By Delores Kuhlwein
There are so many futurity and incentive programs these days: NSBA, BCF, Breeders Halter Futurity, WCHA futurity, Premier Sires, APHA Breeders Halter futurity, Super Sires, Southern Belle Breeders, and many more. Are there too many, and is the overwhelming number diluting the industry? Or do exhibitors and breeders feel they finally have the choices they need for greater diversification?
Today’s exhibitors and breeders, who are immersed in the current horse show industry, have much to say about the wide selection of programs available for both Performance and Halter horses. Read on for different perspectives and experiences from those in the know as they discuss the number of options available, how they choose a show, and where improvements can be made.
Too Many or Just Right?
Today’s selection of incentive programs is exactly what we need, say several owners, exhibitors, and breeders who’ve seen the industry change throughout the years.
Marylyn Caliendo, APHA exhibitor and breeder of APHA and NSBA Champions like Zensational and Shes A Flatliner, feels all the futurities are important for owners, because they provide options to showcase different horses’ talents. “The payouts are an added bonus, as it gives a little ‘cheddar’ to all the hard work,” she says. “I don’t feel there is any dilution in the industry at all with all the different types of programs that are being offered.”
She says the specialization offered provides valuable choices for breeders. “For example, if you breed for a Western type of horse and end up with an English mover, you still have the option to change your game plan for that particular horse. The Halter futurities are extremely important, especially for people who don’t want to ride, but still want to be in the game. I always feel that options for the horse enthusiast are a win-win.”