All sports at an elite level require a specialized and professional approach to be successful and equestrian sports is no exception to that. So in that sense there is little or no room for versatile horses within elite level equestrian sports. Of course some equestrian events demand some degree of versatility like Endurance riding and The Three Day Event, but only at some degree, because for instance an Endurance horse cannot be very successful in elite Show Jumping, or the other way around.
So, is there a prospect for Nokota horses within elite equine sports?
Show jumping on elite level requires a very specialized horse conformation as well as much braveness and good perceptive ability. Any horse breed can, given enough generations of selective breeding, generate such a horse. If we look at a shorter timespan a Nokota is probably not always a firsthand choice in the highest classes, but in medium and pony classes a well-built Nokota will definitely place himself/herself high in the running for any championship trophy.
Western ridning events like reining, barrel race, roping, cutting, trail, western horsemanship, halter, as well as English dressage and Spanish working equitation and so on are all assessing sports. At elite level it is always a risk that the judges may favor certain breeds and conformations that are traditionally expected, but if we assume total justice there is nothing that prevents a fit Nokota from being an excellent choice for any such event at any level.
Endurance and Three Day Event are the sports that possibly are the most suitable for Nokota horses, considering what the Kuntz brothers has achieved in The Great American Horse Race. Three Day Event (Fälttävlan in Swedish) involves Dressage, Jumping and Endurance in a three day event and is an old military versatility test and international competitions are held all over the world as well as at The Olympic Games. The endurance test is usually 4-5 kilometers long, in difficult terrain with up to 35 different obstacles, in other words the perfect event for a versatile and brave horse and rider. It is the fastest growing horse event in Sweden and it is not unlikely that a well suited Nokota horse can be very successful in that event on the highest elite level. Points are however given on assessment grounds and the rules may seem complicated, unless you are a golfer of course.
But again, some riders and horse people keep their horses not only for sports but for higher grounds. In that case versatility is a key word that can also be spelled “Nokota”. A horse tend to involve the whole family so it is a good thing if all family members can relate to the same horse, young and old, tall and short, as well as skilled and not so skilled. If the horse is both gentle and has a lot of guts it’s a keeper. Besides a good home and a loving human family, what a horse really needs is some good horse friends. Well, that about does her, wraps her all up for this time.
Catch you all later on down the trail