The equine industry is ever-growing and evolving. As time goes on, industry professionals have become more knowledgeable, and the level of competition continues to elevate. In the last few years, there has been a growing interest in three-year-old futurity classes and three-year-and-over Maiden and Novice horse classes by many professionals, exhibitors, and show management teams.
The Perks of Three Year-Old Classes
As a result, the opportunity to showcase three-year-old horses has allowed owners, trainers, and exhibitors to showcase their prospect when they may be stronger and better prepared. The addition of futurities such as The Sudden Impulse Futurity in Ocala, Florida, The Virginia Maiden held in conjunction with the Spring Break-Out in Lexington, Virginia, and The Equine Chronicle Three-and-Over Maiden Horse Class held in conjunction with The Madness in Wilmington, Ohio offer large purses in three-and-over classes. Many trainers and exhibitors appreciate having more options for their Western Pleasure prospects.
Top Western Pleasure trainer Aaron Moses of Aaron Moses Show Horses in Pilot Point, Texas, feels that offering more three-and-over classes with large payouts is a positive shift for the industry.
“The addition of the maiden three-year-old futurity classes has been a great move for the industry,” Moses says. “It takes some of the pressure off of two-year-old horses knowing there are options for them as a three-year-old to win a big title and a big purse.” Prior to such a big focus on the three-and-over futurity options, it was very hard as a trainer and as an owner if a horse wasn’t going to make it as a two-year-old western pleasure futurity prospect, Moses says.