot barriers. We are glad that Harry is part of our family at BSB Quarter Horses. He is a great cross for folks wanting to add a little color to their babies.”

Solo Cup’s breeder, Todd Michael said, “His success is no surprise to me as I owned his grand-dam, Sassy Story who won numerous World and National Championships in several different events throughout her career.” In addition, Solo Cup’s pedigree reveals four ApHC Hall of Famers, all very well known for siring both halter and performance get: Top Hat H, Goer, The Executive, and Bright Eyes Brother.

“Many folks believe that a mare must prove herself in the show ring before she can be a producer. Zips Own Story (Zip On Down x Sassy Story) never made it to the pen but her only colt to date sure has,” Michael proudly states. “What Solo Cup may not remember about his dam is that she is blind. In fact, he wore a bell around his neck placed there by his daily caretaker, Ruth Utsler-Smith, so that she didn’t have to worry about him in the pasture and that his momma always knew where he was.”

Michael pointed out that it takes a village to create a show horse. “One hopes they have chosen the right stallion to cross on their mare, then keep the resulting foal safe and sound, when sold having an owner make the right decisions and match the best trainer, investment in the right advertising program,” and then he added, “with a little bit of luck thrown in.” With all the champions Michael Show Horses has bred, he mentions that these are extra special to him because he was the breeder of Solo Cup’s dam too. In fact, he is so excited with Team Heeley’s success he has booked Zips Own Story as well as a filly out of her, back to Harry for 2013 in hopes of creating even more “cups” of Chocolately.

Michael concluded, “It’s so exciting to have bred a horse that can compete with the best horses anywhere and everywhere. I have a lot of pride that he is an Appaloosa to Appaloosa cross and so was his dam, and so was his sire. It just shows everyone, we have quality horses in our breed that are competitive not only within our own breed but against other breeds too!”