November 7, 2011
A good question is raised in the November issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal: Why not raise your own show horse?
Have you done it? Raised your own show horse, that is. Or have you at least dreamed about it?
In its November issue, The American Quarter Horse Journal rolled out the first article in a periodic series on futurity foals. The series, written by Journal Editor Christine Hamilton, addresses the question, “Why not raise or buy your own futurity foal and have fun showing it?”
Featured in the halter section of the Journal, this series discusses the advantages behind raising your own futurity foal (fun being the main advantage) and will address choosing the right parents for the job, broodmare care and foaling, foal management, foal fitting and, finally, showing and post-futurity planning.
“There is nothing more rewarding than walking into a futurity with a baby you’ve raised and gotten ready yourself,” says AQHA Professional Horseman Luke Castle of Wayne, Oklahoma. “That is a lot of pride in ownership right there.”
As someone who has won an AQHA world championship on a homebred horse, I can avow that winning with a horse who has been with you since Day 1 is a feeling like no other.
Anne Reynolds is another competitor who is familiar with riding a homegrown horse into the winners circle. The 2011 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity non-pro champion won her first Snaffle Bit Futurity championship back in 1998 on the brown mare Magical Lena – a mare that she and her mother, Joyce Pearson, had raised.
Anne’s win this year, which you can read about in “14 Days in Reno” in the free November issue of Journal Plus, was made even sweeter by the fact that her mount, Smart Magic Trick, is out of Magical Lena. But to top it all off, Smart Magic Trick is by Anne’s own stallion, Very Smart Remedy.
Read the “Futurity Foals” article online for free from the November issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.
So, what do you think? Do you want to try your hand showing a foal you raised?
Remember, no matter the discipline of horse that you’re breeding for, conformation comes first, and that’s exactly what halter horses are judged on.
“When I grew up, almost every state had its own (show) futurity,” Luke recalls. “You showed horses as babies, brought them back as yearlings, and then there was a western pleasure futurity for 2-year-olds and a maturity 3- and 4- year-olds, all in that program within that state.”
Luke points out the most important thing to remember.
“Yes, there is a financial reward to showing in a futurity, and that’s great,” he says. “That gets people enticed, but I don’t know how much that actually helps people stay involved with horses.
“You have to enjoy the horse. Most people that show horses, when it comes right down to it, it’s the camaraderie, the fun of being around horses and horse people, that’s really why they do it.”