How important are the futurity classes in the working western division? Very important, because of the money. We’ve seen the success the Minnesota Breeders Futurity has had; it’s got money in the bank and it pays back—that’s very popular and very successful. That is why I’ve been supportive of reining futurities. What are your thoughts at the major shows re showcasing a working western class on a Friday or Saturday night? We want to get these horses in front of a crowd and we know that those are the two biggest nights, so we have to work hard to get the show committees to do that for us. I think the general public as a whole would say that this is an exciting class that appeals to the non-horse people. Who is your all-time favorite working western horse? Actually, probably my favorite horse was a Palomino HalfArabian gelding Robert Miller had. I tried to buy the horse, but Robert would never sell it to me.
ELEANOR’S ARABIANS ROGERS, MINN. One of the most recognized names in working western Arabians, Eleanor Hamilton has bred and raised Arabian reiners since the mid-1980s. An accomplished amateur rider, she maintains an active training stable under the direction of Rod Matthiesen, and stands both Arabian and Quarter Horse stallions. The best known have been her foundation sire, the late Crown Musc, and current headliner, leading futurity sire Hesa Zee.
the process; that is, they need to know how to travel, be away from home, stand in the stall, ring manners etc. How do we promote a stronger market for our working western horses? Sandy Woerle started a great concept with the Working Western Celebration, combining the working Quarter Horse, Half-Arabian and purebred Arabians into one class. The judge judges the performance and then in the office, the scores are split out. This makes it possible for a trainer to take and show various breeds all at the same horse show. It’s been great for us as well. My Half-Arabian, Built By Peppy, won the 2014 North Central Reined Cow Circuit in the Ranchers Pleasure Division. He is by our Quarter Horse stallion Little Sorrell Peppy, and out of a Xenophonn daughter. How important are the futurity classes in the working western division? These futurity classes enable our youngsters to compete in their own age bracket. What are your thoughts at the major shows re showcasing a working western class on a Friday or Saturday night? The working western classes are crowd pleasers, there is no doubt about that. If you want to impress a crowd, that would be a big draw. But I think you have to consider it
What do you look for in conformation on the working western horse? I like a horse that has the conformation to get down and dirty and look pretty doing it. What is the best time to start a youngster that will compete in the working western division? We like to start ours early, just get them trained to be saddled, move off the pressure of the leg and not buck. Then we turn them back out to pasture for a few months. Youngsters that we send out are started as each trainer desires. We personally do not show 3-year-olds in reining, but depending on the youngster, we may take it to a show and put it in a western pleasure class. These youngsters don’t need to go with the pressure of showing, but need to mature in
Volume 45, No. 2 | 159
July 2014 issue