Several breeders from the South East had great success with young horses they have bred at the Baileys Horse Feeds/ British Breeding/British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Futurity held on the 13th August at Plumpton College in Sussex.
The BEF Futurity Evaluation series aims to identify British bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for careers in dressage, eventing, showjumping or endurance. It may even find the stars of the future who will go on to compete at World Championships or become Olympic Champions.
Caroline Cooper from the Bayfield Stud in Dunsfold, Surrey gained the highest elite premium awarded at Plumpton with her foal colt foal, Allegretto who took an elite premium of 9.33 in the dressage section. An elite premium indicates that the horse has the potential and outlook to perform at international level.
The Futurity evaluators commented on Allegretto’s, “Elasticity, suppleness and power in all three gaits”.
Caroline said, “We were hoping to get an elite premium with Allegretto. As soon as he was born he was just perfect. We are thrilled with his Futurity marks, he didn’t receive less than a nine for anything”. Allegretto was bred via embryo transfer from Caroline’s mare, Special Lady who Caroline has owned for 5 years. Caroline continued, “Special Lady was a showjumping mare that competed up to 1.50m. She is very well graded with the KWPN stud book and she was bought to breed dressage horses”.
Allegretto will stay with Caroline at the Bayfield Stud until he is broken in. He will go to the Oldenburg gradings and he may stay entire. This is the first time Caroline has presented a youngster at the Futurity. She continued, “My husband is a farrier and one of his clients suggested we should go. I am very pleased we did. Allegretto will go back to the Futurity as a three year old to hopefully gain a place on the equine bridge”.
Caroline runs the Bayfield Stud full time, the stud focusses on training young dressage horses to produce and sell alongside their breeding activities.
Jane Townshend from the Classictop Stud in Crowborough took home an elite premium of 9.18 in the showjumping section with her filly foal, Classictop Party Girl. This was the highest score awarded to a potential showjumper at Plumpton.
Party Girl is out of Jane’s mare, Birthday Girl. Jane said, “Party Girl is a cracking foal. She has three full brothers and sisters who have achieved either elite of higher first Futurity premiums”.
Jane continued, “Birthday Girl is an incredible mare, she was previously with Lucy Sheldrake. Party Girl will be retained and sent off to be produced for competition. Her sire, Lauriston is a prolific stallion, he is an older horse that consistently produces the goods”.
Ashleigh Hill from Tonbridge gained an elite premium of 9.08 in the dressage section with her filly foal, Fiorelle. The Futurity evaluators were enthusiastic about Fiorelle’s, “Good ground cover and hind leg placement in the canter”.
Ashleigh said, “It was a lovely surprise to get such a good Futurity premium. I bought Fiorelle’s dam, Lillie Maleen when she was in foal to Sir Donnerhall two years ago. This is the first time I have chosen a stallion, I am delighted with my decision!”
Fiorelle is by the young dressage stallion, Feedback and her dam, Lillie Maleen is by Lauries Crusador. Ashleigh plans to keep Fiorelle until she is broken in and then she may sell her.
Classictop Conviction, a two year old showjumping gelding owned by Rachel Froud from Maidstone gained a higher first premium of 8.96 at Plumpton. A higher first premium indicates that the horse has the potential and outlook to perform at national level.
Rachel said, “I bought Classictop Conviction who was bred by Jane Townshend of the Classictop Stud over a year ago and have had a brilliant time with him so far”. The pair attended the Plumpton Futurity last year and received a higher first premium then too. Classictop Conviction has been out competing at County shows this season and won the two year old Hunter Breeding class at the Edenbridge and Oxted Show and took the reserve championship. He also won the two year old Sports Horse Breeding class at Kent county Show.
Classictop Conviction is by the stallion, Renkum Offender and out of Jane Townshend’s mare, Raritat.
Rachel bought Classictop Conviction to compete when he is older, she added, “It is great that we have done all these other things with him. I didn’t want to just leave him in the field until he is broken in. I have never been to the Futurity or showing before and have learnt so much from it. Jane Townshed that bred him has been really helpful with giving us advice for the Futurity and showing”.
Rachel plans to break Classictop Conviction in herself and he will go back to the Futurity as a three year old next year. Rachel continued, “It will be great to get him going with the loose jumping and see how he goes and to get the feedback from the Futurity evaluators”.
Johanne Dykes from Sayers Common, West Sussex gained a higher first premium of 8.96 with her three year old gelding Glorestan Jazz in the dressage section. He attained the highest score of the day awarded to a three year old. A higher first premium indicates that the horse has the potential and outlook to perform at national level.
Dressage rider, Johanne competed Glorestan Jazz’s dam, Florestamber to international level in dressage. A highlight of Florestamber’s career was taking 9th place in the final kur on the 2008 Sunshine Tour. Johanne said, “I am really pleased with Glorestan Jazz. Florestamber is near and dear to my heart, she is back in foal for next year to my stallion, Brennus B”. Gloreston Jazz is by the dressage stallion, Jazz.
Glorestan Jazz’s higher first premium qualifies him for the selection day of the Equine Bridge.
Two year old filly, Just A Jewel was the highest scoring potential eventer at Plumpton with a higher first premium of 8.86 for owner and breeder Julia Soyke from Tunbridge Wells.
Just A Jewel is the second generation of young horses bred by Julia, who bred Just A Jewel’s dam, Just A Giggle. Julia said, “Just A Giggle was a very brave mare and just about to do her first event when she slipped on concrete and damaged a tendon and so became a brood mare. Her dam, Just A Jewel’s grandmother – Just A Second was a small but very successful event mare, she gained 225 BHS eventing points. She was a wonderful mare and only 15.1 hands high”. Just A Jewel’s sire is the eventing stallion, Grafenstolz.
Just A Giggle has now bred three foals. The eldest, by Chilli Morning is now with international event rider, Gemma Tattersall and the youngest, Just A Griffin is by Royaldik.
Julia has been breeding for 15 years and continued, “Just A Jewel is the best one I have bred so far. I am excited about her, she is bold, curious and nimble and easy to handle. I am looking for a really keen and committed owner for her”.
The Futurity is a continually evolving process, 2013 saw the introduction of the Futurity equine bridge which is now being run as an extension of the Futurity evaluations. The Futurity equine bridge provides top Futurity graduates with the direction and support they will need as 4 year olds so that they begin their early years under saddle in a way that allows for sustained physical and mental development. In order to be eligible for the Futurity Equine Bridge all horses must obtain a Futurity score of 8.5 or above in their three year old year.
Head of Equine Development at the BEF, Jan Rogers said, “The Futurity is now in its ninth year and over this time we have seen it develop to provide real support to British breeders to help achieve their aims. Through their carefully planned breeding decisions, year on year we are seeing an improvement in the horses presented at the Futurity for evaluation”.
With entries limited to 60 at each evaluation venue, places are keenly sought after. Entries are categorised by discipline with age groups for foals, yearlings, two and three year olds and each horse is evaluated in hand and loose in a safe indoor environment as well as undergoing a vet’s assessment.
The BEF Futurity Evaluations are held at 11 venues over 14 days throughout the UK and young horses go home with a BEF Premium (grade), a stylish rosette and a detailed, informative score sheet. An attractive certificate to keep and frame follows on after the event. All results are published on the fully searchable British Breeding website. www.britishbreeding.org.