Northern horse breeders had cause for celebration after the recent Baileys Horse Feeds/ British Breeding/British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Futurity held at Richmond Equestrian Centre, North Yorkshire.
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.
Three young horses attained elite premiums during the busy day of evaluations at this popular North Yorkshire venue. An elite premium (score of 9.00 or over out of 10.00) indicates that the horse has the potential and outlook to perform at international level.
Kate and Tim Betteridge from Shiptonthorpe, York bred and own gelding foal, Jorvik Star, who attained an elite premium of 9.20 in the showjumping section. This score was the highest premium awarded to a potential showjumper in the entire 2014 Futurity.
The Futurity evaluators Lucinda Sims, Jennie Loriston Clarke and Bridget Parker said, “Jorvik Star has super proportions and an active walk as well as a balanced and powerful canter”.
Kate and Tim bred Jorvik Star from Kate’s grade B showjumping mare, C Vera Z, Kate said, “This is the first foal we have bred and I am just thrilled, we went to the Huby and Sutton Show as a practise for the Futurity and C Vera Z took the Champion Sports Horse Mare and Reserve Supreme In Hand Champion titles”.
Kate has owned C Vera Z for seven years having bought her from Samantha Jimmison and she has competed to 1.40m level in British Showjumping classes with Kate and Laura Stevenson. Kate added, “I had a baby last year, so it seemed the ideal time for C Vera Z to have a foal, I am also thrilled for the mare and the foal’s sire, Balou Star is a lovely stallion. Hopefully Jorvik Star will go on to compete and it would be great if he could get on to the equine pathway via the equine bridge if all goes well”. C Vera Z is back in foal to Balou Star for 2015.
Samantha Jimmison will help Kate produce and break in Jorvik Star. Kate continued, “Having bought the mare seven years ago from Samantha, I have bought a couple more horses from her and we have become good friends. We went to Richmond together and Samantha led the mare whilst I led the foal”.
David Dixon from Hambleton, North Yorkshire gained an elite premium with his filly foal Davillon Athena. Bred and owned by David, Davillon Athena attained an elite premium of 9.14 in the eventing section, which was the highest score of the day awarded to an eventer.
Davillon Athena’s dam, Baydale Venus is a fourth generation homebred mare, bred by the late Shelia Fenwick for whom David worked for 20 years. David said, “Davillon Athena’s dam, Baydale Venus is an outstanding mare. Her wins included taking the HOYS ridden hack of the year in 2009 with Simon Charlesworth. I have since bought her and this is the first foal she has bred”. Baydale Venus has also been graded into the Sports Horse Breeding Great Britain head studbook
David continued, “Davillon Athena is a super foal, she is by our stallion Up With The Lark, who we think the world of and with her dam too we hoped she would be really special. She also won the foal breeding class at Bramham earlier in the season. Davillon Athena is now for sale and Venus is back in foal to Up With The Lark. We will hope for another filly from the mare”.
Up With The Lark was bought by David two years ago, the former advanced eventer is now competing at medium level dressage and has qualified for the regionals at medium level. The aim is for him to compete at advanced level. Up With The Lark is ridden by Heidi Hutchinson.
This is the first time David has attended the futurity and he added, “It was great to go to the Futurity, Charles Upham from the West Country suggested we should go and it was a really enjoyable day out. We found the vetting was very important and the calibre of evaluators is excellent, we really respect their professional opinion”.
The final elite premium of the day went to dressage foal, Ciao Bella owned by Samantha Brown from Houghton-le-Spring. Ciao Bella was bred by Lynne Crowden from Northampton, she attained an elite premium of 9.00.
Samantha bought Ciao Bella’s dam, Weltregenin when she was in foal with Ciao Bella. Samantha is a former member of the British Junior dressage team and also a member of the British Young Breeders team. Samantha has focussed on breeding ponies. Samantha’s mother, Beverley said, “We didn’t have a young riders horse for Samantha to ride. Samantha was talking to Lynne Crowden who said she had a perfect mare to breed from and why were we breeding ponies when we want a horse?! We are so grateful to Lynne and Samantha is very excited about the future for Ciao Bella”.
Ciao Bella is by the young stallion, Clapton. Beverley added, “Ciao Bella has superb quality and we were expecting nothing less from this wonderful mare. Ciao Bella has definitely met, if not exceeded our expectations. She has a superb future ahead of her”.
Several horses from the North scored higher first premiums at the Richmond BEF Futurity. A higher first premium indicates that the horse has the potential and outlook to perform at national level.
Heading the higher first premiums at Richmond was sports pony filly foal Cornsay Diadem, owned and bred by Louise Smales of Cornsay, Durham. Cornsay Diadem attained a higher first premium of 8.94 in the eventing section.
Louise has three mares and has been breeding for the past three or four years. She said, “Diadem is a cracking foal, she has so much about her and is very trainable”. Diadem is bred from Louise’s thoroughbred mare, Cornsay Sloe. Louise added, “Her name is a bit of a play on words, she was very slow when she was in training. Sloe came from Ireland and competed in dressage and eventing until an injury led to her becoming a broodmare”.
Louise continued, “We have set out to breed good quality, rideable, trainable sports horses. Out of the six we have bred so far, five have attended the Futurity, three have come away with higher firsts and two with firsts and we also bred the winner of the foal class at Osberton last year, Cornsay Pendragon. The futurity gives the youngsters a kickstart in life and helps us prove to ourselves that we are breeding the right sort of horse”. Cornsay Diadem is by the stallion, Littledale Bright Star.
Cornsay Sloe is back in foal for 2015 to Dark De Niro.
Val Lancashire, from Littlemoor Arabian Sporthorses in Alfreton owns and bred the highest scoring three year old of the day at Richmond. Her potential eventer, L.A Torillo attained a higher first premium of 8.81. L.A Torillo is the second horse Val has bred to receive a higher first premium at the 2014 Futurity. At Arena UK last week, her foal, L.A Rulette scored a higher first premium of 8.58.
Val said, “I am just delighted with L.A Torillo, he was brilliant at the Futurity. He even scored 9.5 for his jumping, which considering the experience of the evaluators I had my heart in my mouth hoping they would like him. Luckily, they did!” L.A Torillo is related to the Badminton Horse Trials winner and British eventing team horse, Tamarillo. Val continued, “L.A Torillo’s dam, Doucette has a direct line to both Tamarillo and advanced eventer, Tarnik”.
Val specialises in breeding Arab performance horses. Many go on to compete in endurance, but others such as L.A Torillo are destined for eventing careers. L.A Torillo is 30% Arab, he is by the advanced eventing stallion, Wish Upon A Star. He also took 1st place in the Sports Horse Class at the Arab National Championships. Val continued, “I am backing Torillo myself at the moment and plan to do some dressage with him over the winter. He will then hopefully go on to do the Burghley Young Event horse classes next year. I am really excited about Torillo, he has a great spark and presence along with a decent amount of bone”.
Best of the yearlings at Richmond was the showjumping colt, Invictus, owned and bred by Geraldine Ward of Driffield, North Yorkshire. Invictus attained a higher first premium of 8.80.
Geraldine bred Invictus from her mare, Bullands Sensation. She said, “Bullands Sensation was a brilliant young riders showjumping horse for my elder daughter, Stephanie. She is an amazing horse and for two years jumped on under 21’s nations cup teams. She is 23 now so Invictus is her last offspring. I am so proud of him, he was very well behaved at the Futurity and showed himself off well. He also scored a Futurity higher first premium as a foal”. Invictus’ sire is the showjumping stallion, Revival who was ridden by John Whitaker.
Geraldine plans to keep Invictus and he will be produced for showjumping, she added, “He was bred as a showjumper, we will produce him and see which sphere he has the most talent in. My younger daughter, Scarlet, who rides for Tim Stockdale will most likely start Invictus’ ridden work”.
Alison Fearn from Carnforth, Lancaster owns and bred the top scoring two year old at Richmond, Tarnbrook Takek It All who scored a higher first premium of 8.79 in the eventing section.
This is the third time the skewbald stallion, Tarnbrook Take It All has attended the Futurity, he attained a First premium as a foal and a yearling. Alison said, “We have been out to several County Shows this year and he was Coloured Champion In Hand at both the Royal Norfolk Show and the Three Counties Show. We are still hoping he will qualify for the Horse of the Year Show in October”.
Tarnbrook Take It All has been professionally produced this season by Mark & Tina Carswell from Paddocklow Showing. Alison continued, “Mark also used to show Milo's sire Thursden Vallye Raphael and qualified him for the Cuddy Final at HOYS 2010, where he was placed third”.
Alison has owned Tarnbrook Take It All’s dam, Millpond Look So Different since 2008, when she “Bought her for my son to move onto from his 11hand pony. My sons last season on Milly was just before she went into foal in 2011 & they took part in the Pony Club Pony racing season”.
Millpond Look So Different is now ridden by Libby Colmer, who has won numerous championships on her both this season and last. The pair qualified for Horse of the Year Show in 2013 and finished 5th in the CHAPS(UK) Non Native Pony Final. Millpond Look So Different is graded with CHAPS(UK), SPSS & BSPA.
Tarnbrook Take It All will continue his in hand showing career next season and then once broken in will compete in ridden showing and eventing. Alison added, “Tarnbrook Take It All has a wonderful temperament and loves being around people. He will go for grading with the Sports Pony Studbook Society in October”.
Alison works as an Echocardiogrpaher (Cardiac Ultrasound), and is a Director on the Board of Coloured Horse and Pony Society (UK) & have been their Grading Officer for the past 2 years.
Two year old gelding, Samba B headed the endurance entries at Richmond with a higher first premium of 8.75. Samba B was bred by Anne Brown and is now owned by Sarah O’Neil from Newcastle.
The evaluation team at Richmond were particularly impressed with Samba's balanced and active hind quarters and excellent ground coverage.
Samba was also awarded Higher First Premium in 2013 when he was the highest placed Endurance yearling. Sarah said, “I hope that Samba B will fulfil his potential and fly the flag for British-bred endurance horses. His optimistic, energetic personality should make him a fine endurance horse”.
Samba’s sire, Sambist, has won Premium Racing Sire of the Year award 8 times. Sarah continued, “Many consider Sambist the finest racing stallion to come out of Russia, where he won all five of their Classic races, including the Russian Derby, and the St Leger. He was UK Champion Stayer two years running - his retirement race was the Long Distance Championship at Goodwood in 1994 over 2mls 4f. He won by eight lengths”.
Samba’s dam, Jazmyn, an AHS Premium mare, achieved many wins in BSJA, ridden and dressage classes, preliminary, novice, elementary and medium.
Sarah said, “I am looking forward to riding Samba in the future and I hope that Samba’s bold happy character and tremendous energy will take him far in endurance competitions”.
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