In nearly every other equine sporting event, the accomplishments of horses are as meticulously recorded as those of the riders. Cutting, reining, halter, pleasure, versatility, reined cow horse and barrel racing all record how much a horse has won over the course of it's career. Rodeo and team roping are the glaring exceptions to the tradition. However, as the trend for horses being bred and raised specifically for the rodeo arena grows, the importance of placing value on bloodlines and accomplishments increases.
That's where Jay and Lindsay Wadhams come into the picture with their new venture, the American Rope Horse Futurity Association. This event, to be held April 17-20 in Salado, Texas, will feature futurity classes (horses 5 years old and younger) and sweepstakes classes (6 and older) in tie-down roping, heading and heeling.
Additionally, non-pro and limited division classes will be held in tie-down, breakaway, heading and heeling.
"We need to do something where these show horses can rope for some money," Wadhams said. "There's only one time a year that happens at the AQHA World Show. We're trying to build it up where we have three of these a year and build it up where the pay is better. This year Randy Bloomer and Billy Pipes were wanting to get behind it and make this thing go."
The event is adding $45,000 and will be judged by Jay Ellerman, Robbie Boyce and Shawn Hays. Two AQHA special events will run concurrently with the ARHFA event.
"What we would like to do is keep track of the money won on these horses so people can say, 'This horse's daddy won so much at the rope horse futurity' or whatever," Wadhams said. "We could keep track of the leading sires of the rope horse. Somehow, someday, it'd be great to keep track of all the money won on horses at the USTRC ropings and the rodeos."
For more information, contact Jay or Lindsay at (719) 439-7255 or (719) 214-2528.