The Royal Crown Crosses The Border
“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” – Shirley Chisholm
It is no secret that the horse industry is no stranger to complaints and bleacher experts. What Clay Ullery, Grady Branden and his wife Katelyn did was help progress the futurity industry by implementing a great idea.
Clay said the idea came in the middle of the night. Clay had been roping with Matt Zancanella last year and just finished judging and helping out at the Royal Crown in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Clay had the thoughts in his head one night rodeoing he just could not push away- the Canadian horse industry has started to really take off and something should be done to showcase it.
He knows first hand that besides the few large Pro Rodeos in the summer, if you want to go compete at a world class event you have to bring your horses on down to the states.
“I just thought with the caliber of competitors and horses we have that it would be just amazing if we could find a way to get world class events at home in Canada, and so I spoke to Matt and we just went from there.”
On May 10-14, the Royal Crown Futurities crossed the border and produced its first event ever on Canadian soil. The event featured four days worth of events, showcasing some of Canada’s finest horsemen & women and their equine athletes in Claresholm, Alberta.
Clay and Grady produced the first Royal Crown Canadian Futurity, and the inaugural event was a smashing success. Clay, Grady, and Katelyn look forward to producing and growing this event in the years to come!
The first event included a barrel horse and rope horse futurity with over $240,000 added to the barrels, $80,000 added to the team roping, and over $20,000 added to the breakaway and calf roping futurities.
“I really do not ever watch barrel racing to be honest with you, I should not admit that…but I really enjoyed watching ours. It was a real tight race and it was good!” said Grady.
Both producers were also overwhelmed with how their fellow Canadian horsemen just fell right in. The stallion list will soon be 100 strong and there will be no waiting list until it is filled.
That is quite a large number to start with and Clay admitted there was definitely some nerves but luckily as Katelyn grew the marketing and more people found out about what was to come the calls started streaming in quicker than they could have imagined.
Plans for an expansion of dates are already well under way and Grady has Canadian sponsors jumping on as quickly as stallion owners.
One thing all three producers agreed on is that it was no easy feat but it was worth it in the end, and as all three are a part of the horse industry themselves, it has not only upped their own game as producers, but as competitors, owners and trainers.
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