As the owner of a now three year old barrel horse in training, I have been considering my options for his four year old year. I have never had a futurity or derby eligible horse before, so I had to do my research. According to the Barrel Futurities of America (BFA) Rulebook: Futurity must be open to any horse four (4) years old and under & Derby horses must be six (6) years and under.
The biggest thing I have learned is that to enter a futurity (futurity class OR derby class) the horse cannot have competed in a barrel race before December 1 of the previous year. So essentially what this means to me is that I cannot compete for money or points before December 1 if I am even considering running in a futurity next year. Which is fine, because if I were to do that I would lose money and definitely not receive any points…..unless they are handing out points for making spectators laugh.
But in all seriousness, what this sounds like to me is that I also cannot compete next year before December 1 if I want to enter a derby class when my horse is five. But I would think that if you ran BFA futurity classes with a four year old then you could run the derby classes with that same horse as a five year old. See?–These are things I need to know. I guess (and by I guess I mean–I know) these rules are for people who are really serious about making their horses into futurity horses, and have other seasoned barrel horses to run at various events. I can’t say I have that option…unless someone is looking to give away their well-trained and sound barrel horse. Yeah…..right.
So this brings me back to the good ole’ “other” divisional races that I am more familiar with. You know, the ones that you can ride a four year old or a 24 year old, your choice. I am most likely to stick with various open and local association shows, mainly NBHA. However, I want to know that futurities are an option. I know my mom ran my colt’s dam in derbies, but was that after she had run her as a four year old in other shows?…maybe I should consult her. Put her memory to the test!
For the complete BFA Rulebook, visit it here: http://www.barrelfuturitiesofamerica.com/BFARulebook.pdf