For Grace Larson, creating the Part Walking Horse Registry was just the next logical step following several circumstances . . . .
During the 1940’s and 1950’s my husband and I were raised with horses. His family used horses for farming, while mine ranched a land base that required miles of riding. We chose Tennessee Walkers for their smooth ride, stamina, and athletic ability. The Tennessee Walker, true to its history, is so versatile and that is what we needed on the ranch.
After being away from horses for many years, we purchased our first registered mare in 1989. As the saying goes, “Ride One Today, Own One Tomorrow”. Our ‘one’ wound up being 15. By 1998 we were standing three registered Walking stallions to outside mares. Many of those mares were AQHA, or other registered breeds, along with quite a few grade mares.
Three fillies out of an AQHA mare and one of our TWH stallions, proved to be the catalyst for what was to come. When the mare owner wanted to register his first filly in 1994, we referred him to the National Half Walking Horse Registry. The paperwork finally arrived the next year. He bred the mare back and her 1995 filly was also eligible for that registry, so once again he submitted the paperwork. But he never received a reply so he asked me for help. I sent the application Certified Signature Required, no reply, I sent it again registered mail, and finally got the second filly’s papers in October of 1996. The following year we started this process all over again, but this time, we never did receive a response. This was a real let down for those breeding other registered breeds to registered Walking Horses in hopes of registering their offspring.
In April of 1998, my friend Billie brought a mare to our stallion Goldust and stayed with us for the weekend. I told her what had happened when I had tried to contact the Half Walking Horse Association for our neighbor, and that there was a definite need for a registry. We had quite a few non-walker mares coming to our stallions every spring. Billie suggested that I start a registry to fill this need.
We didn’t know at the time the significant cost and amount of time involved in starting a registry. I didn’t even own a computer. Well, we decided to use Billie’s computer for the email address and I would use the US mail. THEN there was the issue of a name, what could I call the registry? The Half Walking Horse Association had already been used, the PWHA (Part Walking Horse Association) was taken, so I decided on the PWHR (Part Walking Horse Registry) this name was a go. I talked to my husband, he supported the idea, so the appropriate paperwork was submitted to the state of Montana where we reside. I had forms and brochures printed up, they were lacking in artistic talent, but the message was well received.
My first mailing went to TWH stallion owners, I knew I was not the only stallion owner breeding to non-walker mares. Registration helps both the stallion and mare owners market their offspring. Then we started advertising in the VOICE of the Tennessee Walking Horse and other horse magazines.
In June the first application for registration arrived. During the first year we registered 79 Part Walking Horses. By July of 2001, this had grown to 377 horses. The total transfers since the registry began were 35. Requests for applications started coming in several times per week.
In 1999 I bought a computer, so I no longer had to use Billie’s email address. By September of 2000 I decided the registry needed a new design. My web master was very good at creating the design I described and by November I had the design I wanted and have continued to use over the years.
The Part Walking Horse Registry is open to half, three-quarter, seven eighths and purebred Walking Horses whose sire or dam was not bloodtyped. The PWHR does not require a gait, but we do require proof of the sire or dam’s registration with either the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors Association, the International Pleasure Walking Horse Registry or Canadian Registry of the Tennessee Walking Horse. We also give recognition to the sire or dam that is registered with a Registry other than the Tennessee Walking Horse, be it Quarter Horse, Arabian, Appaloosa, Paint, Warmblood, etc. Their pedigree is placed on the registration form along with the pedigree of the Walking Horse sire or dam.
In the spring of 2002 the Walking/Racking Horse Registry and the Part Walking Horse Registry found it mutually beneficial to merge, having similar requirements.
From 1998 to May of 2008 there were over 1100 part walking horses registered in the PWHR with more horses applying for registration every week. We have registered horses from all over the United States, Canada and Germany. Many different breeds have been crossed with Walkers, and we have found it helps to be knowledgeable of the different breeds of horses and their pedigrees. Those that want to document the heritage of their Part Walking Horse horses deserve no less than the best service we can provide.