Hundreds of young horses to be assessed in bumper Futurity year

The 11 venues and 12 dates for the 2015 BEF Futurity evaluation series have been announced. Due to low uptake in recent years, Scotland will no longer host a Futurity show.

More than 800 horses are likely to be assessed this year, a major leap up from the first shows in 2005, when 100 horses were forward.

The BEF’s head of equine development Jan Rogers said: “We are increasingly finding that breeders, buyers and riders of British-bred horses are finding a Futurity premium is a very useful aid in helping assess these horses.

“We are also seeing a marked improvement in the standard of youngsters entered in the Futurity, which is very good news for the future of British breeding.”

The evaluations are open to horses and ponies from foals to three-year-olds and aim to identify British-bred potential sport horses destined for top level careers in dressage, eventing, showjumping or endurance.

The Futurity is fast becoming recognised as an important first step in the careers of many potential top level horses and provides a valuable marketing tool for breeders.

This year’s series kicks off on 1 August at Catherston Stud in Hampshire and culminates in two days of evaluations at the West Midlands venue, Solihull Riding Club.

Entries must be made online and open on 1 July at www.britishbreeding.org

Each horse or pony is entered into the discipline it is bred to perform in and the four main disciplines of dressage, showjumping, eventing and endurance are covered. Each horse or pony undergoes a vet assessment and is then evaluated in-hand and loose in an indoor school. Three-year-olds entered into either the showjumping or eventing sections will be required to loose-jump.

Three-year-old horses and ponies are encouraged to attend for their final Futurity year, as a threshold score will result in an invitation to the Futurity Equine Bridge selection day under saddle in the following year.

The aim of the Equine Bridge is to provide direction and support to riders and trainers and to help owners and breeders realise the best of their horse’s ability.

Futurity dates and venues 2015

1 August – Catherston Stud, Hampshire

2 August – Chelwood Equestrian, East Sussex

3 August – Writtle College, Essex

4 August – The College, Keysoe, Bedfordshire

7 August – Tall Trees Arena, Cornwall

9 August – Hartpury College, Gloucestershire

11 August – Arena UK, Lincolnshire

12 August – Richmond Equestrian Centre, North Yorkshire

13 August – Myerscough College, Lancashire

14 August – Southview Equestrian Centre, Cheshire

17 August – Solihull Riding Club, West Midlands

18 August – Solihull Riding Club, West Midlands