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Date: July 17, 2006
Contact: Barbara Daley
Viva's Athletico, shown under Tom Dvorak, is presented with the winning cooler by Tim Millard, committee member of the Canadian Performance Futurity, along with the three class judges. Photo by ActionPix
Palgrave, Ontario - The first of this year's nine classes for the newly launched Canadian Performance Futurity was held this past Saturday. The Eastern Zone Dressage class was hosted by the Cornerstone Farms Dressage Show, which was held at the Caledon Horse Park in Palgrave, Ontario.
Known for its excellent footing and great hospitality, including Barbara Mitchell's annual Strawberry Social, the Cornerstone Show was also blessed with perfect weather. Many people were on hand to watch the class, which offered $3,000 in prize money to four-year-old Canadian bred horses. They were keen to see how these horses would be able to respond to the challenges of showing at such a young age.
Tom Dvorak and Viva's Athletico demonstrated clearly that the task could be achieved with grace and style. The Oldenburg stallion prospect, by the Hanoverian stallion Viva Voltaire and out of the Oldenburg Main Stud Book mare Aldata, took home the first place prize. Bred and owned by Augustine Walch of W. Charlot Farms, Athletico had initially been earmarked for a career as a hunter and had been shown in a few Baby Green divisions this year. He demonstrated clearly that willingness and good movement are qualities which ensure a young horse's career can be steered in any number of directions.
"We are trying to breed attractive looking athletes with three good gaits, scope and a good technique over jumps and a good working attitude and leave it up to the purchaser of the horse to determine the discipline they want to bring them along in," said Christine Walch. "We are thrilled because Athletico and Tom earned the very respectable score of 68.345% - not bad for 10 days of preparation."
Garnering second place quite handily was Off Icetime, who was ridden by Nicola Booth. Off Icetime, a Canadian Sport Horse mare by the Thoroughbred stallion Play for Time, was bred and is owned by Brett Schrader of Scarborough, Ontario.
Horses entered in Saturday's class are welcome to enter in the Eastern Zone's Hunter and Jumper classes which will be held at the Tournament of Champions in September. Classes held in the Pacific and Prairie Zones are also available to them. The winnings of $3,000 per class are shared by owners and breeders. In 2006, an additional bonus is available to the top two Canadian Warmbloods for each class. To be eligible to participate in the classes, horses must be nominated to the program in advance. Nominations are open to horses which are registered and Canadian bred.
The mission of the Canadian Performance Futurity is to offer a competition program which increases the demand for Canadian bred horses, directly from the breeder, at an early age. It is modeled after a similar program found in Sweden, which requires early nomination by breeders to participate. It is the goal that this program, like its sister program in Sweden, will nurture partnerships between riders and breeders by rewarding the decision to train and compete quality horses bred and registered in Canada.
More on the program, including information for nominating horses, can be found at www.CanadianPerformanceFuturity.com
Added: August 1, 2006