Weanling Gala

Hey all. I’m reporting in from the Jubilee Morgan Horse show this evening. I got in just in time to catch today’s evening session and the Weanling Gala. I look forward to this event every time I get a chance to watch it. And I gotta be honest, every time I walk away just a bit disenchanted. I’m curious what the general Morgan community thinks of the gala? What’s your opinion? Do you even think about it if you don’t come to Jubilee or NE? Or if you don’t do any breeding?

Don’t get me wrong, the babies are cute and all. But this is really a big dollar event. I believe it added up to over $50K in prize money being awarded (I’m not sure if that included the numerous prizes of blankets, advertising, gift certificates, etc). Is this a good way to spend money within the breed? Particularly with the economy being what it is?

What is the purpose of the gala anyway? If it’s just to have a little fun that’s fine. But that’s a lot of dollar signs revolving around a little fun. It certainly shouldn’t be an indicator of which horses in our breed are good producers or a barometer of which youngsters will grow up to be something. There’s simply no way to tell at that age. I’d be curious how many of those that have come out on top in the Gala over the years (even top 5) have gone on to have meaningful careers as adults?

Am I just being too cynical?

4 Responses to Weanling Gala

  1. Jennifer says:

    How do trainers and breeders determine what that something is? Instead of using conformation as a benchmark it is usually determined by division, show placements and wins at Grand Nationals. Unfortunately, the return on investment is much greater for a successful show horse rather than a successful back yard/trail/lesson horse.

    As far as judging weanlings if they are looking at conformation it is useful, but to determine if they will be a WC at anything it is impossible. The gala helps with ROI as long as your weanling is in a good growth phase :)

    The prize list contains the names of eligible yearlings and two year olds. I only recognize one name on the list.

    I think the breed needs to do a better job of defining meaningful careers.

  2. StacyGRS says:

    I think you’re looking to this class to be some kind of crystal ball and it never claimed to be. What it DOES claim to do is offer breeders some incentive to breed, train, and have a chance at getting return before putting 2-3 years of training into the horses. The fact is that 4 yr olds are more sale-able than 1,2 and even 3 yr olds because they’re trained. But we can’t expect breeders to breed and train horses until they’re 4 with no chance of return on their $ and little way to even add value to a foal until it’s 2 and can drive. This gives them a reason to put those babies in training and have a chance at that training paying off. The chance to win money, no matter how low the odds, gives breeders hope and something to try for. Rewarding weanlings and yearlings is a nice goal to strive for. the fact is, most of these go on to be nice horses…maybe WC’s, maybe not…but nice horses. But those breeders got $ to put back into their breeding programs and some encouragement. The money isn’t randomly spent, it exists directly from people that paid into the program so, it isn’t like they’re taking money from an AMHA pot or something where people have no choice but to pay into it. If people don’t want to pay into it, then don’t.

  3. Julie says:

    Please note that The GALA is only held at the Jubilee. It is not the same as the old Weanling sweepstakes that use to be held every other year at NE then Jubilee.

    As a Stallion owner I put my stud in the 2013 Gala. It cost me $3,000 and those monies are used towards the pay out for 1-10th place. Nothing from AMHA. The pay out comes form the participating Stallions for that year.

    I was asked by many mare owners who bred to our stud this year if he would be in the GALA. I found it to be an added incentive to those mare owners who could have chosen another stallion over mine.

    We hope that one of his offspring will show next year at the Gala to help promote him as a viable stallion for other breeder to consider.

    I agree with Stacy that it is nice to put $ back in our breeders pockets so they will continue to invest in their breeding program.

    The GALA is judged like any other in hand class,on Confirmation.

    I have seen Futurity babies go on and have a successful show career. But you can’t put them all in the same category and say success is wining a WC. You have to take in account for those owners who did not have the funds to take them any farther and now are happy to have them out at A shows or open shows.

    Babies grow and change so the winner of any weanling Futurity may not become the the WC of the future. It might be the 3rd, 4th or 10 place baby. As a breeder that is what is exciting. The promise of the future… when they wear leather.

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