British-bred horses will be future show jumping champions, if the 2006 SEIB/ British Breeding Young Horse Evaluations are anything to go by. Six young British-bred show jumpers impressed a panel of judges, with Vacinimo – by celebrated sire Animo – declared champion. “The evaluators noted quality is steadily improving,” said Jan Roberts from British Breeding. “At present the majority of international show jumpers are mounted on foreign-bred horses but Britain is on track for establishing more of a market share.”

The six contenders earned their places at the finals by winning qualifiers across the country where soundness (two veterinary stages – static and dynamic), conformation, paces and jumping in hand and under saddle (suitability for show jumping) as well as temperament and trainability were all assessed.

An evaluation panel comprising Malcolm Pyrah, Caroline O Hara and Celia Clarke watched the four year-old finalists show their places in hand and under saddle before jumping a round of 1m jumps, including one double.

After much deliberation the top three were selected to be ridden by international show jumper Matthew Lanni, who rode each one in turn, awarding marks for their performance. “I rode some very nice horses today, they are what I would expect for four year olds, not over-produced but with the right foundations,” Lanni said afterwards.

Top honours went to Old Lodge’s British bred gelding Vacinimo (by Animo out of Facility by Sebastian) with reserve going to Jacke Mathieson’s gelding Furst Love (by Furstenreich out of St Pr St Aileen by Acord II). Master Jive Time Jubilee Third (by Monte Carlo out of Acton Easter Present by Louella Inschallah II) owned and bred by Debby North, took third place.

“British breeding programmes are becoming more educated and more informed,” said Jan Roberts. “Talented young horses are being spotted early and established and developed slowly.”