Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Great Britain: BEF Futurity Evaluations seeking world champions - Full Article

The BEF Futurity Evaluation series aims to identify British bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for careers in endurance, dressage, eventing, or show-jumping, with the intention of finding the world champions of the future.

Endurance has been a popular category with breeders in the Futurity since its introduction in 2009. Entries in this section are on the up as endurance breeders increasingly value the chance to gain an informed opinion on the performance potential of their youngstock.

Entries for the Futurity are categorised by discipline 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. It is equally as valuable to amateur as professional breeders because the evaluators are purely assessing the horse and not the ‘name’ of the person accompanying it!

The BEF Futurity Evaluations highlight the importance of a planned breeding programme in order to attain youngsters which will be able to successfully compete on the world stage. If the aim of the breeder is to breed a top class endurance horse, looking at the results of the Futurity (both the stallions and the offspring) is increasingly important. One strong advocate of this approach is Dominick Atkinson, the breeder of Seren Procynon (pictured), last year’s highest scoring endurance entry. He believes there is great importance of looking both at individual stallions and at successful lines.

“Seren Procyon is just one of Hanson’s sons. We also have two colts/future stallions by him here. They also follow the consistent stamp that Hanson put on his offspring with our type of mare, in both male and female progeny.” Sadly Hanson died in 2009...

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