In a changing environment where both new registrations and overall participation with the Arabian horse seem to be declining, one group has come together to try something new, with staggering results. The United Breeders Auction and Futurity (UBAF) is the first, and one of, if not the, largest of its kind. Over 9000 members and growing, are part of the online group - a rarity for any Arabian page which is not for sales.
The brainchild of Mark Love, of Clyde, Ohio, the group was started on Facebook, November 2017. UBAF is best described as by the Arabian horse community, for the Arabian horse community, with the contribution and participation of its members being at the heart of its achievements thus far. Created to increase registrations, and open up opportunities throughout the industry, UBAF is a multifaceted hub of breeding opportunities, services, and a platform for information sharing and collaboration for the advancement of the Arabian horse. Mark insists the success of the group lies truly in the willingness of the Arabian horse community to be open, to participate, and to continue to offer their support in bringing new life and new innovative ideas, to the industry.
Astonishingly, these sold breedings equate to a potential increase of almost nine percent in new foal registrations in 2019, while the previous seven years beforehand have consistently seen new registrations decline. Enrolled members donated breedings to their stallions, and the auction itself was run via Facebook. Mare owners placed their bids and received breedings to both new and upcoming, small breeder owned and popular and accomplished stallions, often for a fraction of the regular fee.
The two auctions combined sold a total of 270 breedings - the largest selling of Arabian and Half-Arabian breedings in an individual sale, according to UBAF. Astonishingly, these sold breedings equate to a potential increase of almost nine percent in new foal registrations in 2018, from the 2017 year results, while the previous seven years beforehand have consistently seen new registrations decline. In addition to this, the auctions have also created opportunity for increased genetic diversity of our North American Arabian horse, with a large percentage of the enrolled stallions being from closed herds or small breeders.
As the organization name suggests, the futurity is another key concept and UBAF hails it as the world’s first online judging of Arabian horses via live streaming. By removing the costly overheads incurred by traditional shows, the futurity aims to be accessible, and allow many to participate for a chance to win both cash and other prizes, acting as a gateway to showing. Three distinguished judges will score competitors via live video stream as they show their stock at their own barn in a relaxed, and age appropriate manner. As well as the futurity created for the foals resulting from the breeding auction, UBAF also looks to set to offer some ‘fun shows’ in this format too, where all members can participate and have a forum to compete with, and receive feedback on, their Arabian horses, for a minimal cost.
UBAF is much more than just an auction and futurity. Their webpage and Facebook also serve as a central advertisement hub to bring much needed dollars back into the community. Members can list their farms in the farm directory, promote their professional services such as chiropractic or farrier, or have their stallion featured in a spotlight, for a modest fee. The new addition of the Gelding Incentive program offers another fun avenue to get involved and win some cash by showing your gelding at AHA or Open shows. This program aims to add value and demand back to the geldings, horses that are the cornerstone of the breed.
All funds raised by the United Breeders Auction and Futurity go directly to either charitable causes, assisting members of our community and Arabian horses themselves, or back into continuing the growth and expansion of the organization and the opportunities it can provide. Many of the programs with a small entry fee, such as the Gelding Incentive and the fun shows, offer a 100% payback. Member purchased services such as advertising or design are paid for directly to the professional responsible for providing the service, at cost. The goal is to continue to support and enrich the community by offering assistance, and affordable, accessible services for all, through a rapidly growing and comprehensive hub.
When asked what he is most proud of in regards to the UBAF, Mark responded, “The people that supported the organization and made it strong. The people allowing me the opportunity to put forth some of my thoughts some of my ideas. People that were willing to discuss and vote without argument. The camaraderie that was developed. My pride is in everything that they give, without any type of negativity or argument. The numbers speak for themselves. The number of breedings that we sold. And the number of members.”
Trident CBA, owner Ashlee McMullin. Card Design by Brandy Phillips
The United Breeders Auction and Futurity undoubtedly has much to offer to us as a breed, from a renewed sense of community, to increased innovation and member driven progress, and a needed boost to new foal registrations.
For more information about UBAF, and to become a member, visit their webpage https://www.unitedbreedersauctionandfuturity.com/ or join the Facebook community https://www.facebook.com/groups/411355899280638/