If you own a puppy from a breeder who is a member of the Weimaraner Club of America (WCA), and that breeder also does a fair amount of competing with Weimaraners, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard the term “Futurity” being passed around.
So what the heck is a “Futurity?”
The Futurity and Maturity Program is something the WCA came up with over 60 years ago. It’s kind of like a “Breeders Cup” because it’s primary purpose is to reward good breeding. Owners also get recognition because it’s understood that Weimaraners who win the Futurity and Maturity only do so because their owners are part of their dog’s success, too.
It’s a big deal for breeders to have dogs that win the Futurity and Maturity because it’s a stamp of approval from the WCA that our breeding programs conform with the AKC-approved breed standard and it’s intent.
The Futurity recognizes dogs that appear to have great potential for our breed’s future. The age window for a dog to participate in his/her Futurity is around 8 months to 16 months. The Maturity recognizes those same dogs one year later to acknowledge how nicely they’ve matured as adult dogs.
There are two types of Futurities, “show,” and “field.” In each type, there are three Futurities, one in each region of the United States. Out here on the West Coast, we typically participate in the “Western” Futurities, but we’re also welcome to participate in the Central and Eastern Futurities if we’d like. Note: There is only a Show Maturity; no Field Maturity.
What’s in it for the breeder?!
If nothing else, breeders have in common the fact that we’re COMPETITIVE. We’re always looking for the next win, the next brag, the next accolade. It’s affirmation that we’re doing the right thing by our dogs, and our breed.
When we’re planning a litter, we ask ourselves, “are puppies out of this litter going to be competitive in their Futurity and/or Maturity?” If the answer is yes, we have within thirty days of when the litter is whelped to fork over some cold hard cash to the WCA Futurity Administrator. (This is also called the “forfeit,” because the breeder is “forfeitting” money to the cause.) Then we wait for the puppies to be old enough to compete in their Futurities and Maturities, and we beg the owners to enter them.
This was Friday’s first litter in 2013; Boulder is the Black Collar Boy. By the time this photo was taken, the Futurity Forfeits had already been paid.
In a win, two Pewter Weimaraner trophies are awarded. One goes to the owner of the dam of the winner (which is also the breeder), and the other goes to the owner of the sire of the winner. They are beautiful, hard to come by, and when we earn them, we tuck them under our pillows at night for the first thirty days and polish them weekly!!! Mine are displayed in my office at home. Oh, and there’s also a $100 check from the WCA Futurity Administrator that appears in the mailbox a few months after the win.
In a Field Futurity, the breeder also gets to keep a traveling trophy. In 2016, I had it in my home for Bug’s Western Field Futurity win, and in 2017, I KEPT it in my home for Turbo’s Western Field Futurity win!
Bug with her Futurity ribbon in 2016. The big box is the traveling trophy. Next to it, you can see the Pewter Weimaraner that I earned for owning Bug’s mom, Friday. Bug herself earned the plaque, which is kept by her mamma, Erin. Note: Erin missed being in this photo because she still in-flight on her way to the trial grounds. We need to photoshop her in.
Here’s Diane with Turbo’s Futurity trophy the following year!
This is Boulder’s Show Maturity win photo from June 2016 with his handler, Robert Scott.
The Barrett dogs have earned three Pewter trophies so far. The first one was for Friday when her daughter Bug won her Field Futurity. The second one was for Mika when her son Turbo won his Field Futurity. The third one is also Friday’s for Boulder winning his Show Maturity.
What’s in it for the owner?!
Congratulations on owning a dog your breeder thinks has the goods to be competitive in his/her Futurity and Maturity! In addition to bragging rights, the owner gets to keep the plaque that’s awarded to the dog.
I treasure my two: one is for Turbo winning his Field Futurity, and the other is for Boulder winning his Show Maturity.
THANK YOU EMILY (friend of the Barrett family) for letting me use your photo of Colby’s Futurity loot for purposes of illustrating what the owner gets! To clarify, in addition to the plaque, there’s also a beautiful rosette, medallion, and (optional) win photo. One day, when I finally have enough time to get organized, I’ll do something like this to showcase all of my Futurity and Maturity dogs.
Now that you’ve got the primer on what this is all about, feel free to read the official WCA Futurity and Maturity Handbook, which explains the whole thing in 16 pages of additional reading.
In 2018, the Western Field Futurity will be in California City, CA in mid-February. The Western Show Futurity will be in Albany, Oregon, in mid-June. I plan to be at both events. The following Barrett dogs (whelped between June 1, 2016 and May 30, 2017) are eligible to compete:
- Steven – 2016 Trax import
- Blaise Pascal – 2016 Trax import
- Baja – 2016 Rossi x Mika litter
- Ronin – 2016 Rossi x Mika litter
- Sookie – 2016 Rossi x Mika litter
- Cowboy – 2016 Boulder x Seren litter
- Elleven – 2016 Boulder x Seren litter
- Geti – 2016 Boulder x Seren litter
- Zane – 2017 Boulder x Lenka litter
- Mango – 2017 Boulder x Lenka litter
- Mattie – 2017 Boulder x Lenka litter
- Shadowfax – 2017 Boulder x Lenka litter
- Simon – 2017 Boulder x Lenka litter
WOW. That’s a lot of Barrett dogs!!! Should you choose to have your dog participate in his/her Futurity, BEST WISHES AND GOOD LUCK!!!
P.S. When I have some more time, I’ll add a paragraph about the DUAL FUTURITY DOG. 🙂