If you want to watch a unique, one-of-a-kind event in Canada, don’t miss Farmfair’s Team Roping Futurity held in conjunction with the CFR and Farmfair.
In a typical team roping competition the fastest time always wins, but at the Farmfair futurity that isn’t the case. This futurity is a judged event, open for horses aged four or five. Here heading and heeling horses are evaluated on their team roping abilities, responsiveness, and obedience.
Klay White will be competing in heeling at this event, riding a five-year-old red roan Quarter Horse named Lobos Rollin Red. White describes the horse as quick, strong and having a big stop. “Lobo is only about 14.1 HH,” White says. “But he’s a thick little horse, and he’s doing his job really well.”
This year will be White’s first time competing in the futurity, and his second time roping in the CFR. Both events are important to White, but each requires slightly different approaches.
“The futurity is judged completely on the horse, and not on the rider’s skill,” White says. “In the futurity we won’t rush quite as much; I’ll try to ride him smart and make clean runs.”
Lobo was purchased by White’s father this year at Rory Patton’s production sale, held at Buck Lake, Alta.
Patton runs Patton Rope Horses with the assistance of his wife, son and daughter. “For the last 25 years we’ve regularly crossed the U.S. border and shopped there for horses that will work in our program,” Patton explains.
“We’ve developed quite a few contacts in the States after all these years, and they keep their eyes open for suitable horses. We look for horses with roping type conformation, ideally that have done ranch work before this. We’ll ride them and try them out there, and if they seem suitable, they come home and go to work. We’ll drag calves on them, and do whatever it takes to get them ready for their new jobs.”
“Lobo might not be a big horse, but he’s built like a little bodybuilder,” Patton says. “He has a big, massive hip, and he’s got a great stop. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lobo does well at the futurity; he’s just the type of heeler I really like.”
While Lobo’s colour wasn’t a major factor, Patton does admit that unique colouring is an added bonus that can increase the value of an already good horse.
Patton competed in the first team roping futurity held about four years ago, winning the heading portion. This year he won’t be competing but two of his roping sale horses will be at the futurity.
“This is a great way to promote your horse,” Patton says. “You can increase their value, plus showcase your own horsemanship abilities.”
The Canadian National Team Roping Futurity goes Thursday, November 8 at Northlands.