Caunton Manor Stud – Enhancing British Breeding

Arabella Barnes

The breeding programme, unique selection process and excellent team at Caunton Manor Stud, enables them to offer some
outstanding quality youngstock all from their in-house professional and seamless training facility.

“Everyone has been doing what they are doing for so long, it all works like clockwork and the system works perfectly for producing our youngstock” says Victoria.

Matthew and Victoria have combined a mixture of buying in their youngstock from foals to 2 to 3 year olds along with breeding their own, enabling new top quality mares and stallions to be brought into the mix. The youngstock will be broken, tacked, long-lined and lunged by Lee, their guy on the ground with the magic touch, then sat on by George, a talented young rider, in the round pen under the guidance of Matt. Once walking, trotting, cantering and jumping under saddle, they will be turned away before coming back in as 4 year olds. Fillies which are really well bred and showing great class and excellent bloodline, will be put in foal. The young horses will then be competed by Matt to prove their ability in the sport and contest the young horse classes in their chosen discipline. The yard is managed by Hayley who also assists in the riding and is responsible for the day to day running of the yard alongside Matt and Victoria, meanwhile Tj and Emma help keep on top of the daily routine.

From the very beginning growing Caunton Manor Stud has been a challenge. Their goal is to breed elite athletes for Dressage, Eventing and Jumping right here in the UK. They ensure that all their stallions are performance tested to the same standard as overseas, or competing at the top level in their sport. Victoria says “we want to provide the same level of excellence in the UK, as you would find on the continent, to produce elite horses for the top riders and to enhance British Breeding in general. We want to make those looking for excellence, consider what we have to offer first.”

In Europe, stallions must pass a performance test or be well proven in the sport before they are issued a license to breed, allowing them to go to stud. Victoria highlights that this test is vital for breeders looking at potential stallions and for ensuring you are investing in something valuable. However, it’s not just the quality of the stallion that matters as the mare line is equally as important. Victoria highlights the importance of having top quality for both mare and stallion and that “temperament is key”.

At Caunton Manor Stud, they are very fortunate that the temperament aspect of all their stallions is “amazing”. They don’t have to be kept in a different environment or away from the mares. Victoria and Matthew make a point to ensure that they don’t treat the stallions any differently and that they behave like any other horse. Victoria says “we stable Branduardi next to a mare and Comfort in a paddock next to another mare, home is home.”

“When we are approached for breeding, we endeavor to pair your mare with the right stallion and will offer up knowledge and advice when required, as we know the challenges faced during the decision making process all too well” says Victoria.

Caunton Manor Stud, Victoria and Matthew have exceptional standards and have produced some extremely top class horses. The end result for them is to see breeders getting much more recognition and reward, prompting them to want to improve the quality of their stock. When the quality of horses being produced keeps improving, a much more lucrative industry will follow. Their philosophy, values and horsemanship skills create the perfect environment for breeding excellence and will certainly play a large role in enhancing the future of British Breeding.

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