How important are the futurity classes in the working western division? I guess I’m gonna waffle a bit on the futurity issue. Of course it is wonderful to get a monetary return, but this goes back to how soon a young horse is ready to withstand the rigors of these classes. Small wonder that due to injury, some of them are not showing not long after they age out of derby. What are your thoughts at the major shows re showcasing a working western class on a Friday or Saturday night? This has been done at Canadian Nationals in the past. In fact, this is where I saw my first reining pattern. LaRae Fletcher-Powell rode SR Desperado in the main ring in Regina, Sask. It sent chills up my spine to watch the lead change from large fast to large fast done at a drop dead gallop. It would be a wonderful idea to do this again, with one proviso—the footing in the main ring is often quite different from the working western ring, and footing is critical to reiners. Who is your all-time favorite working western horse? Need you ask! We are pretty proud of our Canadian-bred, -owned and -ridden VLQ Friendly Fire. He is our “oncein-a-lifetime” horse.
not going to happen if it’s not fun and interesting for them. That’s a key part of it. With the amateurs, I think prize money and prizes, such as the youth scholarships of the Arabian Reining Breeders Classic, are also part of it. How important are the futurity classes in the working western division? You’re not going to have one without the other, because if you don’t have an incentive for trainers to train futurity horses, then you won’t have a broke product to sell for youth and amateurs to show. It all needs to work in sync. What are your thoughts at the major shows re showcasing a working western class on a Friday or Saturday night? I think it would be great. The more people that can see it, the better. Who is your all-time favorite working western horse? Minding Ps And Qs has been one of my favorites, because she won the purebred futurity and went on to be an amateur horse for Dick and did well—and then she produced a purebred futurity champion and futurity finalists in the Half-Arabian Futurity. That’s pretty cool.
BRIAN WELMAN TRAINING CENTER HASTINGS, MINN. What do you look for in conformation on the working western horse? Ideally, I like a horse with bigger hips, lower hocks, a shorter back, and a topline and neck that tie in a little flatter. What is the best time to start a youngster that will compete in the working western division? I start reiners, which is what I deal with, as 2-year-olds. If they aren’t physically fit enough I don’t, but we try to breed ours so that they are born early enough after the first of the year to do it. I don’t have them running and stopping; I just get them riding around and starting to get broke and quiet. The horses let you know when they’re ready to do more. They’re all a little different. How do we promote a stronger market for our working western horses? It has to be fun. You have to have an amateur and youth base or you don’t have anything, and it’s
Volume 45, No. 2 | 165
July 2014 issue