British breeding has surged in recent years, with more and more quality sport horses being proudly British-bred, and getting the recognition they deserve. H&H takes a look back at some of the best in history, from Milton to Desert Orchid.


International Horse Show at White City 26/07/51
By Erehwemos and out of Catcall
FOXHUNTER won Olympic bronze in 1948 and secured Great Britain’s only gold medal of the 1952 Games, with Harry Llewellyn. They remain the only partnership to have won the King George V Cup three times, and Foxhunter has put his name to the national showjumping competition at HOYS since 1954.


Lap of Honour for virginia Holgate and Priceless.
By Ben Faerie and out of Reckless
BRED in Somerset and ridden by Ginny Holgate (now Elliott), Priceless held both the world and European team and individual eventing titles concurrently, won Badminton and became the first horse to win Burghley twice.  Throughout his career, he never incurred a single cross-country jumping penalty.


Milton and John Whitaker
By Marius and out of Aston Answer
MILTON and John Whitaker claimed almost every domestic and international title, including European team gold medals in 1987 and 1980, plus European individual gold in 1989.  Milton was the first horse outside of racing to earn more than £1million in prize money.

Desert Orchid

By Grey Mirage and out of Flower Child
BRED in Leicestershire by James Burridge out of his hunter Flower Child, “Dessie” exceeded all his breeder’s expectations, winning 34 races, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the King George VI Chase four times.

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King William

European Championships 1995 Pratoni
By Nickel King and out of unknown
AT the point of his death, Mary King’s prolific and much-loved eventer held the record for the most British Eventing points amassed (1,926). He was instrumental in Mary’s career, giving her her first Badminton win in 1992.

Don’t miss this week’s 48-page breeding special (6 April 2017), where we find out whether breeding really pays the bills