British Breeder Magazine May 2021

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May 2021

The Brexit effect on foal

registrations –

what does it mean?

Futurity, Auction and

Equine Bridge

An introduction to DNA

Vet insight:

Ultrasound scanning

Breeder Spotlight:

Breen Equestrian

Feature: PSSM2 –

New studies into

muscle disease






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May Issue - Index

Welcome from the editor


RFW U-Got-The-Look (by U-Genius, out

of Wioletta), bred by Ruth Warrington.


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other than that in which it is published.

Welcome to the May issue.

This issue would not be complete

without paying tribute to Prince Philip,

Duke of Edinburgh. He was, without

doubt, a true horseman whose

achievements have been widely

reported, but he also understood the

need for progress in equestrian sport

and was influential as former president

of the FEI. His love of equestrian sport

lives on through the endeavours and

achievements of younger generations of

royals, and the horse world is the better

for it.

As we closed the magazine, we were

shocked to learn of the passing of Tim

Holderness-Roddam, a great supporter

of eventing and sport horse breeding

and a huge loss to the equestrian world.

We offer our sympathies to Jane, his

family and the team at West Kington


As the country is relaxing from Covid

restrictions, many of our number are

engrossed in the important business of

delivering this year’s crop of new born

foals and planning the next generation

of sport horses. Our recent webinars on

Foaling the Mare, along with our

successful Virtual Stallion Event are a

great reference, especially for those less

















Discipline and Breeding News


Brexit News & National Equine Forum

Baileys British Breeding Futurity & Equine Bridge

Studbook News

Feature - Inside Nasta

Feature - Preparing For Foaling

Breeder Spotlight - Breen Equestrian

Feature - DNA: Testing in Breeding

Feature - PSSM2: Muscle disease

Product Feature - Stable Shield

Nutrition Feature - Spillers Feeds

Feature - Westgate Labs

Product News

Vet Feature - Ultrasound of the broodmare

experienced breeders, and the

webinars can all be watched again on

our website.

Having bred your beautiful youngster,

your next step will be to think about

entering this year’s Baileys Horse Feeds

British Breeding Futurity Evaluations.

With both physical venues and virtual

options available this year, it has never

been easier to get your youngsters

assessed by our panel of renowned

international evaluators and veterinary

and nutrition team. Full details of plans

for the British Breeding Futurity and

Equine Bridge 2021 are in this issue.

Dr Jonathan Pycock offers us more

advice on preparing your mare for

foaling in this issue, along with timely

advice on scanning your mare from

Rossdales. We also take a look behind

the scenes at Breen Equestrian in

our breeder profile. Dr Eva Broomer

explains the complexities of the current

situation regarding foal registrations

with European Studbooks. We also get

an introduction to DNA and explore the

current situation with the muscle disease


We wish you well this breeding season,

and look forward to seeing you in

person before too long.



Leadership appointments at British Equestrian

British Equestrian has appointed Jim

Eyre as new Chief Executive to lead the

organisation, while Malcom Wharton

has been formally appointed Chairman

for a four year term.

Jim Eyre joins equestrian sport from the

elite world of rugby, where he spent

over five years with Premiership team

Harlequins FC, initially as Commercial

Operations Director before promotion to

Chief Operating Officer, a position he

held for three years. Responsible for a

large core staff and a key member of the

Senior Management Team, Jim oversaw

the operational delivery of all aspects of

the club’s stadium with significant

budgetary responsibility. He was

instrumental in successfully delivering

key projects including building the

Community Department, developing The

Harlequins Foundation, delivering an IT

and digital strategy, building the club’s

woman and girls programme to create a

pathway from grassroots to elite

international rugby, and diversification of

the venue to drive revenue.

Prior to joining Harlequins, Jim spent 25

years in the military, in a variety of roles

including Squadron Leader of the Blues

and Royals Mounted Squadron and

Commanding Officer of The Household

Cavalry Regiment. His current role is with

England Rugby as a Project Officer to

spearhead the sport’s COVID recovery

programme and help Premiership clubs

to comply with guidance and legislation

in order for the sport to continue.

Having grown up in Lambourn Valley,

equestrian pursuits featured heavily in

Jim’s youth and he was an avid Pony

Club member, taking part in a wide

variety of disciplines. He went on to join

the Army, where his horsemanship focus

changed considerably and

leadership skills flourished with

responsibility for various sized teams,

regularly in complex and high-pressure

operational environments.

“I am thrilled and honoured to have

been appointed as Chief Executive of

British Equestrian, and I look forward to

working with the BEF team and all the

member bodies to help grow

equestrianism and horse welfare in the

UK. It is clear that there are as many

challenges as there are opportunities,

and a key focus must be to help the

sector recover from COVID-19, as well

as to minimise the impact of Brexit.

Looking forward to the summer, with the

pandemic hopefully behind us and the

delayed Tokyo Games underway, it

should be a hugely exciting time for the

sport and industry.” Jim will formally start

his role on 6 April and Iain Graham,

who has been acting as Interim Chief

Executive since October 2019, will continue

to provide overarching support for

the World Class Programme. Iain

Jim Eyre, new Chief Executive

will work with Performance Director

Richard Waygood and his team to best

prepare our athletes to compete at the

Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games

alongside his role as CEO for British

Showjumping. Malcolm Wharton CBE

has been confirmed formally in the

position of Chairman of the British

Equestrian Board for a four-year term

with full support from UK Sport.

Malcolm, working closely with Iain, has

provided strong leadership and direction

for British Equestrian since he took over

the role on an interim basis in October

2019 and has managed the

organisation through the COVID crisis,

providing stability and playing an

essential part of securing our funding for

the Paris Olympic and Paralympic cycle.

FEI enhances horse

traceability in EHV-1

Return to Competition


The FEI has added new modules to the

FEI HorseApp to monitor key mandatory

requirements in the Return To

Competition measures that allowed for a

safe resumption of international sport in

mainland Europe from 12 April.

Key areas covered by the Return to

Competition protocols, which were

launched on 30 March, include

advance PCR testing (for certain

designated events only), temperature

monitoring of horses as well as

enhanced Examination on Arrival

procedures. Stringent biosecurity

measures and mitigation plans, in line

with the FEI Veterinary Regulations, also

form part of the Return To Competition


The measures include a number of

temporary provisions that will remain in

place until 30 May 2021, providing a

science-based safety margin to allow

for monitoring of any further related

outbreaks. This date can be extended if


The FEI Veterinary Epidemiology

Working Group had already agreed that

there was no current evidence indicating

that it would be unsafe to return to

international competition in mainland

Europe as planned from 12 April,

provided the mandated enhanced

preventive measures were implemented.

However, the Group will continue to

monitor the evolution of the outbreaks on

a daily basis.

“The recent EHV-1 outbreak has

underscored the importance of early

detection and prevention in disease

transmission,” FEI Veterinary Director

Göran Åkerströmsaid. “The FEI

HorseApp is a crucial tool to facilitate

the traceability of horses attending FEI

Events, as well as for data gathering to

allow for better risk assessment analysis

and informed decision-making. It is a

key element in ensuring a safe return to

competition and in minimising the impact

of a disease outbreak in the future.”

The FEI HorseApp is being used for

uploading negative PCR results for

designated events. In addition, the FEI

Veterinarian conducting the Examination

on Arrival will scan the horse’s microchip

with a reader connected via Bluetooth to

the FEI HorseApp, and also record the

horse’s temperature in the FEI HorseApp.

Under the Return To Competition

measures, it is also compulsory for all

horses to be officially checked out at the

Show Office using the FEI HorseApp.

This ensures traceability should a disease

outbreak occur.



British Equestrian

EHV-1 update

Following the successful implementation

of protocols for horses returning to the

UK who might potentially have been

impacted by the EHV-1 outbreak in

Europe, British Equestrian reported that

the disease risk in the UK was nearing

normal l evels in early April. However,

the recommendation on the use of a

revised health self-certification form for

UK equine gatherings remains in place

as an ongoing biosecurity measure to

help manage the risk.

British Equestrian’s Equine Infectious

Diseases Action Group (EIDAG) has

considered data on the prevalence of

EHV-1 diagnosis in UK over the last

three years and concluded that, while

EHV-1 remains a persistent and

ever-present threat, the mildly increased

disease risk level announced on 18

March is now dropping towards the

baseline number of cases seen in any

other year.

The process of monitoring and

laboratory testing, which was imposed

on horses that had been in direct contact

with EHV-1 outbreaks at competitions in

the Iberian peninsula and subsequently

across Europe, went extremely well.

Horses returning from these areas were

suspended from competition until they

had completed the protocols that

enabled them to compete in the UK.

As part of the measures put in place to

mitigate the risk of the current European

FEI Eventing


Championships for

2021 & 2023


Avenches in Switzerland will host this

year’s FEI Eventing European

Championship, with the 2023 edition

allocated to Haras du Pin (FRA).

Host venues for these two important

Championships and other key events

were made by the FEI Board by video

conference recently, with the full support

of the FEI Eventing Committee and the

European Equestrian Federation (EEF).

“We are pleased to have the Swiss

venue of Avenches hosting the 2021

Championships,” FEI Secretary

General Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“Following last year’s postponement of

the Tokyo Games, the FEI had originally

EHV outbreak reaching our equine

population, British Equestrian and its

member bodies introduced an equine

health self-certification form on 18

March under the advisement of the

EIDAG. The process was implemented

at short notice and was mandated for

all British Dressage, British Eventing and

British Showjumping competitions up to

12 April. Organisers, secretaries and

competitors readily embraced the

process and made it work so


The EIDAG has recommended that the

EHV-1 risk level is dropping to a low/

normal level, but as an endemic disease

the risk it poses to the UK equine

population is continuous. While the

mandate to use the self-certification

forms has now ended, British Equestrian

and the EIDAG are recommending to

member bodies and their organisers

that a revised version of the form be

introduced as an ongoing biosecurity

measure to protect our equines and

mitigate the risk of spreading infectious

conditions. Forms can be downloaded

from the British Equestrian website.

EIDAG chair Celia Marr commented;

“Recent events have shown what can be

achieved when we work collectively to

implement effective biosecurity measures

such as self-certification. We actively

encourage all member bodies, event

organisers and horse owners to

continue to make use of a

self-certification process to ensure that

horses coming to gatherings are as

healthy as possible, in order to reduce

cancelled European Championships in

all three Olympic and Paralympic

disciplines so that the focus could remain

on the Games in 2021, but our

community encouraged us to review that

decision and we listened to those voices.

“After carefully reviewing three strong

bids, which also included Boekelo in

the Netherlands and Montelibretti in

Italy, the FEI Board voted to allocate this

year’s FEI Eventing European

Championship to Avenches.

“We are happy to be able to give our

community something to look forward to

during these difficult days as we tackle

the EHV-1 outbreak and work to put in

place protocols to get our horses and

athletes back to competing again.”

The 2021 edition of the FEI Eventing

European Championship will run from

23-26 September.

Haras du Pin (FRA) was named as host

risk of disease spread. Infectious disease

management is a collective responsibility

which everyone shares.”

The British Equestrian Veterinary

Association has also urged horse

owners, particularly returning

competitors, to do all they can to

prevent the spread of this fatal disease.

EHV-1 is a highly contagious virus that

spreads between horses that are in

close contact with one another. It can

spread on people or objects but is more

likely to spread horse to horse within the

stable environment, and particularly in

enclosed buildings such as American

barns with shared air spaces. It does not

spread over long distances in the air and

is unlikely to spread between different

buildings or yards without movement of

horses, people or objects.

EHV-1, capable of causing neurological

disease, was spreading at showjumping

events in Valencia in March. The

movement of horses away from these

events resulted in the spread of virus to

other premises in Europe and the Middle


“The consequences of this outbreak have

been devastating and understandably,

there was anxiety that horses returning to

the UK may be carrying the virus and

infection may spread back in the UK,”

said David Rendle, Chair of BEVA’s

Health and Medicines Committee. “To

prevent this from happening, it is

essential that returning competitors

comply with the quarantine plans that

have been put in place by British


for the FEI Eventing European

Championship in 2023. The FEI Board

had originally allocated the 2021

Championship to the French venue and,

when there were discussions last year

about the possibility of rescheduling the

event away from the Olympic Games

period, the Haras du Pin organisers

were unfortunately unable to find an

alternative date in 2021. However, they

put forward a proposal to the FEI to host

the Championships in 2023 and this

was agreed by the FEI Board this week.

Dates for the Championship in 2023 are

yet be confirmed.

The FEI Board also allocated the FEI

Jumping Ponies Trophy Final 2021 to

Mechelen (BEL). An experienced

Organiser of the Longines FEI

Jumping World Cup Western

European League, the Belgian city will

hold the Trophy Final from 26-30

December. Kronenberg (NED) will host

the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Youth

Final 2021 from 23-26 September.




announced for


NEXGEN Champs return for 2021

The 2021 NEXGEN Young Horse Series

has announced an increased prize fund

of over £52,000 for 2021. In addition

there are several new qualifying

venues, all of which will be

live-streamed on clipmyhorse.tv, and a

showcase auction for horses who have

qualified for the Young Horse Series


The NEXGEN Series provides talented

4 – 7 year old young horses of any

breed the chance to compete against

each other in their respective discipline,

enabling them to grow and progress to

the top levels of sport.

Now with 18 qualifying venues being

used around the UK, the series begins

on 27th May at Houghton

International Horse Trials and offers

pathways for performance horses in

dressage, eventing and

showjumping, culminating in the final

at the All England Jumping Course,

Hickstead on 23rd-25th

September 2021.

Proceeding the Young Horse Finals,

NEXGEN are offering selected horses

the chance to showcase in their

performance auction which will take

place on October 6 2021 at The

Loungfield in Nottinghamshire. The

NEXGEN auction will deliver a format

never seen before, giving potential

buyers the opportunity to see the horses

live in the competition arena.

Victoria Wright, Director of NEXGEN

said, “NEXGEN are pioneers for the

Sport Horse Breeding Industry,

providing UK breeders and young

horse producers with a reliable

showcasing platform to reach buyers

across the globe. Our aim is to

successfully connect the highest calibre

vendors and buyers together, whilst

ensuring that the stars of the future are

produced in the right environment to

achieve their full potential on the world

stage. Entries for the 2021 series are

now open via Equipe as are auction


For more information and to enter go

to www.nexgenhorses.com or for the

auction go to www.nexgenauction.com

Breeding the best

Breen Equestrian

opens state-ofthe-art


Showjumping team Breen Equestrian has

expanded their business by launching a

luxurious new breeding facility close to

their base at Hickstead in West Sussex.

Pook Bourne Stud is a state-of-the-art

breeding premises with space to

accommodate up to 85 mares and

young horses. Nine stallions will stand at

the stud, including prolific showjumping

winners Golden Hawk, Can Ya

Makan and Clyde VA. The aim is to

breed around a dozen foals each year

under the Breen Equestrian prefix, while

A summerlong series of elite sport is

scheduled at Bolesworth for 2021.

Synonymous with world-class

showjumping and outstanding

equestrian facilities, Nina Barbour and

the team are bringing sport back to

Bolesworth with an extensive calendar

of dates including the Bolesworth

International Horse Show, now

confirmed to run on 7th-11th July.

In addition to the new dates, Bolesworth

are delighted to welcome title sponsors

Dodson & Horrell. Sam Horrell,

Managing Director of Dodson & Horrell

commented, “We are very pleased to

join Bolesworth International as their

new title sponsor to celebrate

showjumping and the dedication,

passion and talent of all the

competitors and their horses. Set against

the iconic backdrop of Bolesworth

Castle, the prestigious International

Arena will host headline classes

climaxing with the CSI*** Grand Prix

the stud will also cater to clients who

wish to send their mares to the stud with

the aim of breeding their own potential


Breen Equestrian is run by Irish

international showjumper Shane Breen

and his wife Chloe, who already have a

superb reputation for breeding,

producing and selling top class sport

horses. Fellow showjumper Greg Le

Gear, a qualified AI technician, is the

Stud Manager at Pook Bourne Stud and

is in charge of the day-to-day running of

the breeding side of the business.

Shane Breen commented: “I’m very

proud and excited that Breen Equestrian

can offer some of the world’s best

stallions, as well as facilities that are

second to none.”



on Sunday 11th July. The busy schedule,

all set to run under FEI rules will

include CSI3*, CSI1*, CSIAm, CSIP

and CSIYH classes, with the aim to

provide a platform for a huge range of

competitors and horses to compete.

The Bolesworth experience is highlighted

for many by the renowned Elite Auction.

On Friday, 9th July, a special collection

of Elite Yearlings will be auctioned live.

All lots will have close links to 1.60m

performers on the dam side with a

line-up that promise to include some of

the most famous equine names in

showjumping. There will also be three

affiliated training shows, on the 7th &

21st April, and the 5th May, and the

brand new Bolesworth National Horse

Show will take place from 20th – 23rd

May, presenting three days of

competition with classes up to 1.40m,

also incorporating Young Horse classes.





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News - Obituries


It was with great sadness that we

learned of the sudden death of Tim

Holderness-Roddam on Thursday 15

April 2021, aged 78.

Tim was married to Equestrian Olympic

Gold Medallist and current British

Eventing President, Jane

Holderness-Roddam. Together they

owned and ran West Kington Farms and

Stud in Wiltshire, standing numerous

outstanding stallions and specialising in

breeding top competition horses. Tim’s

experience in agriculture and

international trading complimented

Jane’s equestrian activities and led to the

development of West Kington Stud,

Stallion Centre, Competition Yard and


Tim was a passionate and

knowledgeable advocate of eventing for

many years. He gave his time freely to

support, advise and promote the sport,

including roles with British Eventing,

British Equestrian, The Horse Trials

Support Group and both Blenheim and

Burghley Horse Trials. In 2010 Tim was

presented with the British Equestrian

Federation Medal of Honour in

recognition of his outstanding

achievement and contribution to the

international equestrian world.

Tim was educated at Radley College,

followed by military service in the King’s

Royal Hussars. His successful 30-year

career at Tate & Lyle plc (UM Group)

culminated in the role of MD of the

United Molasses Group, where he was

responsible for the worldwide trading,

storage and distribution business.

Since retiring from the City in 2000,

Tim held a number of consultancy and

non-executive roles, including senior

consultant to Bristol Port Company,

which handles much of the import/

export trade for the west of England;

and a consultant to and former director

of Abercrombie & Kent, the luxury and

tailor-made travel business. Tim was

formerly a trustee of the pension fund of

Countrywide Farmers plc and Deputy

Chair of Friends of Conservation, an

international charity operating mainly in

Africa and the Indian sub-continent.

Tim’s equestrian roles include Chair of

the British Equestrian Federation Fund,

which he was involved with for nearly

20 years, Chair of Blenheim Palace

International Horse Trials, former Chair

of The Horse Trials Support Group

(HTSG), Director and former Chair of the

Finance Committee of British Eventing.

More recently he has been involved as a

Director of British Equestrian; a member

of the British Eventing Finance and

Commercial Committee; and a member

of the Burghley Horse Trials Committee.

Tim will be greatly missed in the

breeding and eventing community,

where he was a popular and much

respected colleague and friend.

Our thoughts and best wishes are with

his family and friends.

In Memory to Pat


The British Horse Society former

Chairman, Pat Campbell, has passed

away. Pat was a true equestrian with an

unparalleled dedication to horses, and

her loss will be felt by all who knew her.

She was a recipient of Her Majesty The

Queen’s Award for Equestrianism and

was also a past President of The

National Pony Society and Ponies (UK)

and past Chairman of The

Dartmoor Pony Society as well as

having a longstanding link with the

Ashford Valley Branch of the Pony Club.

Pat’s dedication to ponies and

encouraging others to enjoy and respect

them was renowned.

Pat was also a gracious, lovely and

generous, knowledgeable personal

friend to many of us. As well as all the

organisations already mentioned, she

was also the chair of both the Central

Prefix Register and the BHS Horse and

Pony Breeds Committee (which was the

body from which the 826 Equine

Studbooks Association developed).

On behalf of both those organizations I

pass on our sincerest condolences and

thoughts to her family and a sincere and

grateful reflection on all the many good

acts she performed for the whole

equestrian world over the years.

A lady of principle and a great loss to

the equine world.

By Celia Clarke


News - Obituries

Prince Philip, Duke

of Edinburgh


The passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of

Edinburgh, peacefully at Windsor Castle

on Friday 9th April, is a great loss for

equestrian sport, but his legacy will live

on for many decades to come.

He was the longest serving FEI President

(1964-1986) and was succeeded in this

role by his daughter Princess Anne, the

Princess Royal, for the following eight


Prince Philip was a highly accomplished

equestrian and some of his greatest

sporting achievements came in the sport

of Driving which he introduced as a new

discipline in the FEI and helped to

develop during his FEI Presidency. He

became a hugely successful

competitor himself, winning team gold at

the 1980 World Driving Championship

and bronze in 1978, 1982 and 1984.

He also placed sixth individually in


Prince Philip strongly supported the FEI

Jumping Nations Cup series, which

is now one of the crown jewels in the

Jumping calendar, and was hugely

supportive of the launch of the FEI

Jumping World Cup in the 1970s. He

was also instrumental in the creation of

the FEI World Equestrian Games,

having lobbied for such a competition

for many years before it was finally

staged for the first time in Stockholm

(SWE) in 1990.

President of the Royal Windsor Horse

Show since 1991, Prince Philip was

integral to the development of the show.

Regularly seen ringside, he never missed

the Pony Club Games Final and was the

creator of the Prince Philip Pony Club

Games which culminate at Horse of the

Year Show.

Despite racing being the Queen’s great

passion, her racing and bloodstock

adviser John Warren recalled Prince

Philip taking a fulsome interest in the

horses and breeding.

He said: “Prince Philip was a much

greater support to the Queen in her

racing endeavours than many people

realize. His Royal Highness followed

Her Majesty’s involvement as an owner

and breeder very closely, and willingly

accompanied the Queen to the Derby

and Royal Ascot every year.

“Whenever I visited Sandringham to

look at horses with the Queen, Prince

Philip always asked on our return how

the yearlings and foals were


He was also a man of impeccable


An all-round horseman, he played polo

during his time in the Royal Navy in

the 1940s and became one of Britain’s

top-10 players. His passion for all things

equestrian was shared by the Queen

and passed on to their children,

particularly Prince Charles who was also

a keen polo player, and Princess Anne,

who claimed individual gold at the FEI

European Eventing Championships in

1971, and individual and team silver four

years later, before becoming the first

British Royal to compete at an

Olympic Games when she rode in

Montreal 1976.

Prince Philip’s grandchildren have also

inherited a love of horse sport. Zara

Tindall took the Eventing world title in

2006 and was a member of the British

silver medal at the London 2012

Olympic Games.

Born in Corfu, Greece and educated in

France, Germany and Great Britain, he

was just 18 years old when he joined the

Royal Navy in 1939. During World War

ll he served with the Mediterranean and

Pacific fleets, and by the time he left the

service in 1952 he had reached the rank

of Commander. At the age 26 years,

he married the then Princess Elizabeth

(Queen Elizabeth ll) in November 1947.

He lived a life of relentless royal duty,

immersing himself wholeheartedly in

national life, carving out a unique public

role and remaining the Queen’s ‘strength

and stay’ for 73 years. Prince Philip was

the longest serving consort in British

history and was only months away from

his 100th birthday in June.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “I first

met Prince Philip in London at the FEI

General Assembly in 2005, and again

at the FEI Eventing European

Championships in Blair Castle in 2015.

He was a man of incredible energy and

a great sense of humour and the FEI was

honoured to have him as our longest

serving President.

“His dedication to equestrian sports

cannot be underestimated and will never

be forgotten, especially in the Driving

community. He was born in the same

year the FEI was founded and sadly he

will not be with us to celebrate his own

and the FEI’s centenary this year. We will

celebrate his life and remember him as a

great ambassador of our sport.”

British Breeding extends its deepest

sympathy to the British Royal Family and

joins the entire equestrian community

in mourning the loss of this remarkable



News - Obituries


At 32 years old, Heartbreaker

(Nimmerdor x Silvano) died, simply of

old age on 10 April.

He made his debut with Grant Wilson

while he was riding in Belgium for Louis

Lenaerts. Because it was thought that he

would not be favored by the KWPN at

the time, he was presented to and

accepted by the BWP. He nevertheless

moved to Holland and joined the Nijhof

team stables, where he performed under

the saddle of Peter Geerink at the highest


After performing at the highest level,

Heartbreaker proved to be an

outstanding sire. He leaves behind

impressive offspring, with many stallion

sons who will continue to maintain his

legend. Heartbreaker was crowned

‘KWPN Horse of the Year’ in 2016.

He was already declared ‘Preferent’ in

2009 because of his successful offspring

in the international scene.

Heartbreaker himself was successful at

Grand Prix level and is placed number 12

on the 2016 WBFSH-ranking for jumping


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News - Obituries

Sir Shutterfly

Leading sire, Sir Shutterfly, has died

aged 19. One of the most reliable and

consistent sires of performance

horses available in the UK, Sir Shutterfly

featured strongly in both the eventing

and show jumping sections of the British

Breeding Virtual Stallion event, and his

loss will be felt throughout the breeding


Sir Shutterfly, by Silvio I out of a Forrest

XX mare, was a full brother to Meredith

Michaels-Beerbaum’s legendary ride

Shutterfly. He qualified for Germany’s

Bundeschampionate for five-year-olds

and went on to compete to 1.50m in

showjumping, before moving to a career

as a breeding stallion.

Fairlight Stud owner Jo Sholls-Evan told

British Breeding why the loss of “Fly” will

be felt by the stud.

“Fly was a HUGE character as well as

being extremely beautiful to look at.

He always had a great sense of fun

about him and an immense love for life,

especially if it involved being ridden and

jumped. It was easy to forget he was a

stallion because he was so

straightforward to handle. He was

always a very kind chap and loved any

attention. Our young daughters were

completely safe with him in the stable,

even when they could only reach the top

of his legs! He would stand still whilst

they brushed him and then remain very

quiet when they wanted to sit on his back

after the novelty of grooming him had

worn off.

“My husband, Martin, would often take

him for a hack round the lanes where

we live because he was good fun to ride

and extremely reliable. Apart from his

awesome ability to produce very smart

foals, we were delighted to see his older

offspring doing really well in bigger

classes and on the international circuit

both in showjumping and eventing. We

have recently sold some of the older

youngsters we bred here to professional

riders, which has been very encouraging

for us as breeders.

“One of Fly’s other characteristics was

his endless energy, something which

makes the yard very quiet now he has

gone. We were devastated to lose him

and it’s not been easy to have to rethink

a whole year’s business planning in such

a short space of time but we are now

very much looking to the future with him

living on through his offspring and the

future is where we are focussing. The first

of our mares will be inseminated with

his frozen semen over the next couple

of weeks and his first mare of the year is

already in foal from one dose of frozen


“It was an absolute privilege to have

owned and cared for him and a dream

for us as breeders to have been able to

add something so important to British



News - Brexit

The Effect

of Brexit

on British


This spring, British breeders who used

to register their foals with non-UK

studbooks, such as the German

Oldenburg Society and the German

Hanoverians found out that as of 30

June 2021, they would no longer be

able to register their foals in the UK.

This has some harsh consequences for

breeders who will have already paid

hundreds of Euros in membership and

mare contributions for the year and

whose business model is based on

selling to the European market, and to

clients who wish to participate in the

German “Bundeschampionat”, which

only admits horses with German UELN’s.

While this means that Continental

studbooks lose out on an opportunity,

the obverse is also true for UK studbooks

who have previously been active in

EU member states, such as the Anglo

European Studbook, about half of

whose now 3000 foals per annum have

been registered in Europe. These foals

will now have to be registered with an

AES daughter society set up in the

Netherlands. We thought it might be

useful to give you an overview of the

relevant EU legislation, which, in order to

enable us to continue to trade with

Europe, was adopted by the UK


Registering Foals: “Extension of

Breeding Territory”:

Historically, many European studbooks

had casual arrangements, by which they

would register foals across various EU

member states. This suited the

development of breeding, which is

becoming an increasingly globalised

industry. For the studbooks, it was

convenient to operate in this manner, for

cost reasons, as well as in view of the

WBFSH Studbook rankings. The larger

the studbook, the larger the chance of

doing well in those rankings, which

effectively penalised those studbooks

who instead opted to set up daughter

societies and split their breeding


2013 saw the infamous Lasagne meat

scandal, and with it came a realisation

by the authorities that they had a serious

issue with food safety. It was not only an

issue that horse meat was found in

various processed meat products, but

that some of those horses may well

have been treated with medication that

rendered them entirely unsuitable, and in

fact dangerous, for human consumption.

To tackle this problem, a new Animal

Health Law was created, to tighten up

the identification and trade in all

animals, including horses. Part of the

Animal Health Law requirements was the

creation of National Equine Databases

(in the UK, this is the Central Equine

Database, the CED), in which all horses

in the country were to be registered in

order to provide traceability, promote

biosecurity and guarantee food chain


The mechanism by which horses in the

UK are recorded on the central database

is through the UK studbooks. This is either

done through their first registrations, or,

in the case of imports or foals registered

with foreign studbooks, through overstamping.

This process has not

always been working very well, as

owners and breeders saw this as an

unnecessary hassle, and above all an

additional cost to try and avoid.

In recognition of the importance of

horses being registered on the right

central equine database to ensure

biosecurity and traceability, the EU

tightened up the regulations of cross

border registrations, requiring every

studbook wishing to do so to notify their

competent authority, and then to work

with that authority in the relevant country

to ensure the recording of the foals on

their CED, a process called “extension of

breeding territory”.

While the EU made it very clear that this

option is only open to studbooks from EU

member states, thus excluding UK based

studbooks from being able to register

foals in Europe, Defra took the view that

EU studbooks could apply for an

“extension of breeding territory” into the

UK. Some have done so, and have, it

appears, been turned down.


News - Brexit

Receiving Semen from Europe: Third

Country und Third Country Studbook


While extensions of breeding territories

to and from the UK are now curtailed,

the trade in horses, semen, embryos and

oocytes is governed by a separate part

of the legislation, the zootechnics

regulations, which were also adopted

into UK law as part of the Brexit

arrangements. To understand the impact

of the zootechnics legislation, we must

first consider the distinction drawn by

the legislation between “registered” and

“unregistered” animals.

“Unregistered” is a slightly misleading

term, as this does not refer to horses that

do not have a passport, but to horses

that are not covered by the zootechnics

arrangements. “Unregistered” horses

can still be imported into the UK and

exported from the UK to Europe, but they

are classified as non-breeding animals,

which fall into a different tax category,

leading to higher charges on imports

and exports. They also have a lower

health status, which means a lot of extra

paperwork when travelling and

competing these horses.

“Germinal Products” (i.e. semen,

oocytes, embryos) from “unregistered”

horses can no longer be traded. In

order to be classified as a “registered”

horse (or a germinal product from a

“registered” horse), the horse must be

registered with a breed society that has

been granted “Third Country Studbook”

recognition. In order for that to happen,

the country in which the studbook

is located needs to have been given

“Third Country” status. Following the

Brexit vote, Defra and the UK studbooks

were notified by the EU in November

2017 that it was necessary for the UK

and its breed societies to apply for this

status and demonstrate that they were

compliant with the EU animal health law

regulations. Just in time before the 01

January 2021 deadline, this status was

granted to the UK studbooks,

ensuring that we can continue to sell

semen and embryos, as well as

“registered” status horses into the EU.

In return, and as part of their process of

adopting the EU legislation, Defra wrote

to the competent authorities of the EU

member states in January 2021, advising

them that they now also have to apply

for third country status, and that their

breed societies need to apply for third

country studbooks status, which has to

be granted by 30 June 2021 in order

for the trade in “registered” horses and

their germinal products from the EU into

Britain to continue.

As the continuity of semen trade beyond

30 June is vital to our breeders, we have

contacted Defra to do whatever we

can to support the process. The World

Breeding Federation has contacted all

its members across Europe to explain

the process, and to offer support and


Defra assures us that they will deal with

all applications as quickly and efficiently

as possible, and everyone is hoping that

this process will go smoothly.

We must work

together to overcome

Brexit hurdles

conclude speakers

at NEF

All parts of the equine industry must

work together in efforts to remove the

hurdles impeding the transport of horses

and equestrian goods between Britain

and the European Union, according to

speakers at the 29th National Equine

Forum on 4 March 2021.

The changed arrangements since the UK

left the trading bloc on 1 January are

causing delays and increased costs that

threaten the domestic industry’s biggest

overseas market. But if these

problems continue, they may also

produce unacceptable equine welfare

issues and cause irreparable damage

to the future of UK equestrian sport, the

speakers suggested.

Three speakers, representing different

parts of the equine sector, described the

effects of the post Brexit arrangements

on their businesses. Claire Williams,

executive director of the British Equestrian

Trade Association, suggested that

the Trade and Cooperation Agreement

signed between the UK and EU at the

end of December 2020 was “not the

Christmas present that our people were

wishing for”.

Brexit: government, trade, transport,

events and welfare

The export trade in equine equipment,

feed etc is worth around £500,000 a

year with half of that revenue coming

from the EU. But the new arrangements

impose a massive increase in

bureaucracy for exports to Europe and

she feared that higher costs along with

the unreliability of deliveries may force

many customers to look elsewhere.

Henry Bullen is a director of Peden

Bloodstock which manages the

transport of sporting horses to events

across the globe. He said the UK’s

departure has produced a huge increase

in the paperwork needed to import and

export horses and there is often

confusion between different officials over

these requirements. Delays of several

hours while horses are held at the

dockside have become commonplace

– this situation is unsatisfactory now but

could imperil the welfare of the animals

later in the year when temperatures are

higher, he warned.



Simon Brooks-Ward, chief executive of

events organiser the HPower Group said

international sporting events provided

a shop window for the UK’s £8 billion

equine industry. If the problems already

described are not addressed, it is

unlikely that European competitors will

want to appear at UK events and

talented British riders may decide to

move their horses permanently abroad.

He urged the UK equine industry to

come together to campaign for more

seamless export arrangements and to

hire professional lobbyists to persuade

UK and EU ministers to treat the equine

sector as a political priority.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble, parliamentary

under secretary of state, Defra, insisted

that Brexit has provided opportunities

to improve welfare standards for all

domestic livestock. One key government

priority will be to end the trade in live

animals for slaughter abroad. The 2020

Agriculture Act, which he guided through

the House of Lords, included provisions

for safeguarding the future of Britain’s

native breeds.

Digital data collection

This year’s NEF also looked at the

increasing influence of digital data

collection and storage on all owners

of livestock. Britain has developed a

world leading system for recording data

on cattle, sheep and pigs, Simon Hall,

programme director of the Livestock

Information Programme told the meeting.

Equine Register (provider of the Central

Equine Database) has been assisting

with delivery of the Livestock Information

Programme. Equine Register’s chief

executive Stewart Everett explained the

benefits to horse owners of being able to

keep their information up to date through

the Digital Stable using its smartphone


Continuing the work of the AHT

Since the last NEF meeting the equine

sector has lost one of its most valuable

and trusted sources of information on

animal disease with the closure of the

Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. In his

round up of the current activities of the

British Horse Council, its chairman David

Mountford said that his organisation was

working with various other equine

bodies in the UK and abroad to ensure

that the vital services provided by the

AHT would continue in some form. This

was particularly urgent in view of the

concerns about the rapid spread of

equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) in Europe.

The event’s patron HRH The Princess

Royal provided a summary of the day.

In her concluding remarks, The Princess

Royal noted the potential health and

welfare issues that might have arisen in

horses as a result of the efforts to contain

the human disease: “What has been

hugely encouraging from today was that

there is so much going on … and people

have understood what was needed

and tried to make sure that as far as the

animals are concerned, their lives have

continued pretty well unaltered.”

Special Covid-19 Sir Colin Spedding


The meeting closed with the

announcement of the winner of the

Special Covid-19 Sir Colin Spedding

award to Claire Williams for her tireless

efforts which helped equine merchants

to stay open and continue providing a

service during the pandemic.

A number of additional special awards

were made and British Breeding were

proud to be Highly Commended for their

outstanding effort during the Covid-19


ehorses seeks



Europe’s leading horses for sale platform

is now launching in the UK at

www.ehorses.co.uk. ehorses is a

German-owned sales platform with a

huge reach.

According to their spokesperson ehorses

had over 41 million views during 2020,

with a horse sold every 20 minutes and

over 250 new ads going on the site

each day.

ehorses.co.uk is looking for yard owners

and other horse professionals who

regularly advertise, buy or help clients

to buy/ sell horses who would like free

Premium Plus membership of the site

(worth £470) for six months in return for

answering a couple of questionnaires

about their experience.

To apply for a free premium

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Where the UK buys Cavalor

British Breeding - Futurity & Equine Bridge

Exciting Plans for the

Baileys British Breeding

Futurity 2021

For 2021, the Baileys

British Breeding Futurity

is set to return with a full

range of activities and

services, including virtual

and physical evaluations

and many extras to offer

a state-of-the-art series to

be proud of.

Virtual Evaluations Will Continue

Following their roaring success in 2020,

we are delighted to be able to continue

a virtual evaluations option as part of

our range of activities. Initially conceived

as a pragmatic solution to the Covid 19

Challenge, studbooks all over the world

have soon come to realise that virtual

evaluations offer significant possibilities

and advantages, making evaluations

accessible for breeders in remote

locations, and reducing the need to

travel foals and youngstock.

In fact, we also learned that video

footage can be a very interesting and

valuable tool for evaluations, as

assessors can slow footage down, pause

it, zoom in, and replay it. Using videos

and zoom conferencing has enabled

us to continue to offer one of the great

benefits of the Futurity, which is to have

British bred youngstock evaluated by a

panel of senior and highly experienced

and respected international evaluators.

Breeders found that the virtual futurity

enabled them to choose the best moment

for presentation, as foals and youngsters

can change from one day to the next.

Virtual Evaluations will again cost £55

per entry, £5 of which will go into our

special Breeders’ Prize Fund, awarded

to the top entries in each category at the

end of the season. They will start from

mid-July and will run until the middle of


Virtual Evaluations in Loose Jumping

For safety reasons, we were unable to

offer virtual loose jumping evaluations of

videos taken at home last year. In order

to work around this problem, this year

we will be working with several

appropriate, well equipped indoor

venues around the country where you

can bring your youngster for a safe

video session. We will publish their

relevant contact details nearer to the

time and would encourage you to get in


Physical Evaluations Are Planned to


As we are seeing a loosening of

lockdown restrictions, we are looking

forward to a return of physical

evaluations in our popular locations, as

long as it is legal and safe to do so.

Our plan is to offer physical evaluation

days on the following dates and at the

following venues:

23rd August 2021 – Richmond

Equestrian Centre, Richmond, Richmond

DL10 7PL

24th August 2021 – Home Farm,

Hothorpe, Teddingworth, LE17 6QX

25th August 2021 – Addington

Equestrian, Buckinghamshire, MK18 2JR

26th August 2021 – Glebe Farm,

Whitestone, Exeter, EX4 2HP

Physical evaluations cost £65 per entry,

including a £5 contribution to our

Breeders’ Prize Fund. Entries will be

restricted in numbers, so be sure to book

early to avoid disappointment.

Bookings will open on 1 July 2021

via our website.

Futurity Auction

Following its excellent reception last

year, we are again planning to organise

an online auction for the very best

Futurity entries. The auction will be

hosted again on the Clip My Horse

platform, and we are confident that we

will be able to build on our success in

2020, with a full plan of exciting

promotional activities to bring our


British Breeding - Futurity & Equine Bridge

wonderful British bred Futurity foals

and youngsters to the widest possible


Like last year, entries wanting to be

considered for auction selection have to

obtain an overall score of 8 or above

either in the virtual or in the physical

Futurity evaluation.

Different from last year, all auction

candidates must also attend a

photography and videography sessions

to produce high quality promotional

materials. These will be offered at the

physical Futurity evaluation venues and

open to candidates who have attended

and scored highly at either the virtual or

physical Futurity.

Equine Bridge

British bred youngsters aged 3-5 are

again invited to come forward for

evaluation for the Equine Bridge.

3-year-olds will be able to qualify loose,

4-year-olds will be able to qualify loose

or under saddle, and 5-year-olds will

have to qualify under saddle.

To qualify, they must achieve a score of

8.0 or above.

The evaluation will consist of a

veterinary evaluation, to be carried out

either virtually or at the physical

evaluation venues, and an evaluation of

gaits and conformation by the

international panel. For loose evaluation,

candidates are invited to submit videos

or attend one of the physical evaluation

venues. For ridden evaluation, we invite

videos taken at affiliated competitions

with British Dressage, British

Showjumping or British Eventing or the

NexGen Series.

Please ensure that the videos show

competition footage in walk, trot, canter,

as well as jump for eventers and


All Bridge candidates who qualified

loose must have experience of

competing under saddle prior to coming

to the bridge, and need to have

completed a minimum of two

competitions, either at affiliated

competitions with British Dressage, British

Showjumping or British Eventing or the

NexGen Series.

The next Equine Bridge event is planned

as a two-day performance test at Home

Farm, on 25th – 26th October 2021.

The top scoring Bridge entries in each

discipline will be awarded with a £1000

bursary aimed at supporting the horse’s

or pony’s training and production for the


Training and Other Opportunities

As always, we extend a warm welcome

to everybody wishing to participate

in the Futurity to come and learn more

about young horse evaluations and lend

a hand. This year, we will be delighted

again to offer all British studbooks the

opportunity to carry out mare gradings

at our venues.

Young Breeders are welcome to come

and shadow our evaluators and become

involved in helping with the presentations

for our auction videos and photographs.

Together, we can continue to make

the Baileys British Breeding Futurity the

event we all love: a world class series,

organised by breeders, for breeders and

extending a warm welcome to everyone.


Studbook - News

Photo - HorsePower Creative

The Anglo European Studbook

Launch Select Studbook and

Premium Programme

As part of our continued investment in

people and technologies, we are proud

and delighted to launch our brand-new

AES Select Studbook and Premium

Programme aimed at providing an

exceptional service and recognition to

those breeders who go above and

beyond in aiming to breed the very

highest quality horses for the future.

The purpose of the select programme is

to lay a solid foundation for the future, as

the studbook continues to grow, and to

provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art

programme of evaluation to support our


Who is eligible?

To participate in the Premium

Programme, horses and foals must be

entered in the AES Select Studbook.

Mares and Stallions can enter the

programme via grading, and foals can

enter the programme via registration.

This special section of the main studbook

is reserved for horses who have

full three generation pedigrees and are

by a stallion who is fully licensed by a

WBFSH member studbook. In addition,

outcrosses are permitted, for example to

full Thoroughbreds or Arabs. Please

contact the AES team in those cases.

DNA samples must be submitted for

pedigree verification.

To be registered into the AES Select

Studbook, foals need to be out of AES

graded mares, and submit DNA samples

for full parentage verification.

The programme is open foals born from

2021 and to older AES registered horses

who can apply for an upgrade.

How much does it cost?

The cost of entry into the select studbook

for foals in £70, which includes their

passport and full DNA test. The cost of

upgrading your already registered AES

horse or youngster into the select

studbook is £50.

How can I grade my mare with

the AES?

To be eligible for grading for the

purpose of her offspring to be entered

into the AES Select Studbook, your

mare needs to have main studbook, full

pedigree papers with the AES or another

WBFSH member studbook.


Studbook - News

Thoroughbred and Arab mares are also

eligible to enter the programme for the

purpose of adding blood into the

programme. To enquire about

outcrosses, please talk to our AES team

who will be able to advise you.

Your mare needs to be inspected on hard

and soft ground by our evaluation team.

On the hard, we assess conformation,

soundness and correctness, and on the

soft we assess walk, trot and canter, with

jump optional, if it is safe to do so and

does not conflict with the welfare of the


During ongoing Covid restrictions, we

will continue to offer virtual evaluations

for mares, and we are planning to offer

physical options later on in the season.

Virtual mare gradings cost £40 per

mare, physical mare gradings start at

£50 plus travel costs, which can be


What is the AES Select Premium


The AES Select Premium Programme is

reserved for horses entered into the AES

Select Studbook. It offers special

recognition and rewards for its very best

and highest achieving foals and

horses. Not only will this provide

valuable feedback to breeders and

owners, this will also help to build

potential buyers’ confidence in our foals,

knowing that they and their mothers have

been through a thorough and

comprehensive evaluation programme

and achieved certain accolades.

To participate in the premium

programme, your foal or horse needs to

be entered in the select studbook. Please

ask your vet to take a DNA sample when

they microchip your foal and complete

the markings diagram.

Your foal or youngster needs to be

inspected on hard and soft ground by

our evaluators, undergoing the same

stages as a mare grading. Jump will only

be assessed in horses aged 2 or older.

The highest scoring candidates in the

different categories will be awarded one

or several of the following premiums:

The AES Select Type Premium

This Premium is awarded to foals and

horses who particularly impress with

exceptional conformation and

movement and have gained an average

mark of 8 or higher for this element of

their inspection.

The AES Select Health Premium

This Premium is awarded to foals and

horses whose soundness and

conformation has been evaluated by

a veterinarian, and who have gained

a mark of 8 or higher for this element

of their inspection. In addition, to gain

this premium, a DNA sample must be

submitted for a WFFS test, which will be

recorded on the AES Database.

There is an additional cost of applying

for the Health Premium, which is £50,

including the WFFS test.

The AES Select Performance


This Premium is available to the older

horses in the Select Studbook, and it

will be awarded based on national and

international performance records. If you

would like to check if your horse is

eligible, please submit their full

performance record for review.

The AES Select Legacy Premium

This Premium recognises the

achievements and contributions of horses

in breeding exceptional offspring. It is

awarded at the discretion of the

evaluation panel for achievements of a

horse’s offspring, including their

studbook evaluations, gradings, shows

and affiliated competitions.

How can my horse participate

in the Premium Programme?

As with the mare gradings, we will offer

a virtual option this year in response to

the covid situation. We are planning

physical inspection events, as soon as

we are permitted to hold public events

and travel across the UK.

Virtual foal and youngstock gradings

cost £40 per horse, physical foal and

youngstock gradings start at £50 plus

travel costs, which can be shared.

The AES also fully recognises the British

Breeding Futurity results, and the results,

including linear scores of the Futurity are

fully compatible with the Select

Studbook system, which means that

Futurity foals and youngsters require

no additional AES inspection, but their

mothers must still be presented.

To find out more, do not hesitate to get in

touch and email:-


or lucy@angloeuropeanstudbook.co.uk

We look forward to hearing from you!


Studbook - News

What is British


British Rhineland Premium mare GF Sezuki

(Sezuan x Sherlock Holmes x Consul)

Photo - Kevin Sparrow

The Rhineland Studbook is a second

Studbook alongside the Hanoverian


The regulations of the Rhineland

Studbook differ from the Hanoverian

Studbook rules regarding the

requirements for mares and stallions. The

Rhineland Studbook is more liberal and

accepts mares and stallions from most

major Studbooks whereas the

Hanoverian Studbook, as one of the

world’s leading Studbooks, is more

selective. Therefore, cases will occur

where it will be possible to register foals

with the Rhineland Studbook which are

by stallions who are not approved for the

Hanoverian breeding programme.

These benefits are derived from the fact

that the Rhineland Studbook offers more

liberal breeding criteria in the inspection,

approval and licensing of breeding stock

than the Hanoverian Studbook does.

In addition, the Rhineland Studbook

accepts breeding stock from a wider

breeding population, recognizing most

WBFSH studbook/registry members,

provided certain pedigree and

performance requirements are met.

Hanoverian breeders will benefit from

having increased options in their stallion

choices, with the ability to use the

Rhineland Studbook to register foals

resulting from breeding to stallions not

licensed/approved for Hanoverian

breeding. In addition, breeders with

mares ineligible for approval by the

Hanoverian Studbook, due to pedigree

or inspection criteria, may now find those

mares eligible to be approved under

Rhineland Studbook criteria, with the

resulting offspring eligible for registration

with that studbook. Furthermore, since

Rhineland-registered stock may meet the

requirements for Hanoverian eligibility,

breeders will have the additional option

of registering future generations of such

stock with the Hanoverian Studbook.

The Studbook is named after the

Rhineland region, which is the very

southern part of Nordrhein-Westfalen. It

is on the very western part of Germany

in direct neighbourhood of the countries

Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

The biggest cities in the region are

Cologne, Duesseldorf and Aachen, site

of the world famous Aachen horse show.

Genetically the Rhenish riding horse has

been closely related to Hanover from the

beginning when the Studbook was

started in the 1950’s mainly using

Belissimo M

Trakehner, Westphalian (who again are

based on Hanoverian genes) and

Hanoverian bloodlines.

Famous stallions like Florestan and

Belissimo M were/are Rhineland riding

horses bred with a high percentage of

Hanoverian blood.

The Rhineland Studbook offers significant

benefits for current Hanoverian and

Rhineland breeders, as well as

opportunities for non-Hanoverian,

non-Rhineland and new breeders.

For more information please contact

the BHHS, www.hanoverian-gb.org.uk




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Studbook - News

The National Pony Society (NPS)

celebrated the winners of the 2020

Derby House British Riding Pony

Performance Scheme at our AGM.

These awards celebrate the diversity

of the British Riding Pony. The scheme

was designed by Sacha Shaw to

identify and reward British Riding Ponies

competing in different spheres. Points

can be accumulated in your chosen

sport, with additional points for affiliated

competitions. This year’s winners were:

Claire Elliott’s Song of the Stars (Diptford

Star Attraction x Lyrical Air ) - Showing

Song of the Stars was sent to Claire

Elliott to be started under and, by

chance, he and Claire were reunited

when he was 15. The pair have enjoyed

a very happy and successful last few

years. Sensitive but very kind, Song

of the Stars re-ignited Claire’s interest

in showing with wins including Reserve

Champion PBA at Devon County and

Reserve Supreme at the AHS show at

Bicton in 2019, SSADL Champion at

Wiltshire and Champion at the VHS

Championship Shows in 2019 and

2020. The pair introduced themselves

to dressage in the last season, qualifying

for the BD Prelim and Novice finals.

Ridden by Australian team member

Kayla Moore at the NPS tri-nation team

challenge in 2019 Claire describes Song

of the Stars as “ a lovely person, enjoyed

by the whole family” and a win in the

Performance Scheme is a fitting swan

song for him.

Romanno Spotless (Stanley Grange

Regal Heights x Chiddock Spot On) –

Show jumping and Eventing

Ness’s dam Chiddock Spot On enjoyed

a stellar show hunter pony career

culminating in winning the 2001 HOYS

Supreme title. Deborah Walton-Smith

followed her career and then followed

her move to the Romanno Stud to

breed. After purchasing a filly foal by

Deanhills Royal Portrait in 2009 Debby

decided that one Romanno pony was

not enough, and asked Jennie Gilchrist

if she could purchase Spoty’s next filly

foal by Stanley Grange Regal Heights.

Knowing that many of the Chiddock

ponies had been top class workers,

Debby hoped that with careful training

Ness might become a useful event pony.

Last year Ness qualified for the NPS

Dressage Finals and also came 3rd in

the 100cm at Ascott-Under-Wychwood

Horse Trails – only her second outing at

that height. The aim for 2021 is to

compete more regularly at 100cm and

if all goes well, aim for some Novice BE

events towards the end of the season.

Currently being brought on by rider

Dibby Brown, Debby’s ultimate aim is

to find a talented young rider to partner

Ness on her journey towards becoming

an FEI team pony.

Talponciau Last Symphony (Borderland

Cello x Talponciau Jyst Heavenly) -


Jo Baker’s Talponciau Last Symphony

beat last year’s winner, Rachel Bullock’s

Stanley Grange Overture, into second

place in the dressage section and was

also the overall points winner this year.

Due to the restricted competition season

in 2020, points were awarded for

accredited training for the first time, and

Last Symphony attended sessions with

Victoria Powell and Beth Hobbs and

qualified for the BD Regionals Freestyle

Novice and Freestyle Elementary. They

have also pushed on to medium at

unaffiliated level.

The scheme offers another platform

that can be used to showcase talents of

the British Riding Pony and the NPS is

keen to champion their versatility to a

wider audience. This year’s Performance

Scheme winners are all registered in

the main Stud Book but since the early

1990s the British Riding Pony Studbook

has had a special registration option

for ponies whose pedigree includes

sport horse, sport pony or warmblood

influence. These ponies may be

registered in the British Riding Pony

Sport Category as long as part of their

ancestry is registered in the British Riding

Pony Stud Book or Register or in the

main section of one of the Mountain and

Moorland stud books, the General Stud

Book, or the Arab or Anglo Arab Stud

Book. Ponies registered or over-stamped

into the Sport Category are able to

compete in both ridden and in hand

British Riding Pony championships run

by the NPS and many of these ponies

also compete successfully in sport. BRP

Sport Category ponies such as Pony

European Eventing Gold medallist

Catherston Nutsafe, CSI show jumper

Catherston Bobby Bright, 2015 Cuddy

Pony of the Year Kellythorpes Strikea-Pose

and British Breeding Futurity

Champion Larkhaven Half-a-Crown are

all examples of the quality and prowess

of ponies in the NPS Sport Category

studbook. The BRP Sport Category is an

exciting option for breeders wanting to

utilise performance blood into their pony

breeding programme.

NPS Premium Stallion Scheme 2021

The NPS Stud Book is pleased to be

launching a new premium scheme for

stallions in the 2021 season. The scheme

is free and accessible to any registered

and licensed BRP stallion owner and

is intended to recognise and reward

stallions consistently siring correct

progeny. To obtain a premium ranking,

a stallion will need to have sired 3

different animals who have won at a BRP

premium show in one season. To obtain

a Super Premium ranking, a stallion

will need to have obtained a premium

ranking for 3 years, not necessarily

concurrently. A Young Stallion Premium,

for stallions 8 years and under, siring 2

different animals who have won at a BRP

Premium Show in one season will also be



Main photo Romanno Spotless - Jasmine Punter Photography | Dressage photo Talponciau Last Symphony

Studbook - News

Sport Horse Breeding

of Great Britiain

Whilst it seemed last winter would

never end we have finally come

through to spring and can now look

forward to longer days though at the

time of writing not seemingly warmer.

Hopefully as restrictions are eased, we

can all begin to prepare for getting

out and about again with our horses.

Throughout lockdown SHB(GB) office

staff have been occupied with passport

registrations and are now getting

busier with horse registrations for the

anticipated if belated showing season.

Fingers crossed that we can all get

through the summer without further


Mixology - Nick Gill Photography

The Thoroughbred has long been the

mainstay of The Society albeit demand

faltered as specialised sport horse

breeding became more widespread.

The good news for those looking to

add speed, refinement and quality to

heavier and native type mares is that the

Thoroughbred is back. Where it has been

possible and working within guidelines,

we have since the beginning of the year,

graded five Thoroughbred stallions and

recently added Mixology, Langaller

Kings Manna and Oasis Boy to the

studbook. The eight-year-old former

winning racehorse Mixology standing

at End House Stud near Clitheroe in

Lancashire, is another by the successful

sire Cape Cross (Green

Desert-Ahonoora). He is out of

Margarita by Marju, a full sister to the

Group 1 winner Soviet Song. As a

two-year-old Irish-bred Mixology joined

Mark Johnson’s Yorkshire yard winning

eight races and 18 places during his time

there before relocating to Italy where in

2019 he won the listed Coppa D’Oro di

Milano. Contact Trudy Goulding at End

House Stud www.endhousestud.co.uk

As his name suggests four-year-old

Langaller Kings Manna was bred by

The Langaller Stud in Devon where he

Langaller Kings Manna

stands. He is by the successful National

Hunt sire Arvico (Pistolet

Bleu-Baillamont) out of Kingston Black

by the well-known event sire Shaab.


The most recent to pass and the youngest

of the trio is the three-year-old Oasis

Boy who impressed judges with his style

over a fence. By Brazen Beau (AUS)

he is out of Midnight Fantasy by Oasis

Dream and is now standing at Jane

Townshend’d Classictop Stud in Sussex.


If you would like to grade a stallion with

SHB(GB) then please contact Marian in

the office.


At the time of writing we are planning

and preparing for our summer

championship show which we hope

will be able to go ahead on July (7

& 8 July at Addington EC). There are

plenty of classes for all, mares and

youngstock in-hand as well as ridden

and working hunter classes all offering

great prizes and trophies to the winners

and champions. Download schedules

from the SHB(GB) website. We are also

setting out dates and venues for mare

grading and our popular conformation

clinics. We were unable to run any

last year so we look forward to being

able to go forward with these this year.

Conformation clinics present the ideal

opportunity to brush up on conformation

with listed judges in an informal

environment. Ideal for those hoping to

become judges. Please keep an eye on

the website and the Face Book page

for further dates and venues. If you are

willing to host either a mare grading

or organise a conformation clinic then

please contact the office.


8th May Bicton Arena: SHB(GB) South

West is running an in-hand and ridden

showing clinic, followed by a ridden and

in-hand show. Jayne Ross will be taking

the clinic starting at 10am. For more

information keep an eye on the Face

Book page, SHB(GB) South West, or

email, southwestshbgb@gmail.com

Sunday 30th & Monday 31st May

SHB(GB) Southern Regional Show,

Brook Farm EC, Stapleford Abbotts,

Romford, Essex RM4 1EJ

Showing classes including RIHS

Hunter qualifiers, SEIB Your Horse Live

qualifiers, plus unaffiliated Novice,

Amateur & Home Produced classes

for Hacks, Cobs, Riding Horses, Show,

Show Hunter & Intermediate Ponies.

Part-bred Ara b and Coloured classes.

Mare grading available on the Sunday





SHB(GB) Grading, Conformation

Clinic and Open Stud visit

Saturday May 15th Mare Grading

and Conformation Clinic

Sunday May 16th Open Day;

Stallion Viewing, Mares, foals and

cream teas. Open to all members

and non-members.

Times and charges on the website


Sunday May 30th, Brook Farm EC

Stapleford Abbotts, RM4 1EJ

Please download the SHB(GB) Mare

Grading Entry Form, available from the

website www.sporthorsegb.co.uk, under

“Downloads” and submit the completed

form, together with the entry fee of £65

to SHB(GB) office by 21st May 2021

Saturday May 15th Langaller Farm,

Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9JP

Tuesday June 22nd West Kington Stud,

nr Chippenham, Wilts SN14 7JE

Saturday June 26th Millbry Hill Stud,

Great Ayton, North Yorks, TS9 6QD

For Mare Grading info & booking

forms visit theSHB(GB) website. For

any questions then please contact our

stud book manager Marian Eydmann


T: 01732 866277

E: info@sporthorsegb.co.uk

W: www.sporthorsegb.co.uk


Studbook - News

Ada Marson riding Tullibards Clover - Photo John Cole

The Sports Pony Studbook Society

Team Work

Makes the

Dream Work

Yes, it’s a cliché – but from the smallest

team of just the pony/horse and rider

to the wider team of family, trainer,

farrier, vet (hopefully not too often!)

and more, all need to work together to

bring sports pony breeders’ dreams to

reality. The SPSS team prides itself on

working to support all SPSS passported,

graded or overstamped equines from

issuing pedigree passports through to

celebrating their success – and we are

delighted that, even though at the time

of writing the 2021 competition season

has only just been able to start, we are

already seeing SPSS ponies and their

riders out competing and achieving.

We’ve spotted 6 year old SPSS

passported SOS Stevie Pink (by SOS

Kantje’s Unicolor out of a part-bred

Connemara) getting placed in British

Showjumping classes with Megan Trott

who is giving him valuable experience

and hopes to have some fun times with

him this year with the short term goal

of jumping him in a Newcomer second

round or a JC Royal International

Hickstead qualifier. Their plan is that

Megan will produce Stevie in her time

left in juniors for her sister Kaitlin to then

take him on for a couple of years.

Out eventing with good results at the top

pony level, we’ve seen SPSS registered

Irish-bred Tullibards Clover & Ada

Marson win one of the first Pony Trials,

SPSS passported Miss Winifred Wilde

(by Up With The Lark) & Emily Worsdale

place 8th in the same class and SPSS

passported Just Paddington (by SPSS

Elite Laban out of a Welsh Sec C

mare) & Ada Marson finish on their

dressage score. Also that weekend,

SPSS passported Buzz Lightyear (by

Romulus) & Maisy Spratt were 6th in the

other Pony Trial. We’re very excited to

see how the rest of the Pony Trials go for

these (and other) combinations as they

pursue their dreams of Pony Euros Team


Miss Winifred Wilde

Image by Qorum Photos


Studbook - News

Buzz Lightyear (in the April snow!)

Image Qorum Photos

In the dressage arena, we’re delighted

that SPSS passported & graded and past

Pony Euros GB Team Pony LE Chiffre has

a new rider, 14 year old Libby Hart, who

has a popular Facebook page (Libby

Hart Dressage) which we can all follow

their progress on – and we can also get

a parental view of the pony dressage

scene through her father’s “Skint

Dressage Daddy” page! LE Chiffre is

by SPSS Elite graded Caesar 171, who

celebrated his 32nd birthday recently

and, with another two of his other

British-bred progeny (SPSS graded Ella

& SPSS registered George Clooney B.S.)

having also been to the Pony Euros with

previous riders, maybe Caesar’s owners

(and LE Chiffre’s breeders), Bev and

Samantha Brown, will see their dream of

a team of Caesar’s progeny representing

GB at the Pony Euros become reality….

Meanwhile, we’re very much hoping that

the proven, European Silver and Gold

Medal winning, combination of SPSS

passported Midnight (by Hilkens Black

Delight out of Broomwich Cassandra)

maintain that form and get selected for

the delayed Tokyo Paralympics which

are now scheduled for late August.

2021 Grading & Evaluation


Planning is now well underway for a

blended approach to SPSS Gradings

& Evaluation in 2021. We have once

again “teamed up” with the British

Breeding Futurity, so will be running full

in-person stallion & mare gradings at

ALL the Futurity events in late August

SOS Stevie Pink - Photo Dan Trott

(COVID restrictions & God willing!).

In addition, we will once again offer

online Mare eGradings over the summer

and virtual Stallion eAssessment is an

option throughout this year to allow

stallion owners, pony breeders and

SPSS members even greater flexibility.

SPSS Youngstock Evaluations will be

conducted, as for the previous two years,

alongside the British Breeding Futurity

evaluation series, again with the option

of virtual or in person assessments.

So now all we need are fair winds and

following seas! Look out for date/

venue announcements very soon on our

Facebook page - Sports Pony Studbook

Society (SPSS) and website.

NEW Special Offer for 2021

To encourage sports pony breeders to


for their foals, we are now able to offer

these at the absolutely incredible price

of JUST £95 including all DNA testing,

provided that at least one parent is SPSS

graded and the passport application

arrives at the Studbook Office by 1st

November in year of birth.

Tel: 07703 566066

Email: sportsponies@gmail.com



Studbook - News

The Trakehners Breeders Fraternity are

pleased to announce their annual mare

and stallion grading will be held this

year on Tuesday 24th August at Solihull

Riding Centre in the West Midlands.

We are working in partnership with The

National Stallion Association (NASTA)

who will be running their Performance

Tests over the same days.

Entries will open shortly but in the

meantime we ask all owners who are

interested in sending their mare or

stallion forward for grading to contact

the Show Organiser Sacha Shaw on

show-organiser@trakehners.uk.com or

message the Trakehners UK FaceBook

page so we can start to plan for the

expected numbers.

As usual we will be inviting a judge

from the Trakehner Verband to join our

British judges in assessing the mares

and stallions that come forward.

Prominent riders in the UK continue

to discover the quality the Trakehner

horse can offer them as their partners

in sport. International Grand Prix rider

Sonnar Murray-Brown already has a

tremendous partnership with his Latimer

gelding Erlentanz TSF and has now

added three new Trakehners to his


The 4 year old Samba by Millennium

, St.Pr.u.Pr.St. Herbstrot by All Inklusive

and the licensed stallion Sinatra by

Honoré du Soir have all arrived in

Gloucestershire and we are very

excited to follow their progress.

Although the competition season has

only just got underway within the last

week, Godington Stud have already

got some dressage wins under their

belts with licensed stallion Godington

Utah winning at Elementary and

Godington Ultimo at Novice.


Sonnar Murray-Brown und Erlentanz

Photo - www.jess-photography.co.uk


Avant Techno (UK) Ltd


The perfect little helper for any task



Studbook - News

Endurance Riding – Lumahla Gold ridden by Mary

Chowne – Photo Eric Jones

Arabian Stallions at the famous Crabbet Arabian

Stud in Sussex – Photo Crabbet Archives

death adventures. They made a plan

after a few weeks of arriving in Syria.

Originally, they were going in search of

descendants of the Darley Arabian but

their plans changed and they decided to

bring back Arabian horses to preserve

the blood and start a stud at Crabbet

Park, Worth, Sussex, England. In 1887

this plan became reality as the first

Arabians arrived at last.

When the Blunt’s daughter, Lady

Wentworth took over the stud, it

flourished. Horses were sold all over the

world, including the Americas, Russia,

Australia and South Africa. The Blunts

also had a stud in Cairo called Sheikh

Obeyd. They were very fortunate to be

able to purchase many horses from Ali

Pasha Sherif which were highly sought

after. The horses were bred to be ridden

and conformation and endurance were

important criteria. If the horses did not

breed to standard, they were sold on.

So, the Arabian horse is found

world-wide with lines from Crabbet,

Egypt, Russia, Spain and Poland. The

Polish Government studs played a huge

part in the Arabian breed and were

renowned for fine moving and beautiful

mares. The Russian State Studs also had

a huge influence in performance horses.

Egyptian Arabians trace back to the

Egyptian Agricultural Stud. Interestingly

the EAO purchased many of the horses

from the Blunts Sheikh Obeyd stud.

Bio-diversity in the Arabian Horse

By Caroline Sussex

The Arabian horse has a unique origin

and history. Not only is it one of the

founding breeds of the Thoroughbred

but it has its own history steeped in the

Middle East. It was the horse used in

gazu raids between the tribes of the

desert and the Arabian was renowned

for its speed and agility together with

endurance. The Arabian Horse is the

horse of the Middle East and it is from

there that the breed was purchased and

is now world renowned. A few Arabians

were imported to the UK in the 1700’s

and 1800’s.

However, it was a chance journey to the

Middle East by Lady Anne and Wilfrid

Scawen Blunt that the history of the

Arabian really took shape.

The Blunts were an intrepid and colourful

couple. Wilfrid with his impetuous

character and good looks got involved

with politics and Lady Anne with her

amazing mind, grand-daughter of Byron

and gentle nature had many talents

including being able to speak fluent

Arabic. Their journeys into the desert in

the 1800’s were fraught with life and

The UK Arab Horse Society was

formed in 1918 and the first President

was Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. The Society

started their own stud book to register

the Arabian Horse as the GSB, who had

been registering Arabians, closed this

section of their stud book to any new

horses. However, descendants of the

original entries were maintained in the

GSB until 1966. The Arab Horse Society

promotes the cross breeding of Arabians

into light horse breeding. Many famous

horses and ponies carry Arabian blood

to name just a few: Tamarillo, Rex the

Robber and Pretty Polly (the feature

article in the 28th March edition of

Horse and Hound).

In 1970, a group of Arabian enthusiasts

from around the world, including some

from the UK held a historic meeting in

London. Here the World Arabian Horse


Studbook - News

Organisation (WAHO) was founded.

Today, there are 82 countries affiliated

to WAHO as registering Authority

Members, either in their own right or in

the care of a neighbouring studbook

authority. WAHO is responsible for

ensuring that standards acceptable

to all Registering Authority Members

are established and maintained in

the matters of regulations, methods of

registration and production of Stud

Books. The basic objectives of WAHO


• To preserve, improve and maintain

the purity of the blood of horses of

the Arabian breed and to promote

public interest in the breeding of

Arabian horses;

• To promote and facilitate the

acquisition and distribution of the

knowledge in all Countries of the

history, care and treatment of horses

of the Arabian breed;

• To advise and co-ordinate the

policies and activities of Members

of the Organization;

• To co-operate with any person

or body of persons domiciled

throughout the world in an

endeavour to promote uniformity

in terminology, definitions and

procedures relative to the breed of

Arabian horses;

• To act in a consultative capacity

in discussion and negotiation with

International, National and other

authorities on matters concerning

horses of the Arabian breed.

At the historic 1970 meeting in London

Major Ian Hedley said something which

the Executive Committee of WAHO still

believe in to this day. He said the world

saw the Arabian horse in the beginning

as a war horse, but he hoped that it

would finally become an instrument of

peace and understanding.

All the members of WAHO Executive

have to be thanked for the tremendous

contribution they have made over the

years, as they worked together to turn

this hope into a reality, in the interest

of the Arabian horse. With its strong

commitment to protecting the integrity

of the world’s Arabian studbooks, to

education and to equine welfare issues

especially those which affect our breed,

WAHO’s achievements over the past

forty years have laid a solid foundation

on which to build for the future, as we

face the many challenges facing horse

breeders and owners everywhere,

and the scientific and communication

innovations that lie ahead.

WAHO Conferences are held around

the world bi-annually. Delegates and

Observers join together to listen to

exceptional talks and demonstrations.

They are able to see Arabian horses

in different countries and discuss and

debate issues affecting all Registries.

There is a Registrars meeting to kick

off the Conferences whilst Observers

may enjoy special guided tours of the

cities and areas before and after the

Conference Events.

The Arabian Mare, a true friend. Aliha and Emma

Maxwell – photo Sweet Photography

Following the very interesting webinars

from British Breeding, it seems that

worldwide organisations are now being

encouraged to help in the preservation

of breeds and to increase the gene pools

– for instance the Thoroughbreds and the

Cleveland Bays.

Perhaps Arabian breeders have

already more knowledge of what

can go wrong with science through

worldwide experience. There are

mandatory WAHO registration rules

which are written into every country’s

own registration rules together with some

recommendations which each country

can decide whether to adopt or not.

Votes are taken on whether to accept

these rules at the Conferences with each

country having 2 votes.

Prior to the use of AI, horses were sold

and transported around the world. AI

changed many things. First, popular

stallions were able to breed more

mares. Stallions of lower fertility were

also able to breed by AI. The number of

stallions available started to shrink and

the use of popular in hand show horses

focussed people’s attention around the

world, using similar popular bloodlines

in many countries. Before AI a distinct

difference of Arabian horse was found in

different countries depending on which

bloodlines were imported. Breeders

set up groups of horses, for instance,

Crabbet, Pure Egyptian, Polish and


Now most of these groups have bred

together so limiting outcrosses. The

result is a smaller, not larger gene pool.

The late Rosemary Archer, author and

breeder, constantly reminded people

that upsetting the equilibrium would

cause serious harm to the breed. Other

people also believe that the Arabian is

seen by many as a hot-blooded horse

which is not the case. Most Arabians

are the kindest, friendliest and smartest

horse there is. Once you have ridden

an Arabian, many are hooked for life.

They are your best friend and there for

you. As a family riding horse, they are

perfect, neither too big nor too small

and able to carry weight. So how do we

use this knowledge today? In the light of

the many interesting webinars that have

been held during lockdown, perhaps we

can learn a few things. The Arabian gene

pool is shrinking fast despite bloodlines

available in so many countries. In this

country, particularly, there are not many

people who are able to keep a stallion.

As a result, many good and talented

colts end up as geldings.

One scenario needs to be looked at.

Semen can be collected once a horse

is 3 years old. If people are able to

keep their colts entire until this age, then

these colts can be collected and their

semen frozen. This way more stallions

can be available and the gene pool

can be increased. I believe storing

frozen semen, is cheaper than owning a

stallion. The stallion can then be gelded

and take up a competition career. It is

more and more difficult getting help to

stand stallions at stud, having visiting

mares can be hard work especially with

vet’s visits and other issues. The cost of

sending a mare to an AI Centre is not so

high in comparison.

Sadly, it has been seen that accepting

new forms of science can start off as a

benefit to breeding but unfortunately

can then be abused. It has been seen

that AI and Embryo Transfer have two

downsides. With AI a stallion can

inseminate far more mares with one

collection and with embryo transfer in

some countries it is so normal that mares

are flushed numerous times and even

as maidens, and never have their own

foal. One Arabian registry in Europe

has 25% of its registered foals annually

by embryo transfer. We do not yet know

the full affect all this has on mares, but

some people are concerned about the

welfare of the donor mares. Science can

help but how far do we go?

With the new post Covid era beginning,

I believe the Arabian and its derivative

can give a rider the wonderful feeling of

freedom and fun. Whatever equestrian

sport you want to do, the Arabian can

compete in or riders can just enjoy this

beautiful country of ours riding a horse.

However, we need to secure the future of

this gracious breed or it may be lost and

it will also be on the critical list.












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Features - Nasta

Inside NaStA

by Victoria von Wachter

The National Stallion Association

(NaStA) was formed in 1981 to maintain

and improve stallion approval standards

when Ministry of Agriculture Stallion

Licensing was abolished by repealing

parts of the 1958 Horse Breeding Act.

The Association sets a minimum standard

of stallion vetting to which all its member

societies adhere, and since 1991 has

organised a Stallion Performance Test

open to all breeds. Since that time over

150 candidates - stallions, mares and

breeding geldings - from 20 breeds

have been forward for the Test

The system operates through a process

of qualification at home during the

spring and summer with candidates only

being allowed forward for the Final

Days in August having completed three

qualification certificates indicating a

sufficient standard in dressage, show

jumping and XC jumping. Qualification

certificates are endorsed by BHSIs or

any rider/competitor with senior level

international experience.

The Final Days run over two days to

allow younger horses to conserve

energy; they are not equivalent to a ODE

– they are more demanding comprising

eight phases consisting of assessment of:

• Flat work

• Judge’s ridden work

• Free jumping

• Show jumping

• Paces

• Cross Country

• Gallop

• Ending with veterinary inspections

Full detail of the phases can be found on

the NaStA website.

The marking system is comprehensive

and creates a final result designated

Class 3 (70 – 99) Class 2 (100 – 119)

Class 1 (120 – 139) and Class 1Elite

(140+) from a total possible mark of


The test is primarily intended for young

stallions so handicaps are made for

horses over 5 years old. Having said this

the list is full of older stallions who have

performed extremely well even with

the score reductions. Further analyses

of the scores produce indices for

dressage, jumping and rideability. These

are extremely useful for mare owners

seeking stallions particularly talented in

a particular area.


Features - Nasta

This year we move to a new venue at Solihull Riding Club

which we hope will prove to be as long term as our previous

excellent site, Milton Keynes. This year our assessors will be

Martyne Galland (BD List 3), Pauline Ricketts (BS) and Tom

Rowlands (CCI). Our VS as always will be Jane Nixon.

On preparation it is very important to note that you cannot

drag your stallion out of the field, find an obliging International

to sign off your qualification certificates a couple of weeks

before the Final Days and then turn up and expect to do well.

Final Days are not a competition that can be entered again –

candidates only get one ‘go’ at it.

With Britain having left the EU our domestic Performance

Test is of growing importance and we hope that numbers will

continue to increase.

We look forward to welcoming participants and spectators

on 24 and 25 August at Solihull Riding Club. Keep an eye

on our FB page for more specific detail of timings. Interested

owners should visit the NaStA website to learn more about the

test. Telephone assistance is also available from the NaStA

Secretary or the Performance Test Director on

telephone 01869 277562.

The 2021 Performance Test Qualification window

is now open. Final Days set for 24/25 August at

Solihull Riding Club, Bentley Heath, Solihull B93 8QE.

All breeds of horse and pony stallions and mares

and – since 2016 – breeding geldings are eligible.

Entries close 1 August.

Stallion Owners – let your young stallion join the

ranks of such stars as Catherston Decipher,

Godington Hannibal and All That Jazz.

If you want to promote your young stallion as a

competition sire then the NASTA Performance Test

is a must. Also useful for the older stallion who

has not had a chance to compete.

For full details call 01869 277562 or see


Studbook - News


Features - Foaling the Mare


for foaling

By Dr Jonathan Pycock


Following on from the popular

webinars held recently in association

with Twemlows Stud, Dr Jonathan

Pycock shares his notes on preparing

for foaling to provide breeders with

some guidance and to hopefully

ensure the foaling goes as smoothly as


Mares should be well cared for during

pregnancy to ensure the birth of a

normal, healthy foal. This includes:

(1) Adequate but not excessive


(2) Proper parasite control.

(3) Vaccinating the mare 1 month

before foaling to ensure that

her colostrum has the necessary

antibodies. Vaccination of the

pregnant mare has the dual purpose of

protecting the dam and also the foal.

(4) Moving the mare into the

environment where she is going to

foal 6 weeks before she is due, so

that the mare can get used to her new

environment and the handling

procedures. It will also ensure that her

colostrum will contain the protective

antibodies against infections there.

Ideally mares should foal in special

housing called a foaling box. The

foaling box should be at least 4 x

4m for an average 500-kg mare

and be well-ventilated but free from

draughts. Bedding should be dust-free,

preferably comprising plenty of highquality


Monitoring the mare for


A mare should be observed closely

late in pregnancy. Physical changes

indicating impending delivery include:

(1) Development of the udder or

mammary gland. There is an increase

in the size of the mammary gland in

the last month of pregnancy and this is

particularly noticeable in the 2 weeks

before birth. Once this increase is

noted, the mare should be moved to a

foaling box where she can be watched

easily during the night.

(2) Relaxation of the pelvic ligaments.

(3) Lengthening of the vulva.

(4) Just before foaling the udder

typically becomes very swollen and

there is a waxy secretion noticeable on

the teat ends. This is known as ‘waxing’

and is usually a sign that foaling will

be within 1–4 days. Sometimes milk

can run from the udder ahead of

foaling and lose the colostrum.

Such foals can be at risk from not

getting enough colostrum and must be

given extra care in the first few days

after foaling.


The best approach to managing a

foaling mare is to watch her very closely

but without disturbing her. Having an

experienced attendant watching the

mare and assisting if necessary is the

best way of reducing the risk of problems

at foaling. However, mares vary

tremendously in the signs of impending

foaling that they actually show, hence it

is possible to waste much time waiting

for a mare to foal. To avoid this, options


(1) Measuring the electrolyte

concentrations in prefoaling udder

secretions using kits that are available

commercially. These kits measure

electrolyte levels in a sample of udder

secretion. When the amount of calcium in

the milk increases above a certain level,

over 95% of mares will foal within 72h.

(2) Foaling alarm systems, such as a

small transmitter lightly stitched to the

mare’s vulva. When she pushes the

fetal membranes through the vulva

at the beginning of foaling, a pin in

the transmitter is pushed out. This then

sets an alarm off, which activates the

attendant’s pager. The disadvantage is

that the alarm only alerts you once the

mare starts to deliver, so you need to be


(3) Foaling alarm systems that strap

around the whole mare and sound an

alarm if or when she sweats during

delivery. The disadvantage of this is that

if the mare does not sweat it does not go

off. Closed-circuit TV is also commonly

used. Because parturition is very rapid

in mares, it is important to monitor them

very closely.

Nursing/management checks

before foaling - It is important to

check if the vulva has been stitched

(Caslick’s operation). If she has been

‘stitched’ it is important to ‘open’ the

vulva before foaling. It is not enough

just to remove the stitches that were put

in when the mare was ‘Caslicked’, and

in any case these should have been

removed 2 weeks after the procedure.

The stitched area must be cut open

before the foal emerges. If this is not

done, at best the tissue of that area will

tear and bruise severely, making future

repair difficult; at worst, the foal will

suffocate. It is also an important hygiene

measure to wash and dry the mare’s



Parturition is the term used to describe

the expul-sion of the fetus (and its

membranes) from the uterus through the

maternal passages by natural forces.

The most important initiating factor for

parturition is the maturation of the fetal

hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis.

The production of cortisol from the fetal

adrenal gland may be the ultimate

trigger of the process of parturition.

This increase in cortisol indicates the

foal’s ‘readiness for birth’. Oxytocin is

the hormone produced by the dam and

plays a key role in all stages of labour.

In the mare oxytocin release can be

blocked by external stimuli, which allows

the mare, at least temporarily, to resist

the fetal signals for birth, e.g. if she is

disturbed. The act of parturition is a

continuous process but it is customary

to divide it into three stages, as in other


First Stage - This lasts for 1–4h

and begins with the onset of uterine

contractions. The changes are not visible

externally but they prepare the birth

canal and fetus for expulsion. During this

stage the muscles of the uterus begin to

contract and push the fetus against the

cervix. This helps the cervix to dilate. The

foal begins to move of its own accord,

rotating itself and extending the front legs

and head. The increasing myometrial

activity, together with spontaneous fetal

movements, will result in rotation of the

cranial part of the fetal body into a

dorsosacral position. The front legs and

head are extended. These processes

usually result in discomfort in the mare

and the following signs:

• Becoming restless and exhibiting

colic-like signs (looking at flanks, tail

switching, frequently getting up and


• Exhibiting patchy sweating (flanks,

neck, behind elbows).

• Yawning.

• When the cervix is fully dilated

the allantoic membrane ruptures

and several litres of allantoic fluid

escape from the genital tract. This

is popularly called ‘the waters

breaking’ and indicates the end of

the first stage.

As the mare approaches the end of the

first stage of labour her tail should be

bandaged and her vulval area cleaned

and dried. Mares do not normally strain

during the first stage of parturition.

Second Stage - The onset of the

second stage occurs abruptly and

commences with the onset of forcible

abdominal straining and/or the

appearance of the amnion. These

two features usually occur almost

Features - Foaling the Mare

simultaneously. During stage two, actual

delivery of the foal takes place. The

mare usually lies down and goes into

lateral recumbency until the foal is born.

The outer red membrane ruptures and

the amnion (transparent bluish-white

membrane) is quickly visible at the vulva

and fluid and a fetal foot should be

visible. Straining occurs regularly and

both front feet should soon appear. As

the amnion emerges at the vulva, one

foreleg is in front of the other by some

10cm. Shortly the nose should appear

also. The greatest effort is associated

with delivering the head, with the

passage of the chest and hips usually

occurring relatively easily. As the head

and shoulders pass through the pelvis,

the amnion should rupture. If necessary,

the mare can be assisted by gentle

pulling on the foal’s front legs.

The foal has a relatively long umbilical

cord, which is still intact after delivery.

When possible, the cord should be

left intact for a few minutes to help

the circulation of the newborn foal.

Care should be taken not to disturb

the mare at this stage or she may rise

and rupture the cord. The cord usually

ruptures at a predetermined place

due to movements of the mare and/

or foal several minutes (up to 15min)

after birth. Once the umbilical cord has

ruptured, the stump should be checked

for haemorrhage and disinfected with

dilute chlorhexidine. This disinfection of

the navel needs to be repeated several

times during the first few days of life. If

the mare is still lying down, the foal can

be moved towards the mare’s head to try

to reduce the chance of the foal being

stood on when the mare attempts to get

up. All disturbances should be kept to a

minimum during this stage. The second

stage of labour usually occurs at night;

the average duration is about 15min and

normally it should not exceed 1h.

Third stage - This involves passage

of the fetal membranes, often termed

‘delivery of the afterbirth’, and

usually occurs within 1h on average

and should not take more than 2h.

Continuing myometrial activity plays

an important role during this process.

There is controversy with respect to the

time interval for placental expulsion.

Recognition of the precise time at which

the process has become pathological if

the membranes have not been passed

is difficult.The placenta initially should

be tied up so that it hangs just above

the hocks. This should avoid it being

stepped on before it is passed. If the

placenta is not passed within 3h, the vet

should be contacted. The uterus contracts

very quickly after foaling and this

process carries on for several days until

the uterus is almost as small as it was

before the mare became pregnant. This

process of becoming smaller is known as





- E S T 1 9 5 1 -



• Oocyte collection (OPU) for ICSI



Providing a routine and emergency

service 24/7 throughout the season.

• Embryo transfer

• Transfer of frozen embryo’s into recipients

• BEVA accredited practice for AI - fresh, chilled & frozen

• Competitive vet packages

• Mares boarded at the hospital

• Subfertility investigations of mares and stallions

• Semen collection, analysing and processing






• Full hospital back-up

• HBLB accredited on-site laboratory

• Foetal sexing

• Twin management

• Oviductal infertility treatment

• Specialist reproductive surgical procedures

• Foal intensive care unit run by a European

Specialist in Internal Medicine

For further information, please contact us at:





01903 883050

Facebook: Sussex Equine Hospital

Billingshurst Road, Ashington, West Sussex RH20 3BB



Breeder Spotlight - Breen Equestrian

Shane Breen & Can Ya Makan

Photo Nigel Goddard

Breen Equestrian

By Victoria Goff

Talk about getting off to a good start.

Back when showjumper Shane Breen

was based in his native County

Tipperary, he invested in some

broodmares with his cousin John Griffin,

and one of the first foals he bred was

Cos I Can (Olympic Lux x Carel View

Lass). “He ended up being a wonderful

horse to me,” says Shane. “By eight he

was jumping in five-star Grands Prix,

and at 10 he jumped double clear at

Hickstead to win the Nations Cup.”

Shane’s passion for sport horse breeding

has only increased in the two decades

then, and he has recently expanded

his business with the opening of Pook

Bourne Stud, sited just across the A23

from his Hickstead base. Originally just

green fields, Shane and his wife Chloe

have spent the winter having it

transformed into a state-of-the-art

breeding facility, including stabling for

up to 85 horses, a 50x25m barn with

eight large youngstock pens, and a

purpose-built AI lab. Starting the place

from a blank canvas has allowed them to

design it specifically for the stud’s needs,

and the finishing touches are being put

in place just as the busiest period of the

season gets underway.

Shane married Chloe (nee Bunn) in

2007, and together they have built Breen

Equestrian into a huge showjumping

operation. They have continued to

develop the breeding side of the

business both here in the UK and in

Shane’s native Ireland, with some mares

based with John Griffin and others kept

with one of Shane’s friends and owners,

Konstantin Pysarenko in the Ukraine. In

total, they’re aiming for around 30 foals

each year, with around half of those due

to be born at Pook Bourne Stud.

Originally the breeding side of the

business was run at Hickstead

alongside the competition yard, but with

the sheer number of horses it made sense

to separate the two. It has had benefits

for the stallions, says Shane, who

understand they have a job to do at

each site. “Keeping it separate means

the stallions can be based at Hickstead

for work, but go over to Pook Bourne

Stud for collection. They have different

grooms for each job, so the person who

handles them during their collection is

not the person who looks after them

at shows. They go in a two-horse truck

to the stud, but go to shows in a large

horsebox so they can identify when

they’re travelling for business or

pleasure! It makes it much easier for

myself to ride them, and for the grooms

to look after them.”

Breen Equestrian has become renowned

for turning out top class riders as well

as horses, with many top showjumpers

including David Simpson, Michael Duffy

and Jack Ryan working for the team

before setting up on their own. Another

alumnus is Greg Le Gear, who worked

for them as a rider before changing

focus and taking on the role of Stud

Manager. “Greg looks after the

breeding side of the business, he was

always very interested in breeding and

AI, so it’s worked out really well,” says

Shane. “He does an excellent job and

has a good understanding of the

stallions and how to market them. He

rode some of our top stallions as

youngsters, so he knows them inside



Breeder Spotlight - Breen Equestrian

Mares at Breen’s new Pook Bourne Stud

Photo Ellie Birch/Boots and Hooves Photography

Greg is a qualified AI technician and

does the on-site collection, working

alongside vet Ed Lyall from the Sussex

Equine Hospital, which has a specialist

reproductive team; while Stallion

AI Services handle the storage and

distribution of the frozen semen. Le

Gear also helps Shane and Chloe with

choosing which mare will go to which

stallion. “It’s a fascinating process,

seeing the resulting youngstock in the

field, noticing their characteristics come

out,” adds Shane.

He hopes the rise of technology in

breeding, plus easier access to the

best stallions, is going to lead to further

improvement in British breeding.

“Currently there isn’t as much breeding

here compared to Ireland, even though

there’s lot of good mares in the UK.

But I think this is changing – these

days it’s easy to do embryo transfer,

there are some great stallions on the

market and frozen semen is available

worldwide, which gives people a greater

opportunity to use the best stallions.”

Pook Bourne Stud currently stands 10

sires, of whom the flagship stallion is

the prolific Grand Prix winner Golden

Hawk (Vigo D Arsouilles x Ta Belle Van

Sombeke). The three-part brother to the

aptly-named 2012 Olympic star London,


Shane Breen & Golden Hawk - Photo by Nigel Goddard

Breeder Spotlight - Breen Equestrian

“He is an absolute

pleasure to ride and

look after, with a

great temperament.

He throws a lovely

type with great

attitude, great

balance and lovely


Says Shane

Z7 Can Ya Makan (Canturo x Aroma) is

another stallion familiar to anyone who

follows Shane’s career in the ring, with

wins at five-star level and victories in

both the Hamburg and Hickstead Derby

Trials, showing his scope and versatility.

The 11-year-old Clyde VA (Caretino II x

Valentina VA) is a rising star in the ring,

having already clocked up a win in the

Olympia Masters. “We have started

using him as a stallion more from this

year so his offspring are few on the

ground but are very nice,” Shane adds.

The grey Colmar (Colestus x Piritta) is

a grandson of Cornet Obolensky, and

has a lot of his traits. “He has a beautiful

technique, he’s scopey and very careful.

His progeny have a lot of blood and

tend to be great movers, so lots of

eventers have taken a shine to Colmar.”

The younger sires include Cuick Star

Kervec, Z7 Regal Don, BE Reverent, Z7

Dubai Castlefield and KWPN champion

Lucky Luck, while stalwart Z7 Accorad

3 is still going strong at the age of 20.

Shane is fortunate to have a strong

line-up of proven competition stallions,

but he also spends a lot of time

considering which mares to use.

“Someone who was influential to me at

the start was Don Hadden, who has bred

a lot of top racehorses, show horses and

showjumpers, as well as pedigree cattle.

His philosophy was you need to look

back through several generations of a

family, on both sides. So now I not only

consider the mare’s breeding, but also

her mother’s and grand-dam’s. If I have

a top competition mare, I might use her

sister or half-sister – she could produce

really good foals even if she hasn’t been

particularly successful in the ring. We’ll

take embryos from the top mares who

are out competing at Grand Prix levels,

and perhaps take an embryo from some

of their three- to four-year-old daughters

who are showing potential too. We’re

lucky that we have some superb

broodmares who have competed at

Clyde VA - Photo Ahmedd Photography

Shane Breen & Golden Hawk

1.60m Grand Prix level, and aside from

a few rising stars all of our broodmare

herd have competed at 1.40m level and


I would always put more emphasis on

the mare, as I think they bring that little

bit more to the table,”

he adds.

Like every breeder, Shane wants to

produce future medal winners – and

with his current crop of young horses, he

might be on track to achieving that goal.


“I have some young ones

who, if they get produced the

right way, have every chance

of reaching the top,” he says.

“But equally as a breeder I

love it when people tell me

they’re delighted with the

foal their mare has produced,

or when a young horse

I’ve sold has a successful

competition career and has

made someone really happy.

That excites me just as much.”


10 Years of

Promoting British

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The Oaklands, Oakham Road, Somerby

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01664 454 929

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Stallions | Breeding | Research



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Tel: 07966507205/07968695082

Loundfield Farm, Lound, Nottinghamshire, DN22 8RW

Feature Article - DNA

DNA-Testing in Breeding

Unlocking the Potential

In recent years, DNA profiling has

become an increasingly integral part of

equine breeding, as many studbooks

now require testing for parentage

verification as part of their registration

process. However, parentage

verification is only a very small part of

what DNA testing has to offer, and a

fresh look at opportunities is needed

to unlock its considerable potential for

supporting equine health and welfare,

and for improving breeding decisions for

the future.

How does it work?

Parentage Verification using STR Markers

The genetic code of an individual equine

is a unique combination of genetic

information from the dam and the sire.

There are certain parts of the equine

genome that are highly variable, and

that can therefore be used as “genetic

markers”. The way they are put together

is characteristic for the individual equine.

For the purpose of parentage testing,

information on this relatively low number

of genetic markers is therefore enough to

either confirm or reject a supposed dam

and sire for a given horse. These are

known as Microsatellite markers, also

often referred to as STRs (short tandem

repeats), and are a specific type of large

genetic marker currently used for routine

parentage testing. Because of high

variation (many possible appearances

or different alleles) and accordingly

high information content of each single

marker, approximately twenty STRs or

even fewer are usually enough to check

whether or not an indicated parentage

of an individual can be confirmed.

These types of tests are what most

studbooks in the UK are using at the

moment, usually with a profile of 17

markers. However, while this type of

STR allele data can reliably be used for

parentage testing, that it all such a test

can deliver.

SNP Testing and Genomics

It might be useful to think of an

individual horse or pony’s genetic profile

as a book, in which the STR’s are the

chapter headings. If you want to drill

down to read the words and sentences

that make up these chapters, you need

a more detailed kind of testing, using

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

These are the smallest possible type

of genetic markers, looking at single

positions in the genome. This allows SNP

allele data to be used for a much wider

range of purposes, as tests can provide

information on large numbers of SNPs -

in the order of thousands to

ten-thousands – which provides us with

a much more detailed understanding of

an equine’s genetic make-up. We can

then start to analyse this data and

compare it to the physical equines in

front of us (what we call their “

phenotype”) to identify patterns, spot

potential problems, but also identify

genes that are linked to attributes we

actively desire in our horses and ponies.

What is the Potential?

Disease Control and Genetic


Diagnostic testing for known genetic

conditions has been part of equine

breeding for a long time. It is

particularly useful in detecting recessive

genetic mutations, which can be carried

without expressing themselves physically,

unless one – unwittingly – crosses two


Feature Article - DNA

carriers, which brings a 25% chance of

breeding an affected foal. These tests

look for a specific single gene that is

responsible for the problem. Recently,

Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome

(WFFS) has received much attention

in the press. It is caused by a mutation

in the gene responsible for collagen

biosynthesis. WFFS causes lesions and

malformations of the skin in neonatal

foals, who are unable to survive. To find

this mutation, testing needs to drill down

to SNP level. It will not show up in the

STR parentage tests currently performed

as part of equine passporting.

While diagnostic tests are reliable in

testing for an individual disease, by

telling us if a horse or pony is or is not a

carrier of a particular mutation, it is quite

cumbersome, and expensive, to have to

run individual additional tests for each

possibly relevant genetic mutation that

could affect our breeding programmes.

SNP profiles – depending on their

design – can, on the other hand, show

tens of thousands of pieces of

information at once, thus providing

parentage verification and all this

additional information in one test.

The potential of SNP profiles goes

further. Not only can they be used for

showing up known conditions, but they

could also help us identify further

correlations between genetics and

known problems that can affect a breed

in future by allowing us to identify

patterns between the occurrence of the

problem and commonalities and

differences in SNP profiles of affected

and not affected animals.

Experienced breeders already know,

for example, that laminitis and EMS

seem to be running in particular families,

with some ponies affected, when others

develop no issues, with the same

management. Studies are already

underway to help us identify which

genes may be responsible for a

predisposition for this problem, but much

more work, and much more SNP data,

is needed. The potential for welfare

improvement is obvious: if we know

that a pony is genetically more likely to

contract laminitis, we can prevent the

problem occurring through management.

One word of caution: While the potential

of this is very exciting, we need to be

very careful about how we use the

information it provides. For a start, in

diseases like laminitis, the genetic

component is always going to be only

one of a range of factors. There is a

danger that owners and keepers would

think themselves “safe” from laminitis if

their pony tested free from the genetic

component, and as a result take their eye

off the ball. Secondly, we may

experience unintended consequences,

such as a narrowing of the gene pool, if

certain, otherwise valuable lines, are less

likely to be used due to an

association with laminitis. Quite often,

problems occur because we unwittingly

selected for them over the centuries,

because they were also associated with

desirable attributes.

What this tells us that while DNA testing

and genomic selections can be powerful

tools in battling disease and improving

welfare, we need to use them

responsibly and ensure breeders and

owners are well informed about their

potential, but also about their limitations.

Selection for Desirable Attributes

While the benefit of screening against

potential diseases and conditions is

obvious, we can also think about

Genetic Analysis in terms of

specifically selecting for positive

attributes. This can be achieved by

comparing our physical observations of

equines (their “phenotypes”) with their

SNP profiles, and again by looking for

patterns and correlations.

In horseracing this has famously already

been achieved in the identification of the

“speed gene” Myostatin. Admittedly,

racing is a sport in which success can

easily attributed to quite a narrow range

of factors (speed, distance), whereas

other equestrian sports have a more

complex range of requirements.


Feature Article - DNA

Nevertheless, the potential for breeders

looking for specific attributes from a

mating is considerable by adding more


In this country especially, we are still in

the very early stages of unlocking the

potential of genomic selection in

breeding. To start with, breeding

programmes driven by genomics need

a large amount of data, not only in the

form of detailed SNP profiles, but also

in the form of reliable data on physical

attributes that these profiles can be

related to. In horseracing, this is

relatively simple. Racehorses perform

already at a very young age, the

measurements of performance are very

easy to standardise and therefore

compare (speed over set distances), and

it is a very large sport with thousands of

animals, providing a large volume of

data relatively quickly. In showing,

driving, leisure or in the Olympic

Disciplines, the story is a bit more


The number of successful equines in

some of these areas is far smaller than

in racing. For reliable studies of genetic

correlations, however, we need as much

data as possible. Secondly, in some

disciplines it can take a long time for

equines to reach the top of their sport,

slowing down potential studies quite


Thirdly, performance data is perhaps not

as reliable as it seems. Environmental

factors no doubt play a hugely important

role, and increasingly, so the older the

horse or pony is. Sometimes

performance is down to sheer luck, in

terms of a horse or pony finding the

right owner or rider at the right time.

Performance data might not always

be objective. While in horseracing and

showjumping, the goal is very easily

defined, in others, such as showing, or

dressage, the human eye and subjective

likes and dislikes may be more important

and more difficult to quantify objectively.

But, above all, our equestrian sports and

activities are complex, and rely on the

interplay of a wide range of attributes.

Just as it is important to “drill down”

in terms of SNP profiling, perhaps we

equally need to look more specifically at

individual, specific traits that as

experienced breeders we know to be

associated with the performance

attributes we want.

In the right hands, and

with the right systems

and infrastructure to

support, however, the

potential of SNP

profiling is very

exciting, and far

exceeds the current,

rather limited,

approaches focusing

merely on parentage


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Feature Article - PSSM2

PSSM2 - Muscle

disease may

explain ‘difficult’


Have you ever owned or ridden a

warmblood horse that turned “difficult”

or “sour”, perhaps so much so, that he

or she became practically unrideable?

Perhaps you even had a diagnosis that

the horse had “tied up”, but apart from

that, no x-rays, flexion tests, nerve blocks

or other investigations revealed any

obvious issues that would explain the


Chances are, your horse was not being

“difficult”. He or she was in severe pain,

caused by a condition now labelled

PSSM2 (PolySaccharide Storage

Myopathy). PSSM2 has caused some

controversy in recent months, following

heartbreaking social media posts by the

rider Sofie Pedersen whose story about

her mare TwinHors Don’a Ballerina (by

Blue Hors Don Olymbrio) was

promptly picked up by the Danish

Magazine Ridehesten.

The condition typically shows up

between the ages of 7-10, with horses

showing no signs of any issues prior

to that and often enjoying a successful

start to their ridden career up to that

point. There is no cure, although careful

management can alleviate some of the

symptoms to a degree.

Recent reporting suggests that PSSM2

is not only a genetic condition that can

be identified by DNA test, but that it

is a semi-dominant trait, which means

that even if you cross a carrier with a

non-carrier, the offspring will carry the

gene and has a strong chance of being

affected later on in life.

The stakes are, of course, high: IF PSSM2

is caused by a semi-dominant genetic

trait identifiable by DNA test, then the

obvious conclusion is that all breeding

stock needs to be tested, and carriers

need to be eliminated from our breeding


However, it is not yet proven that the

DNA test is really a reliable means of

identifying the condition, and an article

by a research group led by Dr

Steaphanie Valberg of Michigan

University published in BEVA’s Equine

Veterinary Journal in September 2020

concludes that the current DNA tests

‘cannot [be] recommend[ed] […] for

selection and breeding, prepurchase

examination or diagnosis of a


The Background and Diagnosis

In the 1990s, Dr Valberg identified the

muscle disease PSSM1 and the

associated gene. Horses with PSSM1

suffer from an abnormal amount of

glycogen build up in the muscle tissue,

leading to severe laminitis. PSSM1

cannot be cured, but controlled by a low

sugar diet, and can be passed on to the

next generation via the discovered gene.

During Dr Valberg’s study, there were

also horses with similar symptoms

and abnormal sugar accumulation in

the muscles, which did not carry the

abnormal PSSM1 gene. To designate

and distinguish this group from horses

with PSSM1, the umbrella term PSSM2

was introduced. Symptoms attributed to

PSSM2 are: poor muscle build or even

muscle atrophy, drifting gait, difficulty

with canter, unclear lameness,

acidification, high muscle tension,

laminitis and an overload of the liver.

PSSM2 therefore appears to encompass

multiple conditions and variants, all

related to the breakdown of muscle


Up to now, the most reliable diagnosis

of the condition has been available via

muscle biopsy, used to determine sugar

accumulation in the muscle tissue.

However, as multiple biological

processes are involved in the diseases

that fall under PSSM2, the outward

manifestations of PSSM2 are the result

of various diseases. Not all horses with

PSSM-like symptoms show glycogen

accumulation in their muscle biopsies.

Those who do not are more likely to have

a condition called Myofibrillar

myopathy (MFM). Its symptoms are

similar to PSSM2, but MFM is not related

to sugar metabolism and does not lead

to visible glycogen overload.

A Genetic Condition?

The potential advantages of diagnosis

via DNA test would be not only that they

are a lot cheaper and less invasive than

muscle biopsies. They would also be

able to pick up the condition much

earlier, before it became symptomatic,

and could inform pre-purchase

veterinary exams, and even assist in

eliminating the disease through

screening of broodmares and stallions.

The US based company EquiSeq

developed hair tests for gene mutations

in recent years that they say represent

different variants of PSSM2. Tests are


Feature Article - PSSM2

available for the variants P2, P3, P4 and

Px, which occur in riding horse breeds,

and for P8 (Arabian thoroughbreds) and

K1 (Icelanders). The German Generatio

has the rights for these tests in Europe.

However, questions still loom large

about the reliability of these tests. Dr

Valberg’s small scale study in Equine

Veterinary Journal found no

relationship between muscle biopsies

showing glycogen accumulation and the

various mutations found.

The challenge remains that PSSM2 is

a multifactorial disorder, with several

genes involved and management also

playing a role in the expression of the

genes. To determine reliably which piece

of DNA is responsible, further

investigations are necessary.

A Genetic Condition?

The University of Minnesota has started

a long-term study into muscle diseases

in horses, aided by videos, photos and

questionnaires about management and

ration, as well as DNA tests. The plan

is to examine 3,000 samples using the

PSSM2 variants identified by EquiSeq,

as well as looking for the known DNA

markers for PSSM1 and the muscle

diseases HYPP, MH, IMM and GBED.

The research also aims to identify the

best diet and exercise regime for

affected horses.

Entrants may also submit videos and hair

of an unsuspected control horse, of the

same breed, approximately the same

age and kept at the same location. In this

way, the researchers hope to be able to

say more about the relationship between

the genetic variants of PSSM2 and

the symptoms. Kendall Blanchard who

leads the research project recently told

the Dutch publication De Paardenkrant:

“When it is said on the wrong grounds

that certain genes cause a disease and

commercial tests are sold that have not

been sufficiently validated, this can have

major consequences. It can lead to

misdiagnoses and prognoses, incorrect

treatment and management of sick animals

and poor breeding decisions. […]

Adjusting management early can make

a big difference in muscle myopathies. In

any case, have your horse tested on the

validated variants. Muscle diseases are

extremely limiting and painful for most


At the end of March, the International

Association of Future Horse Breeding

(IAFH) announced that several German

studbooks are going to collaborate

with the commercial Generatio GmbH

to allow for a large-scale study. The

studbooks are making their genome data

available to test a large

population of riding horses and

determine how often the mutations occur

in the general population.

Generatio representative Melissa Cox

told De Paardenkrant: “We work with

horse owners and veterinarians to keep

an eye on horses that have certain

variants, but do not show any symptoms.

The differences between individual

horses are very large. Some become

very ill, while others show little or no

symptoms. We want to know how horses

that perform at top sport level, but do

carry one of the mutations, are

managed. It seems that sometimes it

goes well for a long time with a high

protein diet and very regular training, but

that these horses suddenly start showing

symptoms after retirement or after an

injury that changes nutrition and

exercise. Vets tell us that correctly built

horses appear to be less sensitive,

probably because a good conformation

requires less muscle. What you should

keep in mind is that mild symptoms such

as difficulties in muscle development or

a lot of tension, are not always seen, or

are dismissed as temperament issues.”

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confident that you are taking all possible steps to ensure you

don’t introduce disease, or allow it to spread within your yard.

Good biosecurity practices on your part also contribute to the

protection of the equine population as a whole, helping to

prevent outbreaks of disease such as EHV.

Spring is well and truly here and if you haven’t started already,

now is the time to drag out those rubber mats, dust off the

jet-wash and fish out the paint brushes.

It’s fairly standard practice to give the yard a decent clean and

a fresh lick of paint once a year, but there are a couple of easy

steps you can take to maximise those spring cleans:

• Look at the ceiling. Perhaps you occasionally tackle

the cobwebs, but mould (Aspergillus) tends to grow

in damp areas and can often be found on the

ceiling. Extend your jet-washing to the ceiling and

your horses will thank you for it – Aspergillus can

be directly linked to Equine Asthma and poor


• In between jet-washing and painting, disinfect the

whole yard (walls, floors, mats, stable bars,

drinkers, etc). Using a sprayer, this is a quick step

and ensures you’ve eliminated any harmful

micro-organisms from the environment before you


AD-breeding-stableshield-90x134-FINAL-V1.pdf 1 26/03/21 12:35

• Use antibacterial paint. This is becoming more

common practice, as it provides an active barrier

against the growth or spread of micro-organisms,

therefore helping to protect horses where they

spend the most of their time.

Let’s talk about biosecurity

Whether you have a professional yard or a small

home-breeding set-up, a thorough spring-clean is a great start,

but sensible year-round biosecurity practices can help minimise

the risk of diseases such as Ringworm, Strangles and Influenza,

not to mention the ever-present threat of EHV.

Home Environment: Biosecurity should start with regular

disinfection, particularly before and after foaling or when

moving horses to new stables. Some paints can withstand

jet-washing and this is an effective preventative measure, as

even where anti-bacterial paint has been used, dirt on walls

can harbour pathogens.

New Arrivals: Check all vaccinations are up to date, test for

strangles and obtain a faecal egg count prior to arrival. Whilst

not always possible, new horses should ideally be isolated for a

minimum of two weeks.

Travelling: Avoid shared troughs and grazing areas where

possible and if you do need to share tack or equipment, ensure

you disinfect thoroughly. You can also use a sprayer to disinfect

the inside of your lorry upon your return and it’s good practice

to disinfect any saddle pads, boots or rugs that have been

off-site by adding disinfectant to your washes.

Whilst these measures may seem overwhelming or extreme

initially, they will soon become routine and you can be


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Nutrition Feature - Spillers Feeds

The aim for any breeder is

to maintain healthy, fertile

breeding stock that go on to

produce sound and healthy

off-spring. Although body

condition is just one element

of good health, it is one that

requires close attention and

importantly, one that you can

directly influence.

What is ‘ideal’ condition?

The how and why of

keeping mares, stallions

and youngstock in tip top


What may be considered as an

‘ideal’ bodyweight varies between

individuals and is affected by multiple

factors including breed, height,

muscle development and in the case

of broodmares, the stage of gestation.

In fact, over 60% of feotal growth

occurs during the third trimester,

during which the mare’s bodyweight

will increase by approximately

10-15%. However the horse’s

bodyweight alone, much like our

own, is just a number and therefore

body condition score (BCS: an

assessment of external fat

coverage) is equally, if not

more important than weight.

Mares and stallions should ideally

be maintained at a BCS of 5-6/9.

Why is body condition


Excess weight gain presents a number

of health risks for any adult horse

including increased joint strain and

respiratory stress, heat intolerance

and an increased risk of laminitis

and insulin dysregulation. Obesity

can also lead to reduced fertility and

exacerbate age related decreases in

immunity referred to as

‘inflamm-aging’. Foals born to

obese mares may show an

increase in low grade

inflammation, reduced insulin

sensitivity and be at an

increased risk of

developing osteochondrosis

as yearlings. Excess mammary

fat and a subsequent reduction in

milk production may lead to reduced

growth rates in foals and/ or

increases in compensatory growth

post weaning.


Nutrition Feature - Spillers Feeds

Whilst much attention is paid to obesity,

it is important to remember that excess

weight loss is not without health

implications either. Body condition is the

variable most likely to affect the mare’s

fertility. Mares with a BCS of


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Feature Article - Westgate Labs

Why Proactive Parasite Control

for Foals Is Important

Claire Shand, Reg Animal Medicines Advisor Westgate Labs.

A horse’s immune health plays a big part in their ability to resist

parasite infection - much of this is developed at an early age.

Horses who haven’t had good worming support during their first

year of life often go on to have more parasite problems than

those that have proactive help. Foals should be wormed

regularly from 8 weeks old, incorporating treatment with

fenbendazole and pyrantel where necessary to cover the

potential ascarid infection that youngsters are particularly prone

to. Worm for encysted redworm in the winter and EquiSal

tapeworm test once weaned. From a year old they can move

to a targeted programme, carrying out worm egg counts every

eight weeks initially. Without this we set a horse up for potential

problems. Meet Dales Pony Fern who arrived as a weanling at

11 months old with no known worming history. She

clearly demonstrates a low level of immunity and as a yearling

struggled to overcome a persistent redworm infection. Without

regular testing and veterinary support her outcome may not

have been so favourable.

Fern; A Young Horse With a Challenging

Redworm Problem

Fern arrived with a medium redworm count of 1000 eggs per

gram that were successfully treated with a 5 day fenbendazole

(Panacur). It was only after this that the first of the real problems

began! We’ve documented her test results and treatments over

this time in the table right. Fern was turned out on to previously

grazed pasture and almost immediately her worm egg counts

began to rise again as her immune system was challenged by

small redworm present here.

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Test date Result Wormer Comments

20/04/2018 1000 epg Fenbendazole

5 day

Arrived as a poor

looking weanling

having had no

worming treatment.

17/05/2018 50 epg Fern had a worm

count when tested

but this responded

to the Panacur – she

didn’t come with

resistant worms

21/05/2018 100 epg

01/06/2018 200 epg Ivermectin

11/07/2018 700 epg Moxidectin

30/08/2018 1700 epg Panacur 5 day The worm egg

count rose steeply

over the next three

months despite


13/09/2018 200 epg Double dose

pyrantel as Mod/


EquiSal result


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The absorption of antibodies

from colostrum is highest within

the first 6 to 8 hours after

birth. 24 hours after a foal’s birth,

it will no longer be able to absorb

antibodies via the colostrum.

Product News

Goodbye Flys


With our award-winning products and

plant-based ingredients, Goodbye Flys cruelty

free range comes in recycled packaging, helping

you care for the planet as well as your horse. Their

all-purpose grooming spray has 6 in 1 grooming

benefits, or why not try their Organic horse

shampoo? It’s great for greys and coloured horses,

and you can even wash your rugs, saddle pads

and grooming kit with it, too.

Immunoglobulin deficiency

occurs in orphan foals, but also

in foals of mares with low levels

of colostrum, none at all or only of insufficient quality. Too few

immunoglobulins will increase a foal’s risk of developing infectious diseases

such as diarrhoea or other complaints. Cavalor Colostra contains

natural substances (freeze-dried colostrum) that are essential to foals’ healthy

growth. Cavalor Colostra is safe to use for all foals and consists of at least

30% immunoglobulins.

A vegetative year for

Westgate Labs – for all the

right reasons!

For more information, visit www.westgatelabs.co.uk

Postal worm egg count company Westgate Labs have launched a new range

of environmentally friendly packaging with their unique compostable retail

packs. The innovation has contributed to a reduction in their waste to landfill

of around 75% over the last three years.

The innovative design of their new lab testing kits transforms the

biodegradable product pouches into a return envelope to send the

animal samples to the laboratory for testing. Thousands of pouches have now

returned to be composted on the family farm in Northumberland where it

will be used for new tree planting on a 73-acre nature reserve on reclaimed

open-cast land. Four retail test kits are available in the range; horse worm

egg counts, pinworm tests, avian worm counts and faecal sand tests.

Trickle Net launch

ground-breaking free

online forage calculator

Visit www.tricklenet.co.uk/forage-calculator

In the effort to educate horse owners and battle the

welfare crisis in equine obesity, Trickle Net have

launched the first free online forage calculator of its

kind. The new resource has been developed over

several months, and uses data pulled from the latest

available research in approximating the dry matter

forage requirements of horses and ponies on a

grass and hay diet.

Built with guidance from Louisa Taylor BVM BVS

(Hons) BVMedSci (Hons) MRCVS of Vetrition, the

calculator requests horse owners to input their

horse’s weight, hours turnout and type of pasture

with the amount of hay fed and the feeding goal.

The results are instantly available to the user and

displayed with a host of recommendations and

advice around feeding horses on a weight control



Feature Article - Rossdales

Ultrasound of the

broodmare: what is

your vet looking for?

By Camilla Scott BVetMed,


Recognised Specialist in Veterinary

Reproduction (Equine), Rossdales

Veterinary Surgeons

The major indication for transrectal

ultrasound examination of your

broodmare is for monitoring follicular

development during oestrus to

determine the optimum time for breeding

and subsequent pregnancy diagnosis.

However, ultrasound also provides rapid

and accurate diagnosis of many other

conditions in the mare.

Growth and development of

ovarian follicles

In conjunction with palpation, ultrasound

examination of the ovaries to track

follicular growth and development is

vital to determine the best time to breed

for maximal fertility. Follicles will

typically increase in diameter by 3-5mm

per day, reaching maximal diameter 1 to

2 days prior to ovulation (release of the

oocyte/egg for subsequent fertilisation).

The size of an ovulatory follicle will vary

depending on the mare’s breed and

age, the time of year and the number of

dominant follicles present, but ranges

between 30-50mm. In the hours before

ovulation, the dominant follicle changes

from a regular spherical structure to an

irregular shape and becomes softer with

a thickened wall. More recently, the use

of colour-doppler ultrasound can

determine blood flow and perfusion

changes in the maturing follicle, giving us

further information to help predict

ovulation. These ultrasound

characteristics of the dominant follicle in

the hours prior to ovulation are

particularly critical when lining mares

up for frozen semen breeding, to ensure

insemination is performed within 6 hours

of ovulation to maximize the chances of


A percentage of follicles will not ovulate

appropriately but instead fill with blood.

These follicles are termed hemorrhagic

anovulatory follicles and are reported

to occur in 5-20% of cycles in the early

and late breeding season respectively.

Ultrasound characteristics of these

follicles initially include an excessive

amount of free-floating bright white

particles in the follicular fluid and then

progresses as blood clots and fibrin

strands develop, giving the anovulatory

follicle a cobweb like appearance.

Figure 1: Ultrasound examination of a

mare lining up for breeding with a large

dominant follicle.

Figure 2: Ultrasonographic image of a

dominant follicle with an irregular shape

and thick wall prior to ovulation.

Figure 3: Ultrasonographic image of a

hemorrhagic anovulatory follicle filled

with blood clots and fibrin strands.

Is the degree of uterine

oedema appropriate?

Uterine edema is a normal response to

hormone (oestradiol) secretion when

a mare is in season and will gradually

increase in line with development of the

dominant follicle. Mares in oestrus will

display a characteristic ‘sliced orange’

or ‘spoke wheel’ appearance on

cross-sectional ultrasound

examination of the uterus. Scoring

systems have been developed to monitor

the degree of uterine edema, typically

ranging from 0 (typical of mares not in

season) to 3 (peak uterine edema seen

during oestrus). Estradiol secretion and

maximal uterine edema usually peak 1

to 2 days prior to ovulation, with a

subsequent decrease in estradiol

reflected by a synchronous decrease in

uterine edema on ultrasound

examination, both of which help guide

timings for administration of an ovulation

induction agent and an appropriate time

for breeding.

Excessive or inappropriate uterine

edema patterns may indicate an

underlying inflammatory or infectious

process. Mares with excessive uterine

edema prior to breeding are at risk of

subsequent intrauterine fluid

accumulation and are likely to require

further treatment such as uterine lavage

and drugs to aid uterine clearance, such

as oxytocin.

Figure 4: Ultrasonographic image of

a cross-section of the uterus depicting

mild uterine edema (note characteristic

appearance similar to a sliced orange

segment), consistent with a mare in early


Inadequate uterine drainage

There are numerous potential causes for

inappropriate intrauterine fluid

accumulation in the mare. Risk factors

include older multiparous mares with

poor perineal conformation, older

maiden mares with failure of cervical

dilation, mares with an inadequate

immune response and the use of frozen

semen insemination. It is normal for all

mares to have a degree of inflammation

following breeding, but this transient

endometritis should resolve within 24h in

resistant mares, so any fluid beyond 36h

is abnormal and needs attention.

Ultrasound evaluation of uterine fluid

accumulation in the problem mare is

incredibly useful for both diagnosis and

monitoring response to treatment.

Figure 5: Ultrasonographic image of

abnormal fluid accumulation within the



Corpus Luteum

Following collapse of the dominant

follicle and release of the oocyte/egg, a

corpus luteum (CL) forms. The CL secretes

progesterone, the dominant hormone of

dioestrus (14 day period when the mare

is not in season). If the mare becomes

pregnant, progesterone secretion from

the primary and secondary CLs will

prevent the mare coming back into

season and maintain the pregnancy until

placental takeover at around 100-120

days of gestation. Ultrasound

examination provides visual and

objective evaluation of both the structural

and functional aspects of development

of the CL from maturation to regression.

Evaluating and ageing the CL gives us

essential information regarding the stage

of the mare’s cycle, and more recently

has been used for selection of recipient

mares for embryo transfer both of fresh

and ICSI produced embryos, when

knowing the exact age of the CL/

number of days post ovulation is

essential for a successful transfer.

Figure 6: Ultrasonographic image of an

ovary depicting two corpus luteum (CLs)

following double ovulation.

Uterine cysts

Whilst the majority of uterine cysts are

insignificant findings in older mares,

their presence in the uterus may signify

underlying issues. In addition, large or

numerous cysts or those located at the

base of the uterine horns may physically

inhibit embryo mobility and fixation,

resulting in failure of maternal

recognition of pregnancy and early

embryonic loss. Noting the size, number

and location of cysts on ultrasound

examination will help determine their

potential significance; furthermore,

mapping of cysts will also prevent any

confusion over subsequent pregnancy


Figure 7: Ultrasonographic image of a

uterine cyst - note the irregular outline

and fluid-filled centre.

Early pregnancy diagnosis

Ultrasound examination is pivotal for

pregnancy diagnosis in mares. The

equine embryo enters the uterus on day

5.5-6 post ovulation and can be

detected via ultrasound examination

from as early as 10 days post ovulation.

Since, however, at this stage the

embryonic vesicle measures only

between 3-5mm, most first pregnancy

scans are performed at 14 days post

Feature Article - Rossdales

ovulation, at which stage the embryonic

vesicle typically measures between

16-20 mm, making it much easier to

identify. Due to the unique equine

embryonic capsule, the pregnancy will

be perfectly spherical at this stage and

ultrasonically generated specular

reflections (bright white spots on the

upper and lower surface of the embryo;

see image) help differentiate embryos

from uterine cysts or fluid, which are

rarely perfectly spherical. Since mares

are not able to carry twin pregnancies

successfully to term, the diagnosis of twin

pregnancies and subsequent reduction

to a singleton pregnancy is performed

most successfully at this early pregnancy

scan, between 14-16 days post

ovulation. Further pregnancy

examinations are performed at regular

intervals to monitor growth and

development of the embryo/foetus. By

day 21 the embryo proper can be

visualised and at 28 days an embryonic

heartbeat will be detectable. From 40

days onwards, the pregnancy enters the

foetal stage of development (the term

embryo is used until day 39), at a 42

day scan the start of the umbilical cord

formation and the beginning of foetal

activity can be detected. For those of

you wanting to determine the gender of

your foal, this can be reliably performed

by transrectal ultrasound examination

between 58-70 days post ovulation.

Ultrasound detection of the genital

tubercle, the precursor to the penis in the

male and clitoris in the female is either

detected under the tail in the case of a

filly foal or behind the umbilicus with a

colt foal.





✔ Artificial insemination with fresh, chilled and frozen semen

✔ Embryo transfer

✔ OPU and shipping for ICSI

✔ Infertility Investigations

✔ Semen collection, evaluation, distribution and freezing

✔ World class hospital facilities and specialist expertise

✔ Neonatal intensive care unit

✔ State of the art laboratory, HBLB approved for CEM testing

Contact our BEVA approved team of dedicated stud vets to discuss your requirements

on 01638 663150, or practice@rossdales.com

ROSSDALES VETERINARY SURGEONS, Beaufort Cottage Stables, High Street, Newmarket, CB8 8JS



Lorem Ipsum



Royaldik x Headley Britannia x Jumbo

16.2hh Intermediate Eventing Stallion, liver chestnut (2013)

Premium Graded with SHB(GB)

Annabel Blake 07870 358944 Britannia Royal


Not all stallions are created equal


neither is their sperm

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For further information contact Twemlows Stud Farm

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Horsepower P lates · Solariums

Horse Walker with Round Fence | Key Features

- As standard 10, 12, 15, 16, 18 and 20 meters but larger

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