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BEF leads new initiative to highlight ‘Best of British’

SEIB to sponsor scheme to identify leading bloodlines

The British Equestrian Federation today announced a new initiative aimed at improving the quality of sports horses in this country as well as identifying prospective performance horses needed to provide leading British riders with horses capable of winning international medals.

The South Essex Insurance Brokers BEF Young Horse Evaluation Series will involve holding assessments for four-year-olds horses, registered with a recognised British breed society, at six qualifying shows around the country in Spring 2002.

The priority in this new series of events, which is aimed at finding horses for all major competitive disciplines, has been given to identifying the best young horses in the country, as well as the bloodlines from which they come.

The first of six qualifying evaluation days will be held at the College EC, Bedfordshire on 23 February and then continue through March and April at the Heart of England EC, Staffordshire, Osbaldeston in Lancashire, Towerlands in Essex, Rowallan in Scotland and West Wilts EC in Wiltshire. A high-profile final will take place later in the year.

This series of evaluations is the first practical step to be taken out of the new BEF Breeding Programme Operational Plan, developed for the Federation by a working party put together by the British Horse Foundation and the Supporters of British Breeding and chaired by British Horse Foundation Chairman Richard Meade. Working party members are Richard Matson, Jane Kidd, Pat Campbell, Celia Clarke, Tessa Clarke and Edith Rutherford.

“Although the main objective is to identify horses capable of taking our elite riders to the top in international and Olympic competition, we also need horses that are capable of taking emerging riders into the elite category,” said Richard Meade. “With the improvement in breeding we also expect that better horses will be produced for the recreational rider. The BEF Breeding Programme, and in particular these new evaluations, generously sponsored by SEIB, will help us fulfill these objectives.”

South Essex Insurance Brokers managing director Barry Fehler said: “Ever since we started sponsoring equestrian events, we have looked towards those which provide an on-going advantage to the emerging and leisure rider. This sponsorship takes us a very large step onwards, but still satisfies our desire to cater for the leisure rider. It is a very important project for British equestrianism and South Essex Insurance Brokers is proud to be associated with it.”

So that decisions are taken to a uniform standard throughout the evaluations, all the judges will participate in a short training programme. These judges, together with selected and informed advisers, will also be able to give guidance to breeders and producers at all qualifying venues. Rules and entry forms will be available from Helen Hulse (Tel: 01636 892519) from early November.


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