By Chris Gould / CWHBA
Photography: Sara Hellner

Each year, the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association (CWHBA) holds a series of breeder shows, inspections, and foal futurities across the country. Canada is a very large country so a centralized show is not practical and, in fact, some areas such as British Columbia, which is very mountainous, divide into smaller regional events.

The Foal Futurities (FF) are a highlight of these events. Only foals sired by stallions that have been nominated to the annual Stallion Service Auction (SSA) are eligible to participate, and the payouts are significant because the futurities are financed by funds raised by the SSA. Beginning in the late 1990s as provincial initiatives, the SSA has been a national event for nearly 20 years. This unique system is a great way for stallion owners to give back to the association, but more importantly provides a tremendous opportunity for showcasing their stallions through their progeny. Any foal by a nominated stallion is eligible, consequently this becomes an interesting consideration when breeders are choosing which stallion to breed to their mare. Payouts run to several hundred dollars for the winners and are paid to fifth place.
Judging foals is not an exact science, so it is of course important not to make too much of it. Foals develop at different stages, nevertheless it is possible to see individual characteristics coming through that might predict future success. A case in point is the, now deceased, stallion Beau Soleil. He was a futurity winner in 1997, went on to be a champion at his licensing, successful at the performance test, and then in turn sired numerous foal futurity winners. Or FF champion in 2004 was Southern Vintage, by Kingston out of Southern Reflection by Artenstolz, bred by Mirrabook Farms, who is pictured below as a foal (#4) and as a successful event horse in 2012 (#3).
Who knows where these 2019 winners’ careers will take them?
• Alberta: #2 Ocean Pearl (filly) by Jethro Tull G out of Contikki by Contendro, bred by Klondike Victory Farms
• Ontario: #1 Dare to Dream (colt) by Dauphin out of Dame by Seratine, bred by Jackie VandenBrink
• Saskatchewan: Olivier (colt) by Talme K out of Albedo xx, bred by Diana Pella
• British Columbia: Aethra RPH (filly) by Atlas RPH out of VDL Unusuale by Corland, bred by Rosenol Performance Horses
Breeders will soon be making their bids during the 2020 SSA, February 16 to 22, while everyone waits expectantly for the foals from last year’s matings.