PHOTOGRAPHY BY JODIE DI NUCCI
For Carlie Beer and Ricky Carver, who met and had combined their love of horses at a young age – it was the discovery of a purebred Arabian in a shared agistment paddock with Carlie’s riding horse.
After being given the chance to ride and compete on such an amazing horse, they were literally head over heels for the breed. That little horse was the pure Crabbet gelding Inshallah Re-Ality.
Together they have owned and shown Arabians from that moment on, for the last 16 years. They began showing that gelding Inshallah Re-Ality, who went on to claim six Australian Champion titles under saddle, and twice be awarded Purebred Saddle Horse of the Year by the AHSA. ‘He was a horse that would do anything he was pointed at, whether ridden by small children or other riders, whether it be Costume, Western or Working Hunter! He was a truly lucky find!’ He is still in their paddocks today, and in honour of this incredible horse, Ricky and Carlie used his name as their stud and show team name – Re-Ality Arabians. ‘He was the start of it all, after all!’
Carlie and Ricky’s passion for attending Arabian shows over the years drove them to search for the next horse, to be better and to try harder. It still does to this day. Their philosophy is that any horse in their care or in their show team is to be given every chance possible to be their best – they believe humans are just the custodians of these incredible animals. Of course, finding the next show horse is always a challenge and a huge gamble whether you buy a young horse or breed one yourself… a lottery that many of us continue to roll the dice. Over the years Ricky and Carlie have bred only a few foals, preferring to purchase foals bred by others to join their show team. It is not numbers they are after, nor foals to sell but rather to maintain a quality show team for both the Arabian and Open show scene. They feel there are plenty of reputable studs out there breeding horses of their preferred quality and type, and have not felt the need to breed over the past few years. Of course this may change with the line-up of colts who have recently joined their team.
Their plausible move after Inshallah Re- Ality was his half-brother, a big, super quality gelding Inshallah Inspiration, who they enjoyed showing as both a ridden and halter horse. It was with him they discovered two things – how much Ricky also enjoyed showing horses in the halter ring, alongside Carlie doing the riding, and also how very different two closely related horses can be. Over the years he had some great moments and wins, but he certainly was not the easy horse like his brother. That said, these challenges also brought with them all-new learning and development, and inspired more drive to succeed.
It was during this time that one of the most important relationships of their lives began, with an email enquiry to Doyle and Kate Dertell about a little Arabian Pony foal that was featured on their website. Ricky had been scrolling the ‘for sale’ page, pointed her out to Carlie and said ‘that’s my next Australian Champion’. When Butterfly FF trotted out two years later to win her first Australian Champion in 2013 another dream came true. And what a pony she has been… she is truly Ricky’s ‘heart horse’.
In 2018, after several years off after a floating incident, Butterfly FF enacted her own ‘Cinderella story’ when she made her comeback. On a whim, she was sent back to Future Farms four weeks out from the Australian Championships, at which she won Gold Australian Champion Senior Arabian Pony and Silver Australian Champion Ridden. Of course achieving goals often results in setting new ones, and Butterfly has yet again returned to Future Farms, this time forming an incredible partnership with Jessica Dertell over the past season. Watching her development as a saddle horse has been one of Ricky and Carlie’s most rewarding times, and the mare has enjoyed an incredible season winning at Nationals, East Coast, Victorian Classic and Victorian Arabian Championships, all culminated by winning Gold Australian Champion Ridden Arabian Pony. She was also Runner Up Grand Champion Saddle Horse and won the incredibly strong Shiranna Sash at the 2019 East Coast Championships. Butterfly FF also competed in the open show scene as a hunter pony and qualified and placed at Sydney Royal. To Ricky and Carlie it was such a thrill to have Arabian-bred horses at the open shows, demonstrating just how great they are as saddle horses.
The next life changing horse that came along was the charismatic purebred gelding Allegiant MI – specifically purchased to be the ultimate show horse for both ridden and halter. He has given Ricky some great halter wins including Australian Champion Non Pro Gelding, and is helping to give Ricky the confidence to get into the ring at the bigger shows. Carlie enjoys riding him in the ring as he is just the ultimate show horse and gentleman, again giving her more confidence. At only age eight he has five Australian Champion titles, including back to back Gold Australian Champion Senior Gelding. After joining the Future Farms roster this past season he also won Gold at the Australasian Breeders Cup and Champion at East Coast, on top of Ridden Championships at every Arabian show he attended over the season. Another long term goal had been to qualify a purebred Arabian for the open Galloway ring at Sydney Royal, even more so after the purebred Arabian classes were removed from the Royal Show. Knowing this, Future Farms took it upon themselves to get him qualified, travelling to shows all over the state. And qualify he did. It was an emotional moment when through the morning fog, this big grey gelding trotted into centre ring at Sydney Royal with Megan Cheeseman up, a wonderful representation of the ultimate saddle horse breed. He most recently attended Bathurst Royal and came away with Supreme Purebred Arabian and Supreme Ridden Arabian/Arabian Derivative.
Ricky and Carlie also work full time in their own business, a café, in Orange NSW and as most will know this means long hours, and often seven days a week work. They know that without the guidance and the work put in by the Future Farms team they would not have had the success they have had. Being a client of theirs has created so much opportunity and development, not only having the horses trained but developing their own knowledge and ring craft. Having the horses at Future Farms has also allowed Ricky and Carlie to purchase and campaign some incredible colts. Once again, not big breeders, but seeing the potential in the colts they have purchased and the desire to campaign and promote these horses not only for others to use, but to possibly breed their own stock. Leading the string is the purebred colt Satisfy FF, a moving machine, by Sir Charmed FF out of the Eden C mare, Mystica Sunshine. Most recently he was Bronze Australian Champion Junior Colt, and Silver at the Australasian Breeders Cup. With his incredible front and big movement, Ricky and Carlie can’t wait to see him under saddle when of age. They also own the closely related Sirocco FF, by Sir Charmed FF out of the Crave FF daughter Seduction FF. Unshown due to injury, he is a superb colt nonetheless and his future as a sire is anticipated by all who know him.
Tahvo FF, by Volcom FF, fulfils their penchant for derivatives, and he joined the team at just a few weeks old. This half Arabian colt of Arabian Pony breeding is ‘blingy and flashy and just a little bit special’. A favourite in the barn and a super fun show colt, Tahvo was winning Derivative sashes and Championships from his first show. He won many Shiranna sashes in his first season and also Gold Champion Derivative at the Australasian Breeders Cup. If he wasn’t winning the Shiranna sash, it was his stablemate Justified FF, by Concherto FF out of the WH Justice daughter Mystica Abia, a lovely Anglo gelding who Ricky and Carlie have specifically chosen as their next step into the open show scene.
The excitement has been building at Re- Ality Arabians for both the show team and the breeding prospects. There are youngsters waiting in the wings for foal show time, including the half sister to Butterfly FF, named Buttercup FF, as well as their next purebred gelding prospect, the effervescent Premiere FF, both sired by Volcom FF. And while breeding may be on the cards for the future, Ricky and Carlie are quick to define that Re-Ality Arabians is not a breeding barn or a stud as you would normally assume it to be run. Ricky and Carlie prefer it to be classed as a hand-picked show team with breeding options. They want their colts to be shown, to be in the ring and perform. They want people to be able to see them and consider using them, giving the colts the best chance to fulfil both a competitive career and be used as breeding prospects. They want their mares to have ridden careers, they want purposeful, beautiful saddle types that can go on to have show careers with others. This is their lot in life, after that lucky moment in a paddock when they met their first Arabian – to choose, develop and guide some more incredible horses…and hopefully with a few more lucky moments along the way.