A new benchmark for breeding establishments in Britain has been launched this week under the British Equestrian Federation’s new Breeder’s Quality Mark (BQM).

A result two years of pilot projects, the BQM will not be a reflection of the quality of horses on, or produced by, a stud, but an assurance to customers that a breeding establishment is run to a certain standard.

“It’s all-embracing, so will cover the small studs as well as the large AI centres. It draws heavily from British Equine Veterinary Association and Horserace Betting Levy Board codes of practice,” explains Graham Suggett, director of British Breeding.

The BQM assessor will look at business efficiency, hygiene procedures, how animals are handled, staff procedures and skill/knowledge levels, and if required, the areas used for AI, among others.

Fiona Boyne, administrator at Catherston Stud, which took part in the pilot scheme, says: “With so many stallions to choose from, anything that marks you out to provide a better service is a good marketing tool. It’s achievable – you don’t have to be a fancy stud – but they’re not going to be giving it away.”

The marketing tool does come at a cost for studs – in order to obtain the BQM they are required to reach and maintain the high standards set, although it should be noted that the quality of horses on the stud or produced by the stud plays no part in the awarding of the BQM.

Joining costs £25 for initial registration plus £175 per year, with two years paid up-front. For details e-mail: graham@suggett.spacomputers.com

  • This article first appeared in H&H (1 July 2004)


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