British breeding has much to celebrate following the release of British Eventing’s top 100 horse rankings for 2014, with the winner and runner-up among seven British-bred horses in the top 20. Of the top 100 horses, nearly 20% were bred here in Britain.
Louise Harwood’s ride Whitson (pictured top), owned by Roy Baker and his daughter Emma Baker-Jones, took the top spot for the first time on 432 points. Whitson’s recent success at Pau, where he finished 13th, just nudged him above Mark and Rosemary Barlow’s triple Burghley winner, Avebury.
Whitson is by Cameo’s Reflection out of Castle Weir Rebel. His owner/breeder Roy Baker receives the Wide Awake Trophy, named after Lucinda Green’s Badminton winner Wideawake, as the breeder of the leading British-bred horse.
Roy Baker bred three generations of Whitson’s family: Whitson, his dam Castle Weir Rebel (by Coosheem Liam) and his grand dam, Spring Cruise (by Cruise Missile).
“I’m so proud of Whitson, and of Louise; long may it continue,” said Roy. “I first set out to breed myself a hunter, and never expected the successes we have had over the years. Breeding event horses was almost an accident, although Whitson’s full brother Sam I Am is making his way up the grades with Paul Sims.
“Castle Weir Rebel, Whitson’s dam, was a successful show hunter, who competed at HOYS [Horse of the Year Show]. Sadly we lost her last year, but she produced five lovely foals. Cameo’s Reflection, his sire, was owned and bred by John Rawding, who had always admired our mare on the show circuit, so it was an obvious place to go when choosing a sire.
“Our breeding days are probably over now, but we have had a lot of fun, and this in particular has been a wonderful season. Winning the Wide Awake trophy is the icing on the cake.”
Top British-bred event horses of 2014
1. Whitson by Cameo’s Reflection out of a Coosheem Liam mare. Bred by Roy Baker. (First in the BE rankings: 432pts)
2. Avebury by Jumbo out of a Bairn mare. Bred by Andrew Nicholson. (Second: 376pts)
3. Classic Moet by Classic out of a Bohemond mare. Bred by Elaine Hepworth. (Fifth: 336pts)
4. De Novo News by Last News out of a Quouglof Rouge mare. Bred by Althea Gifford and Tina Cook. (Ninth: 259pts)
5. KBIS Briarlands Matilda by Miley out of a Good Apple mare. Bred by the Hon Mrs L Schuster (equal 12th: 246pts)
6. Willy Do by Matinee Du Madon out of a Hopton Lane mare. Bred by Sarah Enderby. (14th: 236pts)
7. Indian Mill by Millkom out of an Indian Ridge mare. Bred by A W Buller. (equal 15th: 233pts)
8. Faerie Dianimo by Keystone Dimmagio out of a Catherston Dazzler mare. Bred by Trisha Rickards. (21st: 208pts)
9. Wise Crack by Phormative out of a mare of unknown breeding. Bred by Alva Power. (24th: 201pts)
10. Easy Target of unknown British breeding. Bred by unknown. (25th: 197pts)