FORT WORTH, (APHA) – At the 2012 American Paint Horse Association Convention, held October 4–6 in Fort Worth, Texas, Grace Harris of Vancouver, Washington, was named the association’s Distinguished Service Award recipient.
Created in 1983 to honor the association’s 20th anniversary, the Distinguished Service Award annually recognizes an outstanding contributor to the breed and association.
A true ambassador for the Paint Horse breed, Grace has supported the association with local and national participation through 37 years of promotion and service. Her passion for the Paint Horse has drawn many members to APHA, and she never misses an opportunity to promote the breed or support a sponsored event.
In addition to holding positions as club treasurer and Paint-O-Rama manager, Grace served as a national director for 33 years, from 1984 to 2012. She helped develop the successful Northwest Stallion Service Auction Futurity program, of which she was the manager and treasurer for 20 years. She was the chairman of the International Committee in 2001 and 2002, and served as the vice chairman of the International, Membership and Regional Club committees from 1995 to 2000.
Grace has bred and shown her own Paint Horses for many years, and has a passion for educating others about the breed. She introduced many 4-H members to the Paint Horse breed through loaning her horses to club members and assisting in transportation to local shows.
“Everybody knows I’m the Paint lady in this area!” Grace said. “We also had racehorses, so my husband [Richard] had racehorses and I had Paint Horses. It’s taken me so many places, and every place I go I tell people about Paints and look for Paints.”
From breeding and showing exceptional Paints to promoting the breed through education and member outreach, Grace’s years of dedication to APHA have been invaluable. APHA is proud to recognize Grace as the worthy recipient of the APHA Distinguished Service Award.
“I don’t look back much, I look to the future,” Grace said. “Everything about Paints has been fun for me. What’s been so neat about my adventure is all the people who have helped me along the way.”