Retiree 'reins' supreme with Appaloosas


Charles Potts reached back into childhood to pursue his retirement hobby. He was raised on a ranch and plopped on a horse as a 21/2-year-old. After he sold his Idaho horses in 1960, he didn’t own another one until 48 years later.

Now he’s dipping into horse breeding, but not with just any equine. “I am fascinated by the genetics of Appaloosa gene mutation, an LP-designated gene that causes the spots. (It) apparently occurred thousands of years ago and only once. The spotted horses in the caves of France and Spain were literal renditions,” Charles said.

He’s in horse heaven these days on his place 10 miles east of Walla Walla in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. His Blue Creek Appaloosas ranch is near Blue Creek where he’s raising a stable of prize-winners.

His BCA Tofoz Shandalupa won the 2012 Foal of the Year contest sponsored annually by Sundance 500 International. It was announced in the spring 2013 issue of Sundance 500’s quarterly magazine. Shandalupa is a Gap 5 foundation Appaloosa registered with Appaloosa Horse Club in Moscow, Idaho, Charles said. This type of horse has nothing but registered Appaloosas on both sides of its pedigree going back at least five generations, he said.

“One very famous Appaloosa stallion named Sundance, whose registration number was 500, is the source of the club’s name.”

The ancestral lines of all but one of Charles’ 15 foundation Appaloosas can trace its ancestry back to Sundance. “Appaloosas are versatile in all disciplines and are famous for their colorful spotted coat patterns as well as their pleasant dispositions. Appaloosas were first developed in our area by the Nez Perce and Palouse Indians. North West Horsemen (ApHC) is a regional club favoring Appaloosa horses centered in Walla Walla.”

Charles said prize-winning horses run in Shandalupa’s family as her sire, BCAP Tobys Fossil, won the 2009 Foal of the Year contest, and her full brother, BCA Tofoz Chatanga will be a contender this year.

From 50 to 100 breeders are involved in the Foundation Appaloosas project domestically and abroad. They breed Appaloosas to Appaloosas to refine, enrich and define them as purebreds, Charles said.

“Other individuals love to cross them with other light breeds, such as quarter horses, Arabians and thoroughbreds.

Charles is also busy growing raspberries and stays involved, “seeing to it that our elected representatives make good public policy, particularly as it concerns the public school system.”

A poet, he actively publishes and reads around the country. He donated his literary archive to the Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University and is a frequent lecturer there.

The awards that BCA Tofoz Shandalupa and sire BCAP Tobys Fossil won from Sunday 500 International were given in response to membership votes from photographs, Charles said.

He shows the horses on occasion, most recently at the Walla Walla Fair. BCA Fourmile Brandy won first place in Appaloosas under 3, and BCAP Tobys Fossil won second.

SHA Patchobys Design, one of his premier brood mares, a 100 percent Foundation FPD Appaloosa, won some trail riding classes a few years ago for her young rider, Heather Ball, and won many ribbons in 2009 at the Oregon Trail Appaloosa Horse Club annual show in Powell Butte, Ore., including first place in open fillies.

Visitors are welcome at Blue Creek Appaloosas by appointment. Call 522-7884 for more details.

Walla Walla High School students Hirut Senter, Mary Beth Jones and Liya Senter garnered first place in the Women’s Small Ensemble category at state competition April 26. As The Nutella Girls, the trio performed “O Had I Jubal’s Lyre,” and an arrangement of “Ave Maria.” They are coached by Walla Walla Community College vocal instructor Julie Jones. Their accompanist was Carson Schmidt.

Soprano soloist junior Daisy Schoen, took second place in her category. She may be the first Wa-Hi student to place at state in the soprano category, according to a release from the Wa-Hi Choral Music Department. Her performance included “The Laughing Song” from the Opera “Die Fledermaus” by Strauss. Daisy studies privately with Walla Walla University vocal instructor Christine Janis.

“These are two of the most competitive categories at state. It is especially difficult to place or win in these areas,” said choral director Norb Rossi. “All of our students did an outstanding job on their performances. They have worked hard and deserve being recognized for their high level of work.”

The 2013 WMEA/WIAA state music competition was on the Central Washington University campus on April 26-27. Wa-Hi choral students earned slots in several categories by performing in March at the CBMEA Solo-Ensemble Contest. There were four ensembles and six soloists taking part from Wa-Hi, representing the Columbia Basin Music Region.

Students at state compete against the best in each category from the 22 music regions across the state. Each entrant must sing for three adjudicators.

A men’s duet, The Basstie Boys, Nathan Loomer and Caleb Leitch, performed extremely well and earned an Excellent rating. They sang “Homeward Bound” and “Down the Ohio.”

The women’s large ensemble Belles Voix earned a superior rating for their songs, “On the Beach at Nigh Alone,” “Le Sommeil de L’Enfant Jesus,” and “Per la Gloria D’Ardorarvi.”

TWD, or Those Who Dared, rated superior in the Large Mixed Ensemble category and sang “My Old Kentucky Home” and “Il est bel et bon.” One of the judges praised them for a “superb performance.”

Soloists performed on April 27. Senior Courtney Griggs sang in the Mezzo Soprano category, earning a superior rating. Courtney studies with College Place music educator ReNae Davis. Courtney overcame illness to come up with an outstanding performance, Norb said.

As an alto, junior Piper Titus earned an excellent rating. It was her first trip to state and “she gave a very musical performance.”

Caleb, a junior, sang in the bass solo category, including “Deep River.” His strong performance and earned an excellent rating.

Senior John Gossett sang in the baritone category at 8:30 a.m. “He rose to the occasion and gave a very musical performance: He earned a superior rating for a program that included a Schubert Lieder.

Senior Cougar Henderson, a tenor, earned a superior rating with an Italian aria and Henry Purcell’s “I Attempt from Love’s Sickness to Fly.”

Norb added, “We could not have done this without the help of our parents, voice teachers and accompanists. Melissa Cadieux, Gary Hemenway, Carson Schmidt and Karen Kelly were great support as piano accompanists for our students.”

As Noon Rotary Club of Walla Walla disburses $7,000 in scholarship assistance to students from the greater Walla Walla Valley, two more young people received awards of $1,000 each.

The students must demonstrate they are making academic progress, plan on attending college in the fall and have overcome some personal or academic hardship, according to Rotarian Linda Hardy.

This is the fifth year the club has presented these awards, but has had more than 35 years giving scholarship money to the local colleges to support students in their pursuit of a degree.

Recipients are seniors Michaela Stalder, who “has sprinted over setbacks in her family including drug arrests and parental uninvolvement,” and Vanessa Flores, an inspirational school leader.

Michaela is a student leader at Walla Walla High School. She is ASB president and last year was junior class vice president. She is involved in FFA tractor driving, food science, Young Life, Key Club, the cheer squad, National Honor Society, plays basketball and soccer and works part-time jobs. She holds a 3.75 GPA and plans to pursue a collegiate program to focus on business, operations management or pharmacy.

In presenting the award to Michaela, Linda said, “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They are made of sweat, determination, and a very hard-to-find alloy called guts, which you have in spades.” Michaela’s parents are Mike Stalder and Lana Henderson.

Vanessa is a class officer at Prescott High School and member of NHS and Students Against Drunk Driving. She tutors on the school bus, is a translator at school conferences and volunteers at Vista Hermosa Day Care.

With a 3.97 grade point her first semester of her senior year, Vanessa plans to attend Columbia Basin College in the fall to pursue a degree in business. She has flourished during her high school career and demonstrated a determination to embrace all that makes life worth living even in the face of overwhelming odds, Linda said.

Last summer while living in her mom’s single-parent home, her mother died unexpectedly.

Rotarian Linda Hardy said while presenting the scholarship to Vanessa, “You are a survivor and we plan to hear about your accomplishments for many years to come.”

She the daughter of Octavio Flores. Her sister, Elvia Rodriguez, serves as her guardian.

Kelsie DeBroeck of Walla Walla was recognized at the Jamestown (N.D.)College Honors Convocation April 11.

She received the R.D. Koppenhaver Exam Scholarship, which averages $500. It is for accounting majors who attend a North Dakota state or border city college. They must also be planning to sit for the CPA exam within the next 12 months, have strong grades and be involved in extracurricular activities.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or 526-8313.


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