A few months ago, Lyn Busacca and I came up with an idea. I've done lots of awards for registries, shows, and european events for Tekes in the past. Lyn writes some lovely and well thought out columns for the Friends of The Akhal Teke section in the Equine Journal. She mentioned something to me in one of her e-mails about wanting to sponsor a year end overall type of open award, and would I do it. Well..... needless to say, I ran with the idea! I felt that it was high time someone came up with an open award that any Teke owner and lover had the chance to win. Thanks to Lyn, the FOTATA - "Friends of the Akhal Teke Award", was born.
I've been a member of two different Teke registries over the years, in just the short time that I've been affiliated with the breed. And both organizations were useless. No communications, botched paperwork, shady bank accounts, and giving absolutely nothing back to the members in return for the dues they pay each year. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? I'd had enough of their cold ways. The FOTATA is the only welcoming and faithfully done award that I will complete in the future. In this way, I can actually feel pretty good about helping and making a small difference without the political mess associated with a registry.
This year's award is a huge plate that I designed. But, in the future if I can afford to get something cast for a reasonable amount, the prize might turn into a bronze. I want people to be proud of winning something that they've worked hard for. Not just a silly little slip of paper saying, "great job". This is a noble and rare breed of horse, and their riders and the horses themselves deserve better than that.