The broodmare Seven Percent was the recipient of the Horse & Hound outstanding mare award at this year’s British Horse Foundation’s breeders’ awards dinner in London (16 January).
Suzy Mainprice’s 21-year-old performance-tested Hanoverian mare by Sherlock Holmes x Western Star was imported as a yearling and has produced 14 foals.
“I bought her in Germany with her dam for very little money,” Suzy told H&H. “When I heard ‘Shirley’ had won, I cried. I was flabbergasted, particularly as people are importing mares costing £100,000 and we’ve only ever used our own stallions on Shirley, not top ones from Europe.”
After having her first foal, Seven Percent was left empty in order to compete her performance test.
“I even rode her myself a few times,” added Suzy. “She felt like she was designed with a place for you to sit and was so trainable. She’s the cleverest, kindest, most wonderful mare and her progeny inherit that.
“Everyone who’s had one from her is always after another. They’re so beautifully balanced and trainable.”
Suzy described the award as “a great boost at this cold time of year”.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who has bought her offspring; it’s them who have done the hard work.”
Seven Percent had half a dozen foals by Pascal, including the filly Private Eye. She in turn was matched with Donnersohn to produce Double Agent, now an international para dressage horse with Canada’s Bert Sheffield.
In 2015, Seven Percent had three progeny and one grand-daughter qualified for the British Dressage winter championships at Hartpury: Pik Panther, Unsolved, Ultimate and Double Agent.
Also honoured at the dinner was the late Richard Matson, who was awarded the SEIB meritoire for his outstanding contribution to British breeding.
Richard died last month and his award was collected by his sons Tullis and Edward.
Richard was a judge, president, committee member, council member, trustee, chair and vice chair of numerous organisations and worked tirelessly to drive up standards in agriculture, rare breeds and equestrianism.
Richard was the senior partner at Shropshire’s pioneering Twemlows Stud, which he set up in the 1990s and is now run by Edward, with the corresponding Stallion AI Services next door, run by Tullis.