Show jumping selectors are compiling a list of talented young horses to join the World Class Equine Pathway programme.
Around 75 horses are expected to be named early next month, from those talent spotted at the British Young Horse Championships at Addington (7-9 August) and from other sources.
Launched last autumn, the Pathway Programme is an initiative to identify potential talent for the London 2012 Olympics. It is funded by UK Sport Lottery money and run by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF). The show jumping Pathway is run in conjunction with the BSJA.
British show jumping team manager Derek Ricketts told H&H: Horses are likely to be 11, 12 and 13-year-olds when they compete in 2012, so coming back five years, were looking ideally for seven-year-olds now. But obviously we will look at some a year younger and some a year older.
He added: By the age of eight, potential horses should be pretty obvious perhaps jumping in Area Trials in England and some international shows.
As well as scouting at Addington, BEF performance director Will Connell said he had written to a good number of people with the reputation for bringing on young horses.
The Pathway offers assistance to owners, riders and their home teams to help them optimise their horses competitive careers.
Last November, 16 horses were picked to join the Dressage Equine Pathway (news, 9 November 2006), and in February around 130 more were selected for the eventing programme (news, 1 February).
Read this news story in full in Horse & Hound (30 August, ’07)