New awards recognise Britain’s best competition stallions

Julia Hodkin with Eventing Stallion Award winner Future Gravitas, and Jane Skepper from the Competition Stallions Guide.
Julia Hodkin with Eventing Stallion Award winner Future Gravitas, and Jane Skepper from the Competition Stallions Guide. © Kevin Sparrow

Britain’s best sport horse sires have been recognised at the inaugural Competition Stallions Awards, with awards presented following British Breeding/British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Futurity Evaluations.

The awards are the brainchild of Competition Stallions Guide director Jane Skepper, and were presented at The British Stallion Event last week.

All of the stallions were present or had progeny or their sire present to receive the awards.

The Dressage Competition Stallion Award went to Woodlander Wild Child, who is training in Germany and was represented by his sire, Woodlander Wavavoom. Wild Child, out of the world champion 5 and 6 year old, Woodlander Farouche, is himself a graduate of the Futurity, achieving an Elite score as a foal and top dressage 2 year old. Wild Child was bred by his owner, Lynne Crowden.

The Eventing Stallion Award went to Future Gravitas, by the successful eventing stallion, Grafenstoltz, out of the proven performance producer, Justwith Genoa, making Future Gravitas a half brother to Olympic silver medalist and WEG gold medallist, Winsome Adante.  A Futurity graduate, Future Gravitas was the top ranked of all the eventing stallions, as well as being the top UK-based eventing sire.  Julia Hodkin of Future Sport Horses, paid tribute to the mare owners for giving young stallions a chance.  “It is time for breeders to choose British stallions because they are as good or better than you can find abroad,” she said.

To ensure that young stallions are not overlooked, there is also an Award for the leading Newcomer.  To be eligible, stallions must have between three and five progeny forward across all disciplines in the year, and must not have had more than five progeny presented in total over a number of years in the Futurity Evaluations.

The Newcomers award went jointly to Elite Stallions’ Balou Star and Catherston Stud’s Timolin. The young showjumping stallion Balou Star produced the top show jumping yearling in 2015 and demonstrated that as a competition horse, he is a powerhouse.  Ridden by Millie Allen, he was second in the U25 Grand Prix at the recent Liverpool International Show, took individual and team bronze at the Young Rider Europeans in 2015, and is regularly winning at 1.45m level.

“He is coming into his own now and will be stepping up this year.  He is perfect to handle, and has such a good temperament”, said Millie’s father, Peter Allen.

The Totilas sired Timolin demonstrated his impressive paces shown in hand for the presentation, and his impeccable temperament as people crowded his box to view the five-year-old stallion.

“He has a super temperament.  I can ride out in the fields at home, and he is lovely to train.  He has a fantastic canter to sit on.  It is lovely that young stallions with foals coming through can be recognised,” rider Lizzie Murray said.

The Pony Stallion award went to Penny Walster’s dressage pony, Bathleyhills Monet. An Elite graduate of the Futurity himself, he is now producing high scoring foals and yearlings as well as competing in dressage. His part-bred arab and part welsh bloodlines carry the cream gene, so he can produce palomino progeny. “I am delighted with the award,” Walster said. “He got an Elite score and highest yearling in the Futurity, and the SPSS Certificate of Merit for the leading pony sire as a 3 year old.  He is super athletic and really trainable, but he can be left for a month and we just pick him up again.”

The awards will take place annually, based on the results of progeny presented at the British Breeding/BEF Futurity Evaluations in the single year.

To be eligible for an award the stallion must be based in the UK and must have had at least five progeny at the Futurity Evaluations during the year. The highest average score determines the winner and awards are made in each discipline: Dressage, Endurance, Eventing, Show Jumping and Sports Pony, as well as the Newcomer’s award.  The Sports Pony stallion award goes to the stallion with the highest average across all disciplines.

“We felt it was now the time to start developing an Award Scheme for British based stallions to continue to help promote high quality stallions standing in the UK,” Skepper said.

“We wanted to start to start this year with Awards for the Leading Sires of Futurity presented in 2015, but we look forward to developing these awards up through the ranks into leading Sires of competing stallions in the various disciplines in future years. This should result in stallions that are actively having progeny presented and getting good results having a chance of winning, and the criteria for the Awards have been developed to represent this,” she said.

Competition Stallions has now produced its fifth Edition of the Guide for Graded & Approved Competition Stallions.

2015 Competition Stallion Awards – Results

Dressage – Woodlander Wildchild (2011), Sire: Woodlander Wavavoom (Hann), Dam: El. Woodlander Farouche (Hann) – Furst Heinrich (West)

Showjumping – No stallion had 5 or more progeny forward.  However, Balou Star had the highest average score and was also the joint top newcomer.

Eventing – Future Gravitas (2010), Sire: Grafenstolz, Dam: Juswith Genoa (Elite) – Bohemond xx (HIS Premium)

Endurance – No stallion had 5 or more progeny forward.

Sports Pony – Bathleyhills Monet (2008), Sire: Casino Royale K, Dam:  Mona – Matcho

Newcomer – joint winners:   
Balou Star (2005), Sire:  Balou de Roulet, Dam:  Quenada Z – Quick Star;
Timolin (2011), Sire:  Totilas (KWPN), Dam:  Samira (Old) – Sion (KWPN)

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