Editor's note: The following monthly perspective was written by National Horseman's publisher, Allison Lambert, appearing in the October 2015 issue.
The Breed Bubble
By Allison Lambert
The entire “show horse” industry is a melting pot of breeds, disciplines and levels of involvement. From Saddlebreds to Morgans, and Hackneys to Arabians, there are entire equine communities out there that have more in common than they think. Although the divisions and rules may vary from breed to breed, there is a strong link that binds us all together—the love of showing horses.
The truth is, most of us are unaware of the vast show horse world out there, because we live segregated in the bubble of own breed. In recent years, the Saddlebred community has welcomed many new faces to our sport—trainers, exhibitors and owners that have all come from other breeds. From Jim Stachowski to Jim Lowry, and Cameron Kay to Juliette Dell, there are many individuals making an extremely positive impact on our sport, who have all derived from other breeds and disciplines. It’s not that they are switching from one breed to another, it’s that they find fulfillment in participating in both.
“From the time I grew up, a cool horse was a cool horse,” explains Jim Lowry. “My love of a cool horse was never breed specific. From Sultan’s Starina, to Centerfold, to these two Quarter Horse studs I remember as a kid, I’ve always been inspired by a cool horse, regardless of their breed, and grew up trying to emulate them in my training.”
Although his career started in the Morgan industry, Jim explains that his expansion to Saddlebreds was never a conscious one. “With us, we never made a conscious decision to expand, but we never made the decision not to, either. When the opportunity to acquire some Saddlebreds presented itself, we were really excited about it. Each industry has differences and similarities, and there are things I love differently about each of them. But at the end of the day, Fay and I love being able to go to both shows.”
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a few Arabian shows. Although it’s a world I have always been aware of, I’ve never had the privilege of being fully introduced to it until now. In attending these shows, my eyes were opened to a whole new world out there—a world very similar to the one I’ve been used to, but one very different as well. It wasn’t until I had the privilege to attend these shows that I realized just how much we could learn from one another. Sure, our breeds vary in numerous ways. However, our similarities outweigh our differences.
The future of our sport is unknown, but together, each individual breed is part of a much bigger “show horse” family, and if we just expanded our horizons beyond our own “breed bubble,” there is no telling the limitless opportunities we could accomplish together.