SUPPORTING BRITISH TALENT

A programme designed to bring together breeders, trainers, riders and owners to support the very best British bred horses on their journey to the top levels of equestrian sports has been re-launched.

The Breeding Equine Bridge from British Breeding has the support of all three affiliated sporting bodies – British Eventing, British Showjumping and British Dressage. The ultimate goal of the programme is to see more British riders on British horses representing their country at international level.

The first new Equine Bridge event will take place on 14thand 15thOctober this year at Addington EC in Buckinghamshire and is for horses and ponies aged four to six years that have qualified via the British Breeding Baileys Horse Feeds Futurity Evaluations. From the pool of past Futurity entries, those who achieved a score of 8.5 or above as three-year-olds and who are aged between four and six-years-old this year are already qualified to go forward for the Bridge programme.

Additional qualifying opportunities have also been implemented for this summer. Whilst a qualifier has already taken place at Richmond EC in Yorkshire, there are three further qualifying opportunities: 28thAugust at Catherston Stud, 1stSeptember at Drumcarrow, and 21st September at Solihull. These evaluations are open to any horse that meets the criteria for being British bred.

The ridden Bridge horses will undergo a two-day evaluation programme designed to provide helpful support and feedback, as well as an objective and detailed assessment. It will include a detailed veterinary inspection of correctness of conformation and soundness and nutritional, saddlery and farriery advice from industry experts. The horses and ponies will be observed by a team of three internationally renowned judges over both days. On the first day, participants will receive training under their usual rider with senior discipline trainers, whilst on the second day the horses will be presented under saddle, first with their own rider, and then with one of the disciplines’ test riders who will contribute to the feedback.

As well as recognition for having completed the Bridge assessment, British Breeding and the Olympic Disciplines are working together to provide an attractive range of benefits, from reductions on membership and entry fees, to access to further opportunities designed to offer incentives and support.

The event will also offer activities for ridden four to six-year-old horses and ponies for the disciplines of eventing, dressage, show jumping and endurance. The event is designed to encourage networking between breeders, trainers and riders to and encourage investors and new owners into the market by offering information and seminars on management, insurance and syndicate opportunities, plus a showcasing opportunity for unridden horses and ponies at three to four years of age.

British Breeding’s Director Rachael Holdsworth says the programme has come about as a result of listening to potential buyers. She commented: “We listened to potential buyers of young horses who told us that they would like to be able to see a range of high-quality young horses and ponies in one place and who want better information about the future prospects of their investment. The Equine Bridge is ideally placed to showcase the very best of British bred youngstock while also providing objective and trustworthy information.”

British Breeding Director Dr Eva-Maria Broomer explains; “To provide a smooth transition for young horses and ponies into the Equine Bridge programme, we have taken significant steps to enhance the qualifying process via the Futurity Evaluations. This year, for the first time, we are running separate Futurity assessment days for three to five-year-olds, which will enable us to optimise the evaluations for this age group. In addition to the three-year-old horses and ponies, we are inviting older candidates of four and five years old to come forward, thus providing the opportunity for them to qualify for the Equine Bridge”.

By creating more opportunities for all stakeholders with an interest in British Bred horses it is hoped to find the talent to go all the way to the top. For more information visit www.british-breeding.com.

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