Pammy Hutton says . . .
“Is BYRDS the set pathway to British team selection? Although strenuously denied by those in charge, being on the scheme is widely perceived as essential if a young rider is to be considered for the team.
“According to Islay Auty, chairman of the under-21 committee: ‘It’s not compulsory to be considered for teams. Selection is done from the Premier League shows.’ So winning a place on a British team means winning at Premier League shows next spring. It’s results that count.”
Lucy Higginson says . . .
“So DEFRA has finally abandoned the idea of making passports compulsory by the years end. Thank goodness theyve seen sense. There is still much to clarify on this issue, and tonnes of owner-educating to be done.
“I believe equine passports can serve a useful purpose, not least for horse buyers weary of being sold horses which are older than actually advertised. But neither this, nor the value of a database stuffed with breeding information, will come about unless the system is made as tamperproof as possible.”
Marcus Armytage says . . .
“The offspring of the pop fraternity are not always 100% normal. However, I think we’ve discovered one who is utterly normal. Otis Ferry, 21, son of Bryan, is in his third season as amateur whipper in with the Middleton.
“Otis spent four months this summer riding out at Ballydoyle for Aiden O’Brien. It didn’t get off to the best of starts – on his second morning, a horse cracked a fetlock while he was on board. However, by the second-last week his riding had improved enough to sit on The Great Gatsby – in trot.”