A Journey to the Winner’s Circle – Inaugural WDAOK Futurity

Editor’s Note: On Nov. 8, WDAOK hosted its first Western Dressage Futurity, sponsored by Feed in a Drum and Permissive Will Ranch, for 3- and 4-year-old horses who have never been shown under saddle. The futurity was a great success (we’re already planning next year’s!), and our inaugural winner couldn’t have a more perfect story. Below, Janet Cagle tells about her western dressage journey with Precious Baby J.

WDAOK Inaugural Western Dressage FuturityIn March 2011, my husband and I sold our midtown Tulsa house, bought 10 acres north of town and established Double J Stables. Our first purchase was a 5-day-old filly and her momma. I had not owned a horse in 35 years and really didn’t know how one goes about buying a horse, so I tried Craigslist. The momma wasn’t registered, and the filly was a pasture accident with a very nicely bred Arabian, so I was told. I saw her picture and had to have her. My thought was that I could learn what I needed to know and by the time she was old enough, I could start her myself. I named her momma First Lady J, and we named the filly Precious Baby J. I registered Baby J with the Pinto Horse Association of America and put her in the pasture to grow.

In 2013, I sold Baby J. She was so small and still too young to start under saddle. I felt bad for her because I had several others that I worked with and rode, and she would be so upset to be left behind. She needed more attention, and I was so busy. I found a nice couple who fell in love with her and took her home. It never felt right. I couldn’t stand her not being in the pasture, and I missed her calling for me to come play with her. I asked if I could buy her back, and they said yes. They loved her like I did but couldn’t help think that Baby J really missed me. She had gotten hurt and was stall bound with a leg in a cast. She was still so small, and now she was hurt. I brought her home and again put her out to pasture to grow.

After her injury healed, I did ground work with her when I had time. I knew she was smart and craved the attention that a working horse gets, she was just so small.

In the fall of 2013, I watched my first Western Dressage show. I talked to the board members about the new sport and asked if a little Pinto with no breeding could be part of this sport. I don’t recall the man’s name, but I showed him her picture and a video of her floating around the pasture and told him she was half Arabian so maybe she will grow more. He was so nice and said she would be perfect for Western Dressage. I knew he was just being nice, but it did start my brain working.

WDAOK Inaugural Western Dressage FuturityIn the spring of 2014, I went to my first Western Dressage clinic, and I knew this was how I would get Baby J started. Paula Walker talked about a futurity for 3- and 4-year-olds who had never been shown or competed in anything. Gosh, Baby J hadn’t even been ridden at that point. I set my goal for her to be under saddle and ready for the futurity by November. I told my riding instructor, Lora Hinkel, what my plan was. I started riding her and taking her to see sights and experience things. We went on lots of trail rides and overnight camping. She was in heaven learning something new every day and getting to be my main horse.

But on October 31, I had a meltdown in my pasture. While I watched Baby J play with my other little filly, I started thinking too much. She is so little, so young, barely 60 rides, this is a lot of pressure, I should save her for next year and let her grow up a little more. After a good cry and another ride that weekend, I was feeling better. Then the list of ride times came out, and again, I panicked. I am not a trainer, and she is not dressage material. That night I rode her, and she rode like a million bucks, it all came together, and she acted like she had grown up overnight. So Friday, we packed up and headed for Claremore, Oklahoma.

Going into the ring that day, I knew that I had spent the time wisely and done all that I could to prepare her for her first competition. I wanted to just enjoy being with her and showing her off a little. I was nervous, but she wasn’t, not at all.

So this is the story of how my first horse, after 35 year of no horses, gave me my first-ever blue ribbon win in anything ever in life. She was the first horse I ever started on my own. This is Lora’s first win in Western Dressage as an instructor. This is the first Western Dressage Futurity, and did I mention that her momma is called First Lady J?

I am so thankful to have found the sport that helped me get my little filly going. The sport is inclusive of all breeds, shapes and sizes, and the people I have met are genuine and supportive. I am thankful for the opportunity to ride such a special little horse. We have our sights on the Worlds next year.

By Janet Cagle

Full WDAOK Futurity Results

The futurity was held Nov. 8 in Claremore, Oklahoma, in conjunction with the Green Country Chapter of the Oklahoma Dressage Society’s schooling show championships. The judge was L graduate Susan Lang of Wichita, Kansas, and the test used was Intro 1.

  1. Precious Baby J, 3-year-old Pinto mare, owned and shown by Janet Cagle, Sperry, Okla., 69.821 percent, $665
  2. Valentine, 4-year-old bay BLM Mustang, owned and shown by Amy Engle, Claremore, Okla., 65.178 percent, $380
  3. Rio Blanco Lady, 3-year-old palomino American Quarter Horse mare, owned by David Fike Godfrey and shown by Ashleigh Willems, Lubbock, Texas, 64.642 percent, $285
  4. Rosa De Paraiso, 3-year-old gray half-Andalusian mare, owned by Sarah Parsons and shown by Ashleigh Willems, Lubbock, Texas, 63.750 percent, $190
  5. Luminaria Moon, 3-year-old gray PRE Andalusian mare, owned and shown by Patty Sadler, Lubbock, Texas, 63.392 percent, $95
  6. Maxs Kissin Kate, 4-year-old grade Gypsy Vanner cross mare, owned by Cheryl West and shown by Kari Nichols, Sand Springs, Okla., 63.214 percent, $95
  7. Docs Lightning B , 3-year-old buckskin American Quarter Horse gelding, owned and shown by Corinne Bridgeman, Big Cabin, Okla., 62.857 percent, $95
  8. Strawberry Bandit, 4-year-old red roan Quarter Pony gelding, owned and shown by Mindy Roland, McCurtain, Okla., 60.535 percent, $95
  9. Valiente Jay CDF, 3-year-old brown IALHA Andalusian gelding, owned by Patty Sadler and shown by Ashleigh Willems, Lubbock, Texas, 59.642 percent, $0

One Response to “A Journey to the Winner’s Circle – Inaugural WDAOK Futurity

  • taylor scoggins
    5 years ago

    I loved the show and had a chance to meet several people new to western dressage. So excited about this new sport. What a cute pair. Watched them warm up, their connection was evident. Hope to see them in the future.