Some of my Instagram peeps may have noticed the other day that I reposted a particular post from the US Event Horse Futurity in my stories.
That first entry for the 2021 Futurity? It was Presto! And I know a lot of people have already been murmuring about it, so I thought I should address it openly and lay out what it really “means” for him.
Truth is, I’ve been on the fence for basically the entire past 2 years about whether or not to enter him. He’s meant to be my horse, not an upper level pro’s big time horse or a sale horse. He’s also, IMO, unlikely to be mature enough to be ready for YEH Championships in the fall, which is where the Futurity culminates.
But, the Futurity has a lot of goals and perks aside from just that. A horse can do the Futurity and not do YEH, it’s not a requirement for the Futurity horses (to be eligible to win actual Futurity payout money you have to complete Championships, but you can participate in the Futurity without having to do YEH Championships). The Futurity has 3 main goals – highlighting US breeders and US-bred young horses, connecting breeders and riders, and promoting young horse trainers. We can do all of those things, no matter whether he ends up being ready for YEH or not. In fact, I have to say, in the past 2 years of watching the Futurity horses and their vlogs, one of the most interesting parts of it to me was seeing which people decided to pursue YEH/Championships with their horses and which people didn’t, and why. It was a big part of what made it so fun and educational to follow along.
So if we break it down: highlighting US breeders and US purpose bred horses? Um heck ya we can do that in spades. You can bet that Presto is getting some new WTW gear (I might need y’alls help deciding which things), all of his vlogs will have a WTW opening and closing shot, and he is about as US purpose-bred event horse as you can get. And I come with a built-in platform from blogging for so long, so if it helps bring extra attention to the Futurity and other breeders in return, even better.
As for connecting breeders and riders, that’s already happening a bit too. Yes, Presto is mine. He’s meant to be mine to ride and show. I want to raise him and ride him and everything that entails. But I also am not an idiot and I realize that all young horses can benefit from pro rides. I’d call myself “sufficient”, but I’m not great, and I want him to have the benefit of that really high quality training too, especially early on. It’ll make him a better horse in the end. I also recognize that Texas is not an ideal place to try to get miles on a young horse. There are only two eventing facilities within a 2 hour drive from here…. it’s not like I can pop him on the trailer on any ol’ Wednesday afternoon, drive down the road for a school, and be back before dinner. It’s an all day affair, and it’s a lot of traveling for a horse, and it’s just not a lot of available variety. Before I even decided to enter him in the Futurity I really wanted to send him east for a couple months in the summer (when it’s too god awful nasty here to do anything anyway) to get some pro rides and be in an area where he can experience a lot more things a lot more easily.
I had two pros in mind for this (one of which actually made my list specifically because of watching her Futurity videos the past couple years), and I have a call set with choice #1 tomorrow to talk details. Michelle coincidentally knows him from back in the day, so it’s a good chance for them to reconnect as a breeder-rider relationship. A lot of pros are wanting to be involved in the Futurity to showcase their own skills, which was exactly the purpose, so it’s a great thing. This particular pro has an idea of the basic plan and is on board from what he’s seen/heard of Presto so far, so hopefully we can work something out. If we do I’ll talk more about it later and explain my thought process but I don’t want to say anything quite yet until it’s all hashed out.
So the idea at this point is that he’ll stay with me until the summer and keep plugging away at basic life experiences, head east for some serious education, and then either come home at the end of the summer (all of which was in my plan anyway, Futurity or not) OR stay there through Championships. So the only thing that’s changed is that if, by some small miracle, he seems ready (which again at this point I think is 90% unlikely) he would be staying a couple months longer. He would already be on the east coast anyway, where Championships are, so that would make sense. Either way, I think the experience would be really good for him no matter what, and there’s just so much more to see and do on the east coast that I think it would be the best bang for my buck I could possibly get in regards to his education in such a short period of time.
So he’s entered in the Futurity, yes. He may or may not go the YEH route. That’s up to him. I’ll make his vlogs while I have him and the person who takes him in the summer will make his vlogs then. After that, we’ll just see how it goes. Of course, if something unforeseen happens and he ends up not being ready for any of this, then these plans will be scrapped. They’re plans, they can always change, and it’s horses, so most of the time they do. The horse is, was, and always will be the #1 priority. The Futurity changes nothing about that. Really it just gives us a more public way to showcase the horses that WTW is producing, and gives Presto more opportunities. It’s a win-win.
And while I don’t think that he’s the one that’ll be gunning for the 2021 Futurity win, I can tell you this much: we ARE gunning for Fan Favorite. Every year the Futurity takes a public vote and names a Fan Favorite, and I’ll say it now – challenge issued, gauntlet thrown, intentions officially declared – that title is HIS, my friends. Hiiiiiiis. I mean, how could he not be? He’s trained his whole life for this particular title and you can bet we’ll be campaigning for it.
*cue Eye of the Tiger music*
Anyway, I’m sure none of this will go to plan, nothing ever DOES with horses, but it’ll be fun regardless, and we really can’t wait to rep WTW on a more public stage. Gotta brush up on my vlog-making skills! Anyone who watched the ones I made earlier this year and has any feedback, tips, or tricks, feel free to get at me. And if you’re not already following the Futurity’s facebook page, now is the time.
I hope that clears up any confusion about what the heck I’m doing, and as soon as I have things more ironed out I’ll give more updates!