By Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse JournalSeptember 22, 2013
WCHA Produce of Dam winner Imagine Me In Lace produced these two mares for Bob and Karen Johnson of Burns, Tennessee. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos from the 2013 World Conformation Horse Associatoin Futurity, scroll to the slide show below.
The 2013 World Conformation Horse Association Breeder’s Halter Futurity ended with a bang and a boot race.
The show started September 20 in Tunica, Mississippi, with weanling colts, a class with 50 entries, and concluded September 21 with an exhibitor party that was both the finale for the WCHA futurity and the kickoff for the Big Money Futurity the next day.
In between, exhibitors showed off their horses and won $185,000, according to Don Falcon, WCHA breeder committee chairman.
“A lot of people got checks, and thanks to our stallion owners and sponsors, we were able to do that,” Don said. “It’s a big undertaking, but it’s rewarding.”
Kupcakz, a 2009 sorrel mare by Grand Slam Touchdown and out of Gold Temptation by Sierras Black Gold, won the champion of champions title, a class Kupcakz qualified for by being grand champion mare.
“It feels great,” said Melinda Minnis of Sanger, Texas, who owns Kupcakz. “It’s even better because we just came from the (Breeders Halter Futurity in Iowa) and we did exceptionally well there, too.”
Kupcakz was bred by Danny Glenn of Dalton, Ohio.
“(Trainer) Kelley Stone … found her for me,” Melinda said. “She does a phenomenal job with the horses. She’s one of the best trainers out there who knows a good horse when she sees it. She found Kupcakz for me as a yearling and bought her from Greg and Gigi Davis.”
The WCHA wants to recognize breeders, Don said, and the last class on the futurity show bill, produce-of-dam, does just that.
“At the World Show last year, we brought back the get-of-sire class,” he said. “And those are two classes that really go back in the day when the stock shows were so big. They focused on the breeders, and that’s what we want to do a little bit more of in this association. With AQHA’s cooperation, we’re able to do that.”
Karen Johnson of Burns, Tennessee, and her husband, AQHA Professional Horseman Bob Johnson, led two mares out of Imagine Me In Lace to win the class.
Imagine Me In Lace is a 1999 bay mare by Image Of Kid-Conclusive Lace by Conclusives Beau. She was bred by Marcus B. Tidey of Dover, Florida.
“We got her as a 2-year-old from Ronnie Casper, and she’s been a great producer,” Bob said.
To represent Imagine Me In Lace, Bob led the yearling Imagine My Secrets, while Karen had the shank on the 4-year-old I Gotta Lota Secrets. The mares are full sisters by I Gotta Cool Secret, and Karen bred them both.
“We came to this horse show with six horses, and five of them were out of her,” Karen said. “My mom won Rookie with her last year, and she’s just a fun horse to show. Got a lot of personality.”
I Gotta Lota Secrets won Justin Rookie of the Year with Judy Gibson of Crossville, Tennessee, who also showed the mare to the champion of champions title at the Nutrena East Novice Championship Show in 2012. In 2010, the mare was reserve world champion yearling filly in open and at the Adequan Select World Championship Show.
Both the futurity and the produce-of-dam class are scheduled to return to Tunica in 2014, Don said.
“In our futurity program, we have weanlings, then yearlings,” Don said. “You’ll see these same babies come back and be in the yearling futurities next year, and then we’ll also build up into a 2-year-old program for some longevity. One thing we’re really proud of at this show that again with cooperation with AQHA, we jointly sponsored owner-breeder-exhibitor competitions, and AQHA provided all the awards for that competition.”
AQHA’s Doug Hayes was on hand to present the owner-breeder-exhibitor awards.
“That rewards those people who own the horses, they breed the mares and then they bring the resulting foal back and show it themselves,” Don said. “That’s in my mind the foundation of the association. They’re proud of their horses and this is our way of recognizing their efforts.”
An exhibitor party later in the day had a tug of war with halter trainers Monte Horn, Jason Smith, Ross Roark and Luke Castle serving as team captains. AQHA Professional Horseman J.T. Mitchell of Aubrey, Texas, was auctioneer for an impromptu Calcutta for the teams.
In between the matches, spectators joined in a boot scramble race before Monte’s team won the tug. Afterward, James Kifer, who runs the Big Money Futurity, played piano and sang country songs as more exhibitors danced.
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