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Ask H&H: grade A show jumpers

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Q: In 2006, I bought a grade A selle Fran §ais 12-year-old gelding as an experienced schoolmaster.

His British Show Jumping Association (BSJA) records showed £2,000 notional foreign winnings and around £500 BSJA winnings from 2005 onwards after his importation from France.

I took this as evidence he was an experienced show jumper and paid £9,000 for him.

In the course of trying to find out where the horse had jumped abroad, I discovered the BSJA had no records of any of his foreign winnings and said the £2,000 was an arbitrary amount given to the horse, due to his age, when he was first UK-registered.

As the horse’s last vaccination before I bought him was in Bordeaux, he may have been a hunter.

The BSJA has removed his foreign winnings so he is now a grade C with £500 on his ticket. Am I the only one to have been duped by this practice? In fact, the horse was worth about £5,000.
LO, Beds

A spokesman for the BSJA explained: “In line with BSJA guidelines, all horses imported from abroad are registered and graded with winnings according to age.

“Once a passport has been received, we then contact national federations to ascertain if any winnings have been gained abroad, and then regrade them in line with the horse’s performance record.

“This ensures the horse can compete at the same level that it was abroad, making it as fair as possible for horse and rider.

“In this particular instance, the horse in question was first registered back in January 2005 at the age of 10 and, as stipulated on the initial registration form by its owner/rider, registered as a grade A. The horse then competed successfully as a grade A for two years until 2007, when we have it noted as being sold.

“International performance records have become easily accessible electronically. We are now able to check every horse’s international record, whether there is a request for it to be downgraded or not.”

Information

BSJA, tel: 02476 698800. www.britishshowjumping.co.uk

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (26 November, ’09)

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