The eventer Winsome Adante led the way at the Supporters of British Breeding dinner when breeders Chris and Janet Gooch received the Dodson & Horrell Award for the best British-bred horse at the 2004 Olympics.
The son of Saunter out of a Bohemond mare has achieved worldwide success since going to American rider Kim Severson, culminating in individual silver and team bronze at the Athens Games.
Owner/breeder Anne Lawson also received an award from Dodson & Horrell for her eventer Marsh Mayfly, who was one of three young horses considered potential improvers of Britain’s breeding stock.
Marsh Mayfly is by the Irish Draught Glenbrae out of Marsh Marigold, a daughter of Current Magic with Cleveland Bay blood on her dam’s side. She is competed by Anne’s next-door neighbour Ruth Edge (née Friend), who rode her into eighth and ninth places respectively in the two-star CCIs at Thirlestane and Necarne last year.
The other recipients are both Dutch-bred stallions — Sharon Baldwin’s Pro-Set, by Jet Set D, and Sandra Cordiner’s Pall Mall H, by Galoubet.
Pro-Set, partnered by Carl Hester, took the national medium dressage title last year and was also runner-up in the advanced medium championship. The show jumper Pall Mall H, a former Horse & Hound Foxhunter finalist, is an international grand prix winner with Scottish rider Andrew Hamilton.
The three young horse evaluation champions were all foaled in Britain, although the overall champion and dressage winner, Wendy James’s Tatler, was conceived in Holland. The other award winners were Cathy Wood’s Broadstone After Hours (show jumping) and Vin Jones’s Trebetherick (eventing).
Awards were also made to last season’s British Eventing young horse champions, Sarah Tayor’s Up With The Lark; Angela Tucker and Fran Morgan’s Irish Jester and Landford Stud’s Opposition Heracles. Karen Hughes, groom for eventer Andrew Hoy, received the Kuster BEF Groom of the Year Award.
The final presentation of the night was the Merial Meritoire Award for an outstanding contribution to British breeding. This went to Martin Boyle, the first UK-based vet to use equine AI and a pioneer of the technique with fresh, chilled and frozen semen.
Martin has helped many nations, including India and Africa, improve the quality of livestock through AI techniques. He travels worldwide to assess semen for freezing and has assisted with many British native breeds.
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