Local Breeder gains Elite Premium at the BEF Futurity

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Dvorak Credit Kevin 750x426 - Local Breeder gains Elite Premium at the BEF Futurity

Dvorak Credit KevinLocal horse breeders, Toni and Claire Ballantyne from the Heart of England Equestrian Centre in Stone, Staffordshire, have gained an elite premium with their colt foal at the Baileys Horse Feeds/ British Breeding/British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Futurity held on the 31st July at The College Equestrian Centre, Keysoe.   
The colt foal, Dvorak, bred and owned by mother and daughter, Toni and Claire along with Judy Smith from Melbourne, Australia attained an elite premium of 9.19, which was one of only three elite premiums awarded out of a total of 49 horses evaluated at The College.  An elite premium indicates that the horse has the potential and outlook to perform at international level.
The BEF Futurity Evaluation series aims to identify British bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for careers in dressage, eventing, showjumping or endurance.  It may even find the stars of the future who will go on to compete at World Championships or become Olympic Champions.  
Claire said, “We are just delighted with Dvorak. He is the first foal we have bred and he has attained sensational marks”.
Dvorak was bred from Claire and Judy’s dressage mare, Fame.  Claire said, “Judy and I bought Fame from the CHIO Aachen sales in Germany in 2002 as a four year old.  She has then gone on to compete for 10 consecutive years, up to Intermediare I level.  I have never bred a foal before, but we decided that having achieved so much that Fame had the ideal credentials for breeding, so we put her in foal to De Niro and we now have a very exciting foal”. Fame is back in foal to De Niro for 2015.
The Futurity is a continually evolving process, 2013 saw the introduction of the Futurity equine bridge which is now being run as an extension of the Futurity evaluations.  The Futurity equine bridge provides top Futurity graduates with the direction and support they will need as 4 year olds so that they begin their early years under saddle in a way that allows for sustained physical and mental development. In order to be eligible for the Futurity Equine Bridge all horses must obtain a Futurity score of 8.5 or above in their three year old year.
Head of Equine Development at the BEF, Jan Rogers said, “The Futurity is now in its ninth year and over this time we have seen it develop to provide real support to British breeders to help achieve their aims.  Through their carefully planned breeding decisions, year on year we are seeing an improvement in the horses presented at the Futurity for evaluation”.  
With entries limited to 60 at each evaluation venue, places are keenly sought after.  Entries are categorised by discipline with age groups for foals, yearlings, two and three year olds and each horse is evaluated in hand and loose in a safe indoor environment as well as undergoing a vet’s assessment.  
The BEF Futurity Evaluations are held at 11 venues over 14 days throughout the UK and young horses go home with a BEF Premium (grade), a stylish rosette and a detailed, informative score sheet.  An attractive certificate to keep and frame follows on after the event. All results are published on the fully searchable British Breeding website. www.britishbreeding.org.

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