New scheme to pair up

A lead­ing breeder has launched a part­ner­ship pro­gramme to help shrink the ‘chasm’ between breed­ers and rid­ers in the hope of cre­at­ing a win­ning sit­u­a­tion

Horse & Hound - - On The Cover - By JU­LIA HODKIN

tal­ented rid­ers with horses

A NEW ini­tia­tive to match upand-com­ing rid­ers with tal­ented young horses is be­ing launched by a lead­ing stud. Fu­ture Sport Horses, which spe­cialises in breed­ing qual­ity event horses, has started a part­ner­ship pro­gramme to sup­port Bri­tish breed­ing and help rid­ers make a name for them­selves.

The idea works by breed­ers and rid­ers shar­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties and the risks in the hope of fur­ther­ing the suc­cess of the horse, rider and Bri­tish breed­ing over­all.

Ju­lia Hodkin of Fu­ture Sport Horses said she hopes this will ad­dress the “chasm” between Bri­tish breed­ers and up-and­com­ing rid­ers. The aim is to help al­le­vi­ate the struggle breed­ers face with the cost of send­ing mul­ti­ple horses away to be pro­duced and com­peted, while also help­ing rid­ers strug­gling to se­cure the horse power with which to make names for them­selves.

Ju­lia has four horses avail­able for this year’s part­ner­ship, rang­ing

between three and seven years old, as well as a num­ber of young­sters with top blood­lines.

No money is asked for rid­ers to “buy in”, in­stead they will be gifted in­creas­ing shares in the horse in re­turn for their ex­per­tise in pro­duc­ing them, so share the risk and re­ward.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for this year have closed and Ju­lia told

H&H the re­sponse has been “over­whelm­ing”. She has re­ceived more than 60 ap­pli­ca­tions and added she is very im­pressed by the quan­tity and cal­i­bre of the rid­ers.

“It is won­der­ful peo­ple have such a pas­sion for our sport,” she said. “It has been re­ally quite hum­bling and made me feel very proud of our sport that it at­tracts these kinds of com­mit­ted and tal­ented peo­ple.”

She added the next part of the process is to en­sure the at­ti­tudes and as­pi­ra­tions of the rid­ers match their own, be­fore pair­ing po­ten­tial horses with rid­ers over the win­ter.

“This is a long-term part­ner­ship — there are go­ing to be bumps in the road, but we will ride them to­gether,” she said.

“If we can get a model work­ing, oth­ers can do it — we want the sport, rid­ers and Bri­tish breed­ing to thrive and any­thing we can do to help that, we are 100% be­hind.”


FOUR-STAR even­ter and H&H blog­ger Coral Keen said any­thing that helps the up-and-com­ing rider is a pos­i­tive.

“Un­til you have made your name, no­body knows who you are to send horses to you — you are only ever as good as the horse you are sat on,” she said.

Bri­tish Eques­trian Fed­er­a­tion (BEF) equine de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor and vet Dr Jane Nixon, who sits on Sport Horse Breed­ing of Great Bri­tain’s breed­ing com­mit­tee, praised the idea.

“This is a very good plan,” Dr Nixon told H&H, adding that the UK is be­hind coun­tries such as Ger­many in terms of the num­ber of horses go­ing to rid­ers with the knowl­edge and skills to give them the best chance of ful­fill­ing their po­ten­tial.

“We have the right horses, but they aren’t al­ways go­ing to the right rid­ers,” she said. “So we need a way of putting the right rider on the right horse.”

BEF head of equine de­vel­op­ment Jan Rogers said she thinks this is a good tem­plate.

“It is sim­i­lar to some mod­els that work in other coun­tries,” she said, adding the pro­gramme of the late Ger­man breeder Friedrich Butt is a good ex­am­ple of this.

“A big thumbs-up for the idea and for peo­ple out there try­ing to find so­lu­tions like Ju­lia has.”

Ms Rogers ex­plained that the BEF’s Fu­tu­rity and Equine Bridge pro­grammes were suc­cess­ful in iden­ti­fy­ing tal­ented young horses, but ring-fenced fund­ing means the money is not there to fund these at the mo­ment.

“As govern­ment fund­ing de­creases, we [as the eques­trian in­dus­try] need to be creative and pull to­gether to find so­lu­tions,” she said.

‘There are go­ing to be bumps in the road,

but we will ride them to­gether’

It is hoped the scheme will ben­e­fit all con­cerned

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