The 2013 Baileys Horse Feeds/British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Futurity kicked off on Tuesday 16 July at Writtle College in Essex.

There was only one elite premium (given to horses who score 9 or more out of 10) while 11 young horses earned higher first premiums (scoring 8.5-8.99).

Top score of the day (9.00) went to the yearling eventing filly, Grafennacht (pictured). This elegant youngster is by the Trakehner stallion Grafenstolz (Polarion/Camelot), out of Narew-sired mare, Nachtigall. She is owned by her Kent-based breeder, Sue Eggleton.

“Nachtigall was the top horse in the BE [British Eventing] Foundation points rankings in 2011, which was her first season eventing,” said Sue. “Grafennacht is the first foal I’ve bred, I am keen to breed from her as a two-year-old and then start competing her when she is ready. To receive feedback about the filly I’ve bred is invaluable.”

The series aims to help breeders make informed breeding decisions and to identify potential superstars in the disciplines of dressage, showjumping, eventing and endurance and is open to eligible British-bred horses and ponies.

There were complaints from some quarters as the panel of three evaluators was reduced to just one, Sheri Tozer Robb, after her fellow judges pulled out at the 11th hour.

“It was unfortunate that, as a result of personal circumstances, two of the three scheduled evaluators needed to withdraw, one at very short notice,” said said Jan Rogers, head of equine development at the BEF.  “Everything possible was done to get another member of the evaluator team to attend, but all had immovable commitments. The organisers considered all the options carefully before deciding to continue and the day ran very successfully with experienced evaluator, Sheri Tozer Robb. However, we will consider the feedback we have received from participants as to how such situations could be handled in the future.”

Of the dressage horses presented, the highest scorer was the Hanoverian foal, Frappuccine Gold. This bay filly bred by Erik Belloy scored a higher first premium of 8.96. She is by Katy Holder-Vale’s stallion Flammengold (Florestan/Paradesmarch), out of Trakhener mare Freya, by the elite Trakehner Friedensfuerst.

There were only five entries forward as potential showjumpers. Heading these was the Lauriston/Jumbo foal, Jamakin Faerie Folklaur, with a Higher First premium of 8.73.

There was an increase in the Endurance entries at Writtle this year. The top scorer in this section was Lois Duncan’s three-year-old, Wraphael. Bred by Jane Van Lennep, the chestnut gelding attained a first premium of 8.07. He is by Wrzos, out of Aurelian mare, Aurelian.

Christine Bjerkan’s sports pony foal, BS Mr President headed the pony entries. This colt received a higher first premium of 8.88 in the dressage section. He is by FS Mr Right, out of Peggy, by Donatelli.

Over 900 horses will be evaluated at the 16 assessment days this year. The next fixture is Plumpton College in Sussex on 18 July. Horse & Hound will publish online reports from each.

For further information on the Futurity Evaluations, and to see full results, visit www.britishbreeding.org