Halter Futurities Flourish

Owners, breeders and trainers enjoy showing their halter horses at fall futurities.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Halter exhibitors, owners and breeders show off their hard work during September futurities. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

The growth of events to showcase younger horses continues. This year, prospects have competed at the East Coast Halter Futurity, the Breeders Halter Futurity, the Big Money Futurity and the World Conformation Horse Association Futurity.

The Best in the West Futurity still lies ahead, as well as many state affiliate futurities.

Breeders, trainers and exhibitors love futurities as a way to showcase their young stock – and maybe get a boost for a horse that needed a little more time.

That was the case for Joy Stehney of De Soto, Kansas, who won the WCHA non-pro yearling colts class with Exxpectation.

“This is a horse we bought last year,” Joy said. “We bought him as a baby, and we have been letting him grow up because he is so tall and he’s just now filling out and starting to mature.”

Exxpectation is a 2016 bay colt by Mr Elusive and out of Cool Seduction by Cool Eternity. He was bred by Tim and Janet Meyer of Sylvan Grove, Kansas.

“He never left the barn last year,” Joy said, adding that she didn’t try to get him qualified for this year’s Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show. “We’re going to show him here, take him to the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress and let him keep growing up.”

This year’s Big Money and WCHA Futurities took place September 22-23 during the American Paint Horse Association World Show in Fort Worth, Texas.

It was a big move as the WCHA celebrated its 10th year, said WCHA President Anne Prince of Palmetto, Florida.

“This show has been phenomenal,” she said. “It has gone past my expectations as far as the quality of the horses, the happiness of the exhibitors, the amount of money we could give away.”

Random prize drawings throughout the show kept exhibitors and spectators interested, she said, as did a lip sync contest.

“People were rewarded, and it didn’t matter how successful they were in terms of being competitive in the pen,” she said. “This show has proved to a lot of us that we can get even bigger and still be very successful, timely and still have our fun events.”

The futurity will return to Fort Worth in 2018, she said.

The Breeders Halter Futurity continue to see growth also, though it remained in Des Moines, Iowa.

When the futurity began in 2011, Heather Olson of Van Meter, Iowa, was an exhibitor. Since then, she has expanded her involvement to include breeding.

“I guess my bigger goals now are to raise the best babies and watch them show,” Heather said. “I love to show myself, don’t get me wrong, but to watch other people go out there and show them, that’s really – that was a big goal of mine this year.”

This year, Heather bred three of the top-10 amateur junior weanling fillies. The winner of the class, Intentional Red, is a sorrel by My Intention and out of Wanna Be On Top by The Top Secret.

The filly is owned by Dick and Debra Donnelly of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Dick showed her to the win.

“You learn each year, and you grow, and you like to think you’re getting smarter about your choices,” Heather said. “My goal this year is to go to the (Lucas Oil) World. I have My Gurl who is by My Intention out of a Self Employed mare. We’re qualified for the open world and amateur. That’s our goal from here, and after that, we start foaling.

“I have four senior fillies coming and four junior fillies and can hardly wait.”

Amanda Wallinger of Elkhorn, Nebraska, won amateur senior weanling fillies with Cocco Chanel, a 2017 chestnut filly by My Intention and out of Candy Dots by Self Employed. The filly was bred by Donna Cunningham of Creston, Iowa, and is owned by Lorrie Wallinger, Amanda’s mom.

Dimplez won senior weanling fillies for the Wallingers with Chris Arentsen at the lead. Dimplez is a homebred for Amanda and Lorraine, by their stallion Acoolest Touchdown and out of the Kid Coolsified mare TF A Cool Tease.

“We won about $30,000 with three entries there,” Amanda said. “It’s a great environment to show in. Everyone’s friendly – it’s a wonderful show.”

Amanda went to Des Moines hoping for a top-10 finish.

“To win both senior fillies class, we’re over the moon,” she said. “I don’t think my mom has stopped crying yet.”