Registering and Showing Solid Paints...I'm confused

I am looking at purchasing a solid paint gelding. He is a sorrel with four white socks and a blaze. Both parents are registered paints. (Midas x RH Dreamer) and he is eligible for all sorts of programs as far as I understand. I’m confused if he would be in the regular registry or solid bred registry. And also, would there be any restrictions for showing him in APHA shows? Can I show in open classes at Aqha shows? I’ve only ever shown Aqha but it’s been a long time. Thank you!

What do his papers say? They will have it right on there if he is SBP or RR.

If SPB, he can only show in solid bred classes in APHA. If he is not registered AQHA, he cannot show in any AQHA classes. You can show him NSBA in color breed classes even if he is solid.


The lady hasn’t registered him yet, so I don’t know. I knew you can’t show a paint in an Aqha class but I thought you could in an open class? Obviously I’m confused lol

If its not a breed restricted class, you could show it in that class. But most “open” classes at AQHA shows are AQHA Open.

Depending on how high his white markings are and if he tests for one of the Paint genes, that would determine his SPB or RR status.


How old is he? If his being registered in anything is important to you, do NOT buy him unless he is registered and you get the papers with the bill of sale. Older horses cost more to register and this forum is full of sad tales about registration papers that were promised at sale time but never produced or sagas of tracking down incomplete records required to register leading to dead ends and eating the higher price for a registered horse that can’t be registered.

Sometimes breeders and sellers are just disorganized, occasionally they are dishonest, most often they were told it had papers when they bought it but never followed up and now have lost track of that seller.

Regardless, unless you physically have the papers, it’s a grade horse and can’t show in any breed restricted shows or classes.

On the AQHA Open classes, understand that AQHA shows , like most breed shows, are split into many restricted classes, Junior horse, Senior Horse,Youth, Amateur, in hand classes are split by sex and horse age. Open means anybody of any age or status can show any sex horse of any age. if it’s an Open class at a breed show, it is Open only to horses of that breed. There are also Open shows that are Open to any breed.

If you want to know how this gelding should be registered, what’s required and what it will cost at his current age, you need to go to the registry website and look it up or call and ask them. No way should anybody buy a horse without understanding what it’s options are and the basic rules governing those shows if they want to show in breed shows.

One other thought, AQHA has HYPP status requirements. The other stock breeds don’t and have ended up a place for those ineligible for AQHA due to HYPP , with all sorts of stories to explain why, except the truth. You describe a high white QH type chestnut gelding with no proof of parentage as in physically having registration papers. If I were you, I would get the test with final sale depending on a negative HYPP finding if I proceeded with buying this horse.

The info is out there and not hard to find, mist registries are very helpful to those looking to learn and maybe buy and show one with them. Do some research. And don’t forget Google. The truth is out there…


@findeight Great points which are helping me dig deeper and ask the right questions. Appreciate the feedback. I’ve had quarter horses for 20+ years so I’m familiar with the process and rules with AQHA but was a bit confused looking into the APHA and the different designations they have for color etc. I hadn’t even thought about the headache or risk of papering an older horse so that’s definitely something to consider. Sounds like I pretty much I need to be ok with him being grade incase I never can get papers. Food for thought. :slight_smile:

If you like horse and it’s priced appropriately? Go for it. If you want to show and there’s no decent Open shows near you? It’s a pass.

I don’t know anything about the variations in the solid APHA world these days. Showed APHA years ago quite a bit with a 50/50 Tobiano and a belly spot Dun with only a little stripe, no other white. The shows run pretty much along AQHA definitions and if there’s any color bias, less is more in the Halter and Rail classes. Go figure. I liked them, smaller then the QH shows, usually. Near solids price up and you can get something with more color at a bit of a discount. Showed my Toby in Western Riding and Trail, a few Reining classes to help fill and Hunter Hack. Did very well. Top Ten HOTY, ROM, some big wins. The belly spot Dun did the WP and Trail., not as successful but a solid show horse.

Id actually go for a regular APHA instead of offshoot registry with fewer opportunities and look for another Tobiano for price. Though I do love a high white chestnut…so does everybody else.

If he has solid APHA papers you are restricted to the solid bred classes at APHA shows- either open or amateur depending on your eligibility. If he meets the criteria for regular papers then you can show him in the regular color classes, of which there are a much greater variety to choose from. You can also show NSBA and PtHA if you register with those associations. Like others said I would make sure he is eligible to be registered or that they have registered him before you purchase, as that can be an added expense and headache.

What are you wanting to show him in?

Aside from all the points made above, there aren’t as many opportunities for SPB horses to show at APHA shows. There have been great strides made lately with Amateur and Open classes; but there still aren’t over fences classes for solids, there’s usually not driving, i don’t think western riding is a thing… it’s a very limited slate of classes.

You could probably register solid Pinto and I think they have more opportunity for solids. If both parents are APHA registered then you might squeak by under RG-070 if he carries a color marker.

@Arelle I was thinking showmanship, trail, any jumping (I’ve only been able to find one show in our area that offers a jumping class) and maybe halter. Or down the road my kids could do the same as youth. I used to show AQHA very competitively and don’t really have that drive anymore. Just a couple shows a summer to get out and do something. So I’m not super worried about a limit of classes since I don’t really have a goal for points. With AQHA there isn’t as many class restrictions (just open or breed) so this is new to me in the APHA world regarding SPB.

As as an update to his registration papers, the owner has the papers from the breeder, she just never sent them in. I told her I would only buy him if his papers were in order, otherwise he is grade and I would only pay grade price. He is four and beginner/youth appropriate which I think is an amazing opportunity since I have a beginner husband and three small children that eventually would upgrade to him.

As as far as showing goes, I think this guy is too good to pass up and if the showing is limited I may look for something else down the road. Since he is four I just like knowing it’s an option if I get a hankering in the future :slight_smile: Maybe he’ll just end up our family riding buddy, and that’s ok too. :slight_smile:

Sounds like you have a plan, just don’t overpay for such a young horse with few showing opportunities near you. And stick to your guns about having current papers in hand. Most common snags here are, in general not just pertaining to this situation,

  1. seller has the paperwork, somewhere, or they did last year no idea where they are now.

  2. seller does not have physical possession of any papers or breeding records claiming breeder/previous owner will provide.

  3. seller has papers with horse still in breeders or previous owner name and no signed transfer (least complicated to sort out- unless there’s a lien on it or it was reported stolen, BTDT),

  4. breeder/ previous owner out of business and vanished unable to provide any records.

5 ) breeder/previous owner still around but does not have any papers or breeding records from years ago that are required to register the horse,

Here there are no papers, there’s breeding information and dates, supposedly. There’s a process to register an older horse ( 2 or 3 on up) and if the exsisting paperwork on a cover 5 years ago is incomplete in any way it can get complicated. And it costs, including must be a member to register. Don’t take that horse until you get actual registration papers, not a pile of old breeding info. Or pay a grade horse price for him and just plan on showing Open.

I show typically in Texas and Oklahoma – here’s a showbill for an upcoming show on 11/17:

As you can see, there are NO fence classes offered at all (and that’s typical, at the world show there is not SPB over fences - hack, jumping, hunter, etc).

There is one youth and one amateur SMS class (and that’s typical, SPB is not broken into novice classes, nor age divisions - classic/masters or junior/senior).

Halter does have quite a bit of opportunity for SPBs, but again - not broken into junior/senior like the normal classes.

Trail is limited to youth, amateur, and open – no green, no junior, no senior.

So again – if you’re fine with that going in then you’re golden, but I know some people get upset when they don’t have the option for the more limited classes that are offered for regular registry paints.

AQHA actually has an even more convoluted system these days with their leveling program. :lol: I won’t try to explain since I don’t actually show AQHA - just have a lot of friends who do. Good luck whichever way you decide!

Just a thought regarding the papers, I bought a quarter horse a couple years ago. Seller had the horse’s papers but the breeder’s name was still on them (no one had ever transferred the papers and he had changed hands quite a few times). Long story short, seller never would provide me (or AQHA) a signed transfer report and they couldn’t track down most of the in-between owners. It took over a YEAR, but I did finally was able to get him registered in my name. I knew there was a chance going into it that I might not be able to get him registered to my name, and I was okay with that, but I am glad it finally all worked out. I never have shown at a breed show before … but I might like to someday.

Of course, that was AQHA, but big ditto to everyone else to make sure the seller has all the paperwork in order before you give her any money, or else consider the horse grade!