Reed City woman earns national paint horse honors

REED CITY — Coleen Bull will always have a special place in her heart for the 2011 American Paint Horse Association (APHA) season.

The APHA recently announced that Timeless Assets, a 6-year-old bay overo gelding, owned and shown by Bull, a Reed City resident, was named the open top 20 horse and bull with 282 points.

Bull was honored as the No.1 Masters amateur rider.

Timeless Assets, also called Tucson by its owner, earned the most points in the open halter and performance classes from no more than 20 shows. Bull earned the most points with one horse in the Masters amateur halter and performance classes to win her title which is open to amateurs 45 and older. The honor goes to the person with the most points accumulated on a one-horse/one amateur rider basis per calendar year.

Bull and Timeless Assets, at the 2011 APHA open/amateur world title show, won world championships in showmanship and hunt seat equitation, plus reserve world titles in hunter under saddle and Western horsemanship titles.

“A local girlfriend was after me for many years to get a paint horse,” Bull said. “About 2007, I got my first one. I competed off and on for a lot of years since I was a teenager...quarter horses and local open shows.”

A paint horse “technically has registered parents and color qualifications, meaning it has

enough white on its body to qualify as a registered paint horse,” Bull said. “Most people will equate it like to an Indian horse.”

Michigan, Bull noted, has two different paint horse clubs.

“They put on APHA-approved events,” Bull said. “Most of the shows in Michigan are in Midland or the Lansing area.”

She noted that she and her horse compete in the all-around category.

“That means we compete in everything,” Bull said. “We start in the morning with the halter class. I relate that to like a bodybuilding class.

“The partner to that is what they call a showmanship class, which is performing a pattern that the judges pick and they judge you based on how you perform that pattern.”

The horse and rider are judged as a team

“In the amateur division, I did all the showings,” Bull said. “In the open division, I showed some and my trainer showed some.”

Her trainers are Garth and Sonnesa Gooding of Fennville. Bull goes there about once a week to ride. That’s where the horse, which she owns, is trained.

“I’d like to try different things. I enjoy this an awful lot,” Bull said. “It’s the connection to the horse. I thoroughly enjoy my horse. I do work hard at it. I have a really good horse and really good trainers. I have flexibility at my job that allows me to do this. It’s everything. It takes all the pieces.”

Bull works at Peacock Industries in Baldwin.