The dates and venues for the 2014 Baileys Horse Feeds/British Breeding/BEF Futurity evaluation series have been announced. The Futurity is the fastest growing young sport horse evaluation programme in the UK and 2014 is set to continue this trend. With capacity for well over 900 entries, the Futurity aims to identify British bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for top level careers in dressage, eventing, show-jumping or endurance, and may even find the Olympic champions of the future.
Horses and ponies are entered for the Futurity discipline they are bred to perform in, with age groups for foals, yearlings, two and three year olds. Each horse is evaluated in hand and loose in an indoor school as well as undergoing a vet’s assessment. Breeders value the Futurity because it allows them to get their youngstock out in public, but in a low stress enclosed environment.
The Futurity is held at 11 venues with 14 days of evaluations throughout the UK during July and August. The young horses go home with a Premium score (grade), an attractive rosette and a detailed, informative score sheet. Entries open online on the 1st July and some venues fill up within 48 hours so breeders need to respond quickly to be sure of a place.
Several changes have been made for the 2014 BEF Futurity. In previous years, entries opened on the 1st June. The decision to change the date to the 1st of July in 2014 is because it has been found that many foals are now being born later and to help people making entries, the opening date has been put back to enable foals to be on the ground.
Another first for 2014 is the decision to incorporate some weekend dates into the schedule. Previously, the Futurity has always taken place on weekdays, Cat Wood, Executive for Equine Development at the BEF said, “We are looking to improve the running of Futurity in line with feedback we have received and in order to increase the consistency of the evaluation panel we have needed to make a greater range of dates available. It is also the case that venues are busy as well so we have had to be flexible. Some traditional venues could not fit us in at all so we have had to find alternative venues on alternative dates”.
Three year old horses and ponies are encouraged to attend for their final futurity year as a score of 8.5 and over will result in an invite for the Futurity Equine Bridge selection day under saddle in the following year. Previous attendance is not compulsory. Horses and ponies selected will receive match funding and training sessions with industry professionals. The aim of the Equine Bridge is to provide direction and support to riders and trainers and to help owners and breeders realise the best of their horse’s ability.
The BEF’s Head of Equine Development Jan Rogers commented on the positive feedback they have had from the series, “The Futurity is showing itself to be an assessment system which British breeders value, and this is because we always respond to feedback and make changes so that the programme continually evolves to meet its objectives and the needs of breeders”.
For more information, visit www.britishbreeding.org.
Futurity Dates and Venues 2014
Wednesday 30th July College EC Keysoe Bedfordshire
Thursday 31st July Arena UK Lincolnshire
Saturday 2nd August Hartpury College Gloucestershire
Sunday 3rd August Bicton College Devon
Wednesday 6th August SNEC Edinburgh
Friday 8th August Richmond EC Yorkshire
Saturday 9th August Southview EC Cheshire
Sunday 10th August Southview EC Cheshire
Wednesday 13th August Plumpton College Sussex
Thursday 14th August Writtle College Essex
Friday 15th August Catherston Stud Hampshire
Saturday 16th August Catherston Stud Hampshire
Monday 18th August Solihull Riding Club West Midlands