British Breeding are delighted to announce the re-launch of the newly enhanced British Breeding Equine Bridge, in association with British Showjumping, British Dressage and British Eventing. The Equine Bridge is a programme designed to bring together breeders, trainers, riders and owners to support the very best British bred horses on their journey into the sport and to achieve the ultimate goal of seeing more British riders on British horses representing their country at international level. The first new Equine Bridge event will take place on 14th and 15th October this year at Addington EC in Buckinghamshire and is for horses and ponies aged four-to-six-years that have qualified via the British Breeding Baileys Horse Feeds Futurity Evaluations.
CEO of British Showjumping, Iain Graham explains the vision behind the new format: “We have re-designed the Equine Bridge to offer more opportunities for all stakeholders in the industry, from the breeders who need recognition and feedback, as well as the opportunity to place their horses and ponies in competent hands to enable them to achieve their potential, to our riders and owners, who need to find youngsters with the talent to go all the way to the top.”
The October Equine Bridge event will offer activities for ridden four-to-six-year old horses and ponies for the disciplines of eventing, dressage, showjumping and endurance. The event is designed to encourage networking between breeders, trainers and riders to and encourage investors and new owners into the market by offering information and seminars on management, insurance and syndicate opportunities, plus a showcasing opportunity for unridden horses and ponies at three to four years of age.
British Breeding Director Rachael Holdsworth says: “We listened to potential buyers of young horses who told us that they would like to be able to see a range of high quality young horses and ponies in one place and who want better information about the future prospects of their investment. The Equine Bridge is ideally placed to showcase the very best of British bred youngstock while also providing objective and trustworthy information.”
The ridden Bridge horses will undergo a two-day evaluation programme designed to provide helpful support and feedback, as well as an objective and detailed assessment. It will include a detailed veterinary inspection of correctness of conformation and soundness and nutritional, saddlery and farriery advice from industry experts. The horses and ponies will be observed by a team of three internationally renowned judges over both days. On day one, the participants will receive training under their usual rider with senior discipline trainers, then on day two, the horses will be presented again under saddle, first with their own rider, and then with one of the disciplines’ test riders who will contribute to the feedback.
As well as recognition for having completed the Bridge assessment, British Breeding and the Olympic Disciplines are working together to provide an attractive range of benefits, from reductions on membership and entry fees, to access to further opportunities designed to offer incentives and support.
CEO of British Dressage Jason Brautigam says: “Our vision for the Equine Bridge is to create an ongoing programme of support and opportunities. The October event is an important start to a range of activities designed to get the very best British bred horses out there representing their country. We will continue to monitor the progress of all Bridge candidates and offer incentives and support where it is needed. We are particularly interested in ways in which we can provide better information about and accessibility to young horse classes, at national level, as well as for the world breeding championships.”
Recruitment to the Equine Bridge takes place via the British Breeding Baileys Horse Feeds Futurity programme. From the pool of past Futurity entries, those who achieved a score of 8.5 or above as three-year olds and who are aged between four and six this year are already qualified to go forward for the Bridge programme. Additional qualifying opportunities have also been implemented for this summer.
British Breeding Director Dr Eva-Maria Broomer explains: “To provide a smooth transition for young horses and ponies into the Equine Bridge programme, we have taken significant steps to enhance the qualifying process via the Futurity Evaluations. This year, for the first time, we are running separate Futurity assessment days for three-to-five-year olds, which will enable us to optimise the evaluations for this age group. In addition to the three-year old horses and ponies, we are inviting older candidates of four-and five-years old to come forward, thus providing the opportunity for them to qualify for the Equine Bridge”.
These evaluations are open to any horse that meets the criteria for being British bred. For 2019, there are four Equine Bridge qualifying opportunities across the country: 29 July at Richmond EC in Yorkshire, 28 August at Catherston Stud in Hampshire, 1 September at Drumcarrow in Scotland, and 21 September at Solihull in the Midlands.
Three-year old entrants are to be presented in-hand and loose and will benefit from a new arena layout designed to eliminate tension and give youngstock a good experience. Five-year old entrants will be presented under saddle to show some basic work appropriate for their age, as well as without tack for their conformation assessment. Four-year old entrants will have a choice of being presented loose and in hand or under saddle.
Those interested in taking advantage of this excellent opportunity for British bred horses can enter one of the qualifiers via the online entry system at www.british-breeding.com.