Cool Na Grena Sporthorses
I have been a breeder here in the US for over 25 years, and have had a fairly successful event horse breeding program in that I have bred a 4* horse, as well as 3* horses, advanced and intermediate horses, and good number of prelim and lower level horses. Even with that success, it has been difficult in the past for me to find and attract buyers for my event bred horses. I know other breeders have the same problems. Because I also compete (at the lower levels), I also often hear upper level eventers say they do not know where to find talented young horses in the US - they feel they must go overseas to find them. Obviously, both sides need to connect in order to support both our breeding programs and our upper level riders. Discussions centering around this need have led to the concept behind the US Event Horse Futurity.
First, I have to admit this was not really my idea, but I seemed to have inherited it :-) The purpose is to bridge the gap between breeders and riders in the US. I know a lot of breeders who don't know where to go to get youngsters trained or how to find riders for them. Hopefully, we can create a program that attracts trainers to promote our US-bred horses and lets both sides make connections that may align our different, but related goals. We foresee that trainers will look for prospects to partner with, riders will find breeders who produce nice youngsters, and everyone will benefit. We also want to showcase some trainers and riders who aren’t well known but do a great job, so that they will benefit as well.
I already have at least 5 riders (some of them 4 and 3*) that have expressed interest in training. What I really need now is for breeders to take a step and commit to trying this out. I think that deals could be worked out that would lessen the cost for the breeder, but you have to put your money where your mouth is and spend a little to get your horses and your name out there. We are such a tight fisted group - we will send money on stud fees and mares, but when it comes to training....
Here is an outline for the US Event Horse Futurity and how the program will work.
US Event Horse Futurity 2019 (Horses born in 2015)
Understand that this is a pilot program that will be organized and run by volunteers – mistakes will be made and we will all learn how to improve the program as it evolves.
Two consecutive months of not posting will eliminate a contestant from the program - no refund will be given. Transparency is to be encouraged. Not every horse will be mature enough to participate in the Championships, and not all training will go to plan. These setbacks are to be acknowledged and worked through in a visible manner. It is our hope that a trainer will develop a following, not only by winning the competition but also by developing the young horse to the best of their abilities.
Awards to Entrants
Awards will be presented at the East Coast Young Event Horse Championships in October 2019 to the highest scoring Futurity Entrants. They do not have to be the overall winner, but must compete and finish the competition to be eligible for the prize money. Monies collected will be distributed in the following manner after expenses are met (awards, etc).
Why did I decide to run with the project (besides being caught in a weak moment)? I bred a horse that was selected to represent the US at the World Championships for Young Event Horses at Le Lion d’Angers in France this past fall, and was lucky enough to attend. The best young event horses in Europe were there, as were the best riders. And at the end of the day, my US-bred horse (the only US bred in the over 100 horses that were there) was just as competititive as the best Europe has to offer. There are many more of these horses in the US - we just have to get US riders to find them and get breeders to find the trainers and riders. It’s simple, it’s just not easy....
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