Posted on September 16th, 2014

East Anglia Breeders Gain Elite Premiums at the BEF Futurity

Local horse breeders, Kirsty Millard (26) from Bradwell Essex and Sharon Keable from Writtle in Essex gained elite premiums with foals they have bred at the Baileys Horse Feeds/ British Breeding/British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Futurity held on the 14th August at Writtle College, Essex.

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

Sports pony filly foal, KMD Dornlight, bred and owned by Kirsty took an elite premium of 9.02 in the dressage section at Writtle. An elite premium indicates that the horse has the potential and outlook to perform at international level.

This is the second year in a row that Kirsty has bred a foal that has scored an elite premium at the BEF Futurity. Kirsty said, “It is just brilliant, Dornlight is excellent. We are only breeding a couple of foals a year, its pretty much back garden production”. In 2013, Kirsty’s KMD Rialto scored an elite premium of 9.07.

Kirsty bred Dornlight from her mare, Daylight who has represented GB on pony teams. She is now retired from competition and Kirsty intends to breed further foals from her. Kirsty said, “I am planning to move up to Scotland so we haven’t put the mares in foal for next year. Daylight is a great mare and I jumped at the chance to buy her to breed from”.

KMD Dornlight is by the pony stallion, Rembrandt.

Kirsty is a former member of British Young Breeders. She represented GB at the International Young Breeders Championships. Kirsty added, “The experience I gained from the Young Breeders team and championships was absolutely invaluable. I learned so much from it”.

A delighted Sharon Keable, owner and breeder of dressage colt foal, Divine Comedy, said, “My boss, Jenny Belloy gave me the opportunity to use her broodmare, Bieke Van Ter Lint to breed a foal for myself. She is a lovely mare and I jumped at the chance. Divine Comedy is lovely, he has a fantastic personality and is kind and trainable. I was worried before the Futurity in case he didn’t get a good score!” Divine Comedy scored an elite premium of 9.00.

When it came to deciding upon a stallion, Sharon spent a lot of time deciding which stallion to use. Sharon added, “I spoke a lot to British Dressage judge, Gloria Leverett who suggested using Debonair. I went to see him and went through his pedigree and we decided to use him”.

Sharon continued, “It is all so exciting and I am just thrilled to bits with Divine Comedy. I will keep him and compete him myself”.

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.


Posted on September 11th, 2014

Cambrigeshire’s Showjumper Luke Humphrey Wins

26 year-old Luke Humphrey from Wisbeck, Cambridgeshire on board his own 15 year-old dark bay mare Soraja took the victory in the Dodson & Horrell 0.95cm National Amateur Second Round that was held at  Patchetts Equestrian Centre in Watford, Hertfordshire on Sunday 7th September 2014.

All of the competitors were aiming to collect one of the twelve direct qualifying places on offer in each second round for the Dodson & Horrell National Amateur Championships, which take place at Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool during the 19th – 23rd November 2014.

This second round attracted forty-two starters and the jump off proved to be competitive after nineteen combinations produced a first round clear. Six combinations then secured a double clear, leaving the rest of the field to battle it out for a place in the Championship Final.

Luke and Soraja benefitted from being drawn last to go in the jump off and they used this to their advantage, putting in a clear in a fast time of 34.45 seconds. This gave the combination the win with over one and a half seconds to spare.

Second place was taken by 30 year-old Shari Butchart from Waltham Abbey, Essex on her own 9 year-old bay gelding, Anquis. Shari produced two immaculate rounds to take her place in the top two in a time of 36.02 seconds.

Tagatha Payne (18) from Welwyn, Hertfordshire took third on her own 9 year-old dark bay mare, The Maharanee. This combination put in two foot perfect rounds to jump their double clear in 37.04 seconds.

An additional nine riders also achieved their qualification for the Dodson & Horrell 0.95cm National Amateur Championship Final.


Posted on September 11th, 2014

Hertfordshire’s Showjumper Kerrie Goodwin Wins

Kerrie Goodwin, 22, from St Albans, Hertfordshire on her own 18 year-old chestnut gelding, Roscoes Golani were victorious in the Dodson & Horrell 1.10cm National Amateur Second Round that was held at  Patchetts Equestrian Centre in Watford, Hertfordshire on Sunday 7th  September.

Sixteen competitors came forward for this Dodson & Horrell 1.10m National Amateur Second Round and the jump off was contested by seven of these combinations. Three double clears were produced overall.

Kerrie and Roscoes Golani took advantage of being drawn last to go in the jump off and did so in style by producing the quickest double clear of the class. Kerrie produced a quick but careful jump off round from her ride to stop the clock in 39.38 seconds.

Second place was awarded to 26 year-old Kate Lister from Halstead, Essex on her own 8 year-old black gelding Bono Du Rouet Z. This combination crossed the finish line in 48.14 seconds.

Third place went to 16 year-old Georgia Payne from Welwyn, Hertfordshire, riding her own 15 year-old bay gelding Carino II. An accurate double clear from this combination ensured a top three finish in a time of 49.10 seconds.

Another four riders also achieved their qualification for the Dodson & Horrell 1.10m National Amateur Championship Final.


Posted on September 11th, 2014

Emily Finishes Just Off The Podium in Poland

Emily Viller from Sutton St James near Spalding, Lincolnshire, finished just off the podium in fourth place at the FEI European Youth Championships, held in Walbrzych, Poland 21st to 24th August. She was competing as an individual in her first international championships.

Driving in the Junior section, 16 year old Emily had a dressage score of 59.27 for fifteenth place after the first phase. However, she made up considerable ground in the obstacles to finish third for an overnight place of eighth overall; a double clear in the cones saw her leap-frog up the leader board to finish a highly creditable fourth. Emily was overwhelmed by how well she and her pony Ryan had gone and could only say: “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to compete at such a special event. I’m lucky to have such an amazing pony!”

SEP14 News Emily Viller and Ryan


Posted on September 9th, 2014

Rare Breed Bonanza at Redwings!

Two extremely rare Suffolk Punches have arrived at the Redwings centre in Norfolk.

Wilf and Stanley, two Suffolk Punch geldings, were rescued by Redwings Field Officer Julie Harding and World Horse Welfare’s Jacko Jackson from a site in Norfolk after they had been found being kept in a tiny barn. Wilf was suffering from severe sweet itch that had caused the majority of his mane to fall out, while both had very poor feet that had not been trimmed in some time.

The two horses, both 16hh and 7-years-old, have been together since birth and are firm friends. Their owner agreed to sign them over to Redwings so they could receive all the treatment they needed.

Julie said: “We are just so glad these horses will be able to get all the proper care they need and that they are able to move about freely at last. We feel so privileged to have two such stunning chaps in our care and we hope they will soon be able to go to one of our visitor centres so our supporters can see these magnificent and historic creatures close up.”

The iconic Suffolk Punch (or Suffolk Horse) is the oldest breed of heavy horse in Great Britain. Their lineage can be traced back to the 16th century. They were used across East Anglia for hundreds of years for farming but the industrial revolution caused a devastating decline in their numbers and in 1966 there were just nine foals born in the whole of the UK. Thankfully action was taken before it was too late and although they are still included on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust watchlist as critical (less than 300 registered breeding females in 2014), population numbers are now on the increase thanks to the efforts of charities and the breed societies. They are always chestnut (known as ‘chesnut’ for this breed only).

SEP14 News Wilf Stanley


Posted on September 2nd, 2014

Euthanasia: Old Friends

With the resources of local rescue centres and equine charities stretched to their limits, how do you decide when it is the best time to say goodbye….

OCT14 Euthanasia


Posted on September 2nd, 2014

Veteran Support

How do you manage your veteran this coming winter? Read our October edition for tips and advice for keeping your older horse in good health.

OCT14 Veteran Horse


Posted on September 2nd, 2014

Ride Like: Sharon Hunt

Producing an event horse to the top level takes many years of hard work and patience. They often take longer to produce than we would hope, and this coupled with recent years freak weather conditions makes planning a season harder and harder!  So how do you know when to upgrade through the levels? Sharon gives her professional advice in our October edition to help you plan your events next season.

SEP13 RideLike Sharon main


Posted on September 2nd, 2014

Laura Renwick with Heliodor Hybris Win The Seven-year-old Championship Title

Laura Renwick,39, from Maldon, Essex with Colin Bates’ chestnut gelding Heliodor Hybris were victorious in the Montse Benitez Foundation Seven year-old Championship, which was held as part of the Alexanders Horseboxes British Showjumping SCOPE Festival on Wednesday 27th August.

“He is one for the future, he has a great attitude and wants to jump,” said Laura. It is the fourth time Laura has won this title. Her previous winners are Limelight De Breve (2006), Beluga (2008) and Parvati De Breve (2010).

SEP14 News Laura Renwick Heliodor Hybris


Posted on September 2nd, 2014

Dressage Special

SEP14 RL Becky Moody

If you had the chance to ask some of the UK’s leading dressage stars for their tips and advice, what pearls of wisdom do you think they would impart? Absolute Horse magazine has been lucky enough to gather training advice from the likes of Spencer Wilton, Judy Harvey, Michael Eilberg and Jo Hamilton to name but a few….

SEP14 Dressage Judy Harvey