Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century brought two-toned horses with them, descendants of horses from North Africa and Asia Minor. Over time, these colorful horses became a cherished staple of the western frontier. Throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, these horses were known by a variety of names, including Paint, Pinto, Skewbald and Piebald. In the early 20th century, they were largely excluded from registries in North America.
At the Curtwood Motel in Gainesville on February 16, 1962, sixteen dedicated horsemen and horsewomen met to discuss a new association dedicated to colorful stock horses. The group determined a new equine breed registry was needed. Christened the American Paint Stock Horse Association (APSHA), the new organization's directives were to collect, preserve and record the pedigrees of paint stock horses; publish a stud book; maintain a registry; and regulate the breed's exhibition, publicity, sales and racing. The first registered American Paint Horse, Bandit's Pinto, was registered on August 11, 1962. By the end of the year, 250 paint horses were registered and the association counted 150 members.
In the 1960s, a second paint horse registry, the American Paint Quarter Horse Association (APQHA), opened its doors. The two associations merged in May 1965; from that point, it was known as the American Paint Horse Association (APHA). The APHA is the world's second-largest equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA preserves the history of the American Paint Horse, creates and maintains programs that increase the value of the breed and enriches members' experiences with their horse. Marker is Property of the State of Texas