On Saturday 11th January breeders of the top British-bred horses from around the country converged in London at the Grange City Hotel, for the annual British Breeders Awards Dinner and Ceremony, organised by the British Horse Foundation. There has been much to celebrate for British Breeding in 2013 and this glittering occasion affords the breeders of these potential world-class horses the special recognition they deserve.
Guests arrived at the Competition Stallions-sponsored drinks reception before moving on to a sumptuous four-course dinner, followed by the hugely entertaining after dinner speaker, Equestrian Team GBR para-equestrian dressage rider, Ricky Balshaw. The evening then moved on to the much-anticipated Awards ceremony, compered by Mike Tucker.
Young, professional and amateur breeders were well represented throughout the Awards Ceremony in the Baileys Horse Feeds/British Breeding/BEF Futurity Certificates of Merit. Winners included British young breeders team member Kirsty Millard for her sports pony foal KMD Rialto and Karen Niklasson second time winner for her 3 year-old colt Kannanball.
Certificates of Merit were also awarded for the highest scorers in each age group at the Futurity Eventing Championships held at Osberton.
In the Futurity age awards, Suzanne Lavandera picked up the yearling award for breeding Keystone Rhea, a potential dressage prospect and Chrissie Hogg from Cornwall collected the foal award for Pentire Chilli Edge, who scored the highest ever Futurity score awarded to a potential eventer.
Young horse awards were also presented to breeders of the best British bred young horses in the three main equestrian disciplines; Dressage, Eventing and Showjumping.
The Young Horse Awards for the three disciplines saw a range of breeders step forward to collect their awards. Amongst the winners was Sharon Bishop who now has two British Eventing Young Horse Breeders Medals as breeder of Parkfield Quintessential, the four year-old and now the five year-old winner of this prestigious award. Hawtins Delicato took the five year-old dressage award, bred by Judith Davis of the Hawtins Stud, the horse is now owned by Carl Hester and The Billy Stud collected the five year-old showjumping award for their talented mare, Billy Yen.
The British Equestrian Federation European Award to the Highest Placed British Bred Horse in Team GBR at the FEI European Championships went to Billy Congo, owned and bred by The Billy Stud and ridden by William Funnell.
This packed and entertaining evening also recognises the achievements of former racehorses in the UK. South Essex Insurance Brokers and Retraining of Racehorses once again sponsored the valuable Elite Performance Awards at the dinner for the best former racehorses now competing in showing, dressage, eventing, showjumping and endurance.
The 2013 Horse & Hound Outstanding Mare Award went to Dornrosechen. This mare, by Dimaggio is not only the dam of former 5 and 6 year-old World Champion Young Dressage horse, Woodlander Farouche, she also competes at Grand Prix level dressage. Bred by Karen Hoerner, the mare is now owned by Lynne Crowden of Woodlander Stud and Mr and Mrs Ferdi Eilberg.
The culmination of the evening is the South Essex Insurance Brokers Meritoire, this annual award is presented as recognition for a lifetime’s contribution to the breeding industry and the worthy recipient was Professor Graham Suggett, a unifying, motivating and inspiring winner. He is a man without peer in his area of expertise for foresight, commitment and leadership. On receiving his award, Professor Suggett said, “I am really thrilled to have been recognised in this manner by my beloved peers and thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I could not have achieved any of my visions and dreams without the total support of so many people whom I now count as dear friends and I regard my complete immersion within the equine breeding world since 2002 as one of the most enjoyable and rewarding times in my career”.