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New dates for BEF Futurity Equine Bridge

New dates have been released for the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Futurity Equine Bridge after the cancellation of the initial dates due to EHV-1 (equine herpes virus) concerns.

The programme, which is running as a pilot this year, will take place at Solihull, West Midlands on the following dates:

2 June: dressage with rider and judge Isobel Wessels
12 June: eventing — assessor to be confirmed
26 June: showjumping with Di Lampard

Horses born in 2007 or 2008 who gained over 8.5 at the Futurity have been invited for assessment.

“We’re expecting to see horses ridden forward with willingness, talent and desire,” said Jan Rogers of the BEF.

All horses will undergo a more robust vetting than at the Futurity. Dressage horses will work on the flat, while showjumpers will jump a small course and eventers will also be expected to show some gallop and jump some natural fences.

We’re not expecting them to have been overproduced — this is a natural, logical early stage assessment.”

The Equine Bridge, which is broadly self-funding, costs £72 (£60 plus VAT) per horse.

If horses are accepted on to the scheme, they will then be rewarded with regional training or given vouchers to visit World Class accredited trainers — dependent on individual combination’s needs. There are also classroom theory sessions planned.

Next year, there will be a full roll-out of the programme and the qualification criteria is likely to be adjusted to include mandatory double Futurity assessment, including as a three-year-old.

Jan added: “The process starts with Futurity and ends with podium — this helps fill the blanks between the two.”

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