>>>> THough I always thought that to be eligible for registration as an Appy, the horse had to display atleast 3 characteristics (spot pattern, wall-eyes, striped hooves or mottled skin)
If the horse meets bloodline requirements (one regular registered ApHC parent, the other parent from the approved list (ApHC, QH, TB, Arab, approved international registries) and the breeding was properly recorded and parents DNA typed and etc., then it is eligible for Appaloosa registration, whether it has characteristics of not. Applicants with characteristics (mottled skin and one other characteristic) and/or color get regular papers. Noncharacteristic horses get non-characteristic papers, meaning the owner needs to pay an extra fee and have them parentage verified if they want to show them at ApHC events--otherwise they are still registered, and can be used of non-ApHC events and for breeding.
A gelding or spayed mare that doesn't meet pedigree requirements, or doesn't have a known pedigree, is eligible for hardship registration if it otherwise meets the requirements for Appaloosa color/characteristics.