Meet the palomino competing at Bramham: ‘He’s very striking with bags of ability’

  • Among the event horses competing at Bramham Horse Trials this week, one definitely stands out – the palomino Future Plans, ridden by Scotland’s Louisa Milne Home and owned by his rider and Susie Wilks.

    “My first pony was a palomino called Popcorn and I always fancied having a nice palomino event horse, but finding a nice one is tricky because they’re not all performance sports horses,” said Louisa after her dressage yesterday.

    “I saw him at Dublin Horse Show in the young horse class but I was too slow and Vere Phillipps bought him, so then I bought him from Vere.

    “He’s very striking. He was really green at that point and was probably bottom of the pile in Dublin, but he had a nice attitude while being babyish.

    “He looked willing and was still trying even though he was a bit gobsmacked and that’s kind of been his thing all along. He’s quite spooky, quite nervous, but he does try hard and he’s got bags of ability so I’m very lucky.”

    Future Plans was bred by Eddie Hanlon in Co Wicklow. His pedigree shows he is by the cremello stallion Crown’s Ace Of Pearl, who stands at The Ivy Stud in Herefordshire, out of a chestnut Irish sport horse mare called Out To Sea – a match which The Ivy Stud website explains was guaranteed to produce a palomino. Out To Sea is by the thoroughbred Tasset out of an Irish draught mare by Sea Crest, the sire of Cruising.

    “He’s actually quite conventionally bred for eventing,” says Louisa.

    Louisa and Future Plans did their dressage in the CCI4*-L yesterday, scoring 35.8 to sit 11th overnight.

    “I’m really pleased with him – he actually really concentrated and did a lovely test. We had one late flying change but otherwise there’s nothing I can complain about. It’s nice to come into a proper atmosphere and have them actually behave in that as it’s a step up for the horses,” said Louisa.

    Like many in this higher-scoring competition, Louisa was disappointed with her mark.

    “But he went great and that’s the main thing – basically that’s all you can judge it on, how you feel they’ve gone against their normal performances,” she said.

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