By Rachel Kooiker
What has big checks, impressive globe-style trophies, seats filled with spectators, and beautiful horses at the center of it all? If everything goes according to plan, the Appaloosa Halter Futurity at the 2018 Appaloosa World Show will. What started as a simple ringside chat at the Appaloosa World Show in 2017 has now been fully developed into a premier Halter Breeders Futurity program that will debut in 2018. We chatted with members of the new Appaloosa Halter Futurity Executive Committee to talk about the development and future of this exciting new program.
AN IDEA WAS BORN
According to Appaloosa Halter Futurity committee member and lifelong Appaloosa devotee Sean Schembri, the notion for the new program was hatched when a group of Halter enthusiasts and trainers started to notice a common theme at last year’s Appaloosa World Championship
Show: BIG CHECKS. Schembri explains, “A gentlemen with a Reining horse walked by with a big check in his hand. Then, the next day, a Cutting horse guy walked by with a big check in his hand. That got us talking. After some conversation, we thought it was up to those of us in the Halter industry to create something like that for ourselves and make it happen. Appaloosa Horse Club President Dena Raggio, and other members, made an announcement that there would be a Halter meeting right there at the show to discuss ideas, and 70 people showed up to the meeting. That right there showed us that there was a need and interest in this type of program for the Appaloosa breed.” An additional reason for the creation of another Halter futurity is that many Appaloosa trainers and exhibitors were finding that babies that hauled to other futurities weren’t always able to be hauled to the Appaloosa World Show as well, due to illness or the stress of being prepared for, hauled to, and shown at so many major shows. So, rather than having beautiful Appaloosa Halter horses left at home for the World Show, this program will create an opportunity to bring horses that might otherwise not attend.
Much like the origins of the Breeders’ Halter Futurity, held annually in Des Moines, Iowa, this Appaloosa version is exciting, not just for the rich payouts it will yield breeders, owners, and exhibitors, but also due to the innovative and collaborative nature of the program itself. The Appaloosa Halter Futurity is the result of horsemen and women who banded together to try to create something to better the breed and the Halter industry. Schembri credits the Breeders’ Halter Futurity and World Conformation Horse Association for the innovation that has laid the groundwork for a program like this to be developed, saying, “The Breeders’ Halter Futurity was the founder of all this, and we wouldn’t be here without them. Ultimately, we looked at how the Elite Halter Futurity is held at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, The
Breeder’s Halter Futurity is run in Iowa, and the WCHA event is done at the APHA World Show. There was really no prestigious Halter event at the Appaloosa World Championship Show. It’s incredible that it’s happening,” he says.