The brand new British Breeders’ Network (BBN) is approaching the uber-successful businessman Richard Branson under his company Virgin’s “Pitch to Rich” scheme, which hands out money and advice to budding start-ups.

The BBN is seeking £150,000 of investment in the form of the Virgin Media start up business award.
However, there is only one day left to vote as votes close at 5pm on Tuesday 5 May.

“This was a last-minute thing,” Eva-Maria Broomer from the BBN told H&H. “Our application was only approved yesterday (Sunday 3 May), so we need as much help as possible to accrue votes.”

The award not only offers the chance of a vital cash injection, but also marketing and promotional advice, which is the cornerstone of the BBN’s future goals.

“Our objective is to not only support sport horse breeders but also marketing and advice on how to better promote their horses and achieve better prices for them in the face of Continental opposition,” added Eva-Maria.

“Avenues of funding are hard to come by, but the business advice and mentoring would be of real benefit to the BBN.

“We’re delighted with the support we’ve had on social media. A big push to help us get into the next stage would be fantasic. Virgin’s award would deliver some real, tangible benefits.

“The BBN is aiming to be a global brand, built from British roots and we don’t have very long to nail this — but with lots of help it is doable.”

Voting closes tomorrow at 5pm.

Place your vote

Youngstock and mare show

The BBN has another ace up its sleeve, with the advent of a youngstock and mare show at Hartpury college on 9 August.

This coincides with the British Young Breeders show on 8 August and the Futurity on 9 August.
The BBN will share the venue with the BEF on Futurity day, with the latter taking place in the top indoor arenas and the BBN using the international and outdoor arena to “focus on what the Futurity currently doesn’t provide, like mare assessment”.

The show aims to bring together breeders and potential clients by showcasing some of the successful Futurity entrants in the international arena with commentary from experts including Jennie Loriston-Clarke, Lynne Crowden and Katy Holder-Vale. Negotiations are ongoing with experts in other fields and will be confirmed nearer the time.

Vet Jane Nixon will talk on what exactly the Futurity vetting is looking for, as some breeders are “apprehensive of this part of the assessment and it needs clarifying”, added Eva-Maria.

Lynne Crowden, who is running the British Young Breeders day on 8 August and is looking for 50 three- to four-year-old mares for the panel to assess. Mares must not have a foal at foot and must have had some handling. Anyone wishing to put horses forward for free inclusion should email info@britishbreedersnetwork.org

If the formula of combining a BBN show with a Futurity fixture is a success, the idea may be rolled out regionally in the coming years.