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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Futurity sponsor gives back

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association National Futurity competition is offering free admission this year.

The futurity will be held Wednesday and serves as a kickoff to the 73rd annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

Classes begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. at Calsonic Arena.

"Sponsorships were up this year and so we saw this as an opportunity to give back and fill the seats," said Marty Irby, president of TWHBEA. "We want to get more local people to come, and people from the surrounding areas like Tullahoma and Murfreesboro ... The (Calsonic) arena seats more than 5,000 and we're hoping it will be full."

Futurities are programs that focus on breeding young stock of great quality in order to compete in classes and shows to win money.

In the Tennessee walking horse industry, the futurity offers the largest purse of the year for a one night horse show. About $70,000 in prize money will be awarded to weanlings, yearlings and two- and three-year-olds.

The exact system varies by breed, but in the walking horse industry, the sire and dam owners pay to nominate their horses to the futurity program. The competing horse also has to be nominated as a weanling in order to participate, Irby said.

"We invite every equine enthusiast and the general public to attend," Irby said. "A special exhibition of 2002 World Grand Champion, Out On Parole owned by Randall and Sadie Baskin, and Watchout Jose' owned by Freeman Foals will be held during the event.

"This is one way we feel we can give back to our horse and our industry. I believe we will draw a tremendous crowd to come preview the industry's finest youngest horses at our futurity."

On the web

For more information on the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association go to http://www.twhbea.com. To view the class schedule of the Celebration go to http://www.twhnc.com.

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