Aurora, Ontario â€“ The Canadian Performance Futurity is heading into its third competition year. Once again it has secured funding and will be offering over $40,000 in prize money in Hunter, Jumper and Dressage classes for 4 and 5-year-old horses. The primary sponsor to date has been the Equine Canada Breeders Initiative Fund, a program spearheaded by Tim Millard.
â€œThe program is a natural candidate under this fundâ€, says Millard. â€œIt is in support of Canadian-bred horses of all registrations and it has a multi-disciplined approach.â€ The awareness derived from the program is a big component of the fundsâ€™ criteria. â€œThis program has done a great job of getting the word out. Regular press releases citing rider, owner and breeder, as well as horse and pedigree, have been circulated across Canada. It has achieved very good traction internationally as well.â€
So the question remains, with all the elements in place â€“ great prize money plus excellent promotion â€“ is the program still off the radar for many horse owners and riders?
â€œEntries would suggest this,â€ states Barbara Daley who manages the marketing for the program. â€œThe numbers are not nearly as robust as they could be which means itâ€™s ripe for the picking. There are a handful of breeders who are right on the money. They make doubly sure their nominations are up to date, and they connect with people who have purchased horses from them to let them know about the program. Why wouldnâ€™t they? Breeders get a cut of the prize money too!â€
â€œWe connect with our ownersâ€, states Augustin Walch of W Charlot Farms, four-time winner of USEF Hunter Breeder of the Year award. â€œWe also make a point of preparing and entering horses we currently have for sale. Itâ€™s a great way to promote them and it gives us a true performance standard to work toward.â€
Nomination is a requirement to enter the classes. It would seem this is not as great a hurdle as one might imagine.
â€œAll Canadian Warmbloods are nominated when they are first registered,â€ points out Jennette Coote, Chair of the program. â€œIf anyone has a 4 or 5-year-old that is ready to compete this summer, and they want to know if it is nominated, they simply check out the list of horses found on the programâ€™s website.â€
There are over 2,000 horses from more than 9 registries on the list of nominated horses, including Canadian Sport Horse, Canadian Warmblood, Hanoverian, Thoroughbred, Dutch Warmblood, Oldenburg, Selle Francais, Swiss Warmblood and Westphalian. â€œIf the horse isnâ€™t there, nominations continue to be accepted up until a few weeks before the classes are heldâ€, elaborated Coote.
To date, classes in Hunter, Jumper and Dressage have been confirmed at show venues across the country including, Alberta Hunter Horse Society, Amberlea Meadows, Cornerstone Farms and Thunderbird Show Park.
Final dates with links to prize list will be published on the programâ€™s website at www.CanadianPerformanceFuturity.com.