For the fifth consecutive year the Turnabout Farm Non Pro Futurity will be the most exciting Non Pro event at the Tulsa Reining Classic. Set this year for Friday, September 2, this futurity is one of the first places to see each year’s great 3-year- olds and it has become a signature title in the reining world and an accurate predictor of continuing excellence.
The Turnabout Farm Non Pro Futurity offers $26,000 in added money and last year’s champion Jessicah Keller earned over $5,400 on Malena Chic Olena for the win. It’s fitting that such a major event would be sponsored by one of the horse world’s elite – Sarah Willeman’s Turnabout Farm.
Turnabout Farm was begun in 1994 and has its origins in the hunter and jumper world. Willeman competed successfully at the highest levels of the sport, winning Open Jumper Grand Prix, multiple Junior Olympics gold medals, three national equitation championships, and countless hunter championships, Equitation Classics, and Junior and Amateur-Owner Jumper Classics throughout the years. She is now raising foals out of her great mares Lapeti, Labelle, and Fein Cera, the Athens Olympics team gold medalist and Best Horse at the 2002 Jerez World Equestrian Games with American rider Peter Wylde.
“We appreciate Sarah Willeman’s support of the Tulsa Reining Classic, noted Colleen McQuay, President of Global Reining Sport Group, which produces the event. “Sarah and her husband Philip are the kind of people who give back to their sport and we truly appreciate their kind generosity.”
According to Sarah, she is happy to sponsor the futurity. Sarah said, “The Tulsa Reining Classic is a fantastic show. It’s very well run from a horsemanship perspective, which I really appreciate. It’s a great place to bring futurity horses to give them a good experience.”
She continued, “Coming from the Hunter-Jumper world, where most horses are bred in Europe, I’ve enjoyed the fact that reiners have such a focus on breeding and developing horses here at home. I feel lucky to own Gunners Special Nite and some wonderful broodmares, thanks to Tom and Mandy McCutcheon. It’s exciting to watch our horses grow up and reach the show arena, and I’m glad this Futurity can be part of that process for other owners and riders as well.”
From the beginning Turnabout’s success came from an eye for quality horses, devotion to fundamental horsemanship, and commitment to each horse’s long-term wellbeing and athletic development. So when Willeman turned her attention to reining in 2005, followed the same formula. Early on she teamed up with Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses in Aubrey, Texas, basing her reining horse
breeding program there.
A little over a decade later, with earnings and offspring earnings approaching $1 million, the Turnabout Farm mares are exceptional show horses and proven producers. Turnabout Farm star stallion, Gunners Special Nite, won over $235,000 and was the Individual and Team Gold Medalist at the 2010 World Equestrian Games as well as USEF Horse of the Year.