Just briefly: Happenings in the horse world

Britain's Rio 2016 Olympic jumping gold medalist Nick Skelton.
Britain’s Rio 2016 Olympic jumping gold medalist Nick Skelton. © Hippo Foto – Dirk Caremans

£19m payday for British equestrian sports

Thanks to all the hardware earned at Rio 2016, equestrian sport is one of the winners in the latest UK Sport funding round, with £19,635,180 to take the British team through to Tokyo 2020.

The sum represents up to £15,361,769 for Olympic sport and up to £4,273,411 for Paralympic sport. Equestrian was one of 31 sports awarded funding for 2017-2021.

The award, in particular, endorses the success of the country’s world-leading Paralympic team, with its unbeaten track record and continued success on the world stage.

British Equestrian Federation Chief Executive Clare Salmon said the funding was endorsement of the achievements on the world stage of the country’s athletes, horses, support teams, owners and member bodies.

“We are conscious that the performance bar is going up all the time and equestrian sport cannot be complacent. So in that competitive context and a challenging funding landscape, we are delighted to see such positive recognition of our sport continue.”

Bask, under saddle as a Park Horse, ridden by Gene LaCroix, Jr.

Breeder of famous stallion Bask dies

Roman Pankiewicz, the breeder of famed Polish arabian stallion Bask has died at the age of 92.

Pankiewicz died on Tuesday in Poznań.

He was famous as the breeder of Bask (Witraż x Bałałajka/Amurath Sahib), who was bred at the Albigowa Stud in 1956.

Pankiewicz was also one of the founders of the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders Society, and wrote many articles and seven books on arabian breeding.

On naming Bask, he said:  “I always tried to give horses short, nice names, easy to translate – because their export had already begun in those times. And Bask [in Polish] is a courageous inhabitant of the Basque Country in Spain. One of my friends who traveled a lot told me that the Basques are hard-working people. And so the horse became Bask. That name suited him like no other”.

Bask sired 1050 purebred Arabian foals,  and 196 of these were United States or Canadian National Champions. His impact on American Arabian horse breeding has been described as “colossal”.

The stallion died on July 24, 1979 from colic. His body is now interred at the Kentucky Horse Park in its Champions Cemetery, and he is honored with a bronze statue in the lobby of the International Museum of the Horse.


Major accolade for FEI

Equestrian sport’s world governing body the FEI has been declared International Sports Federation of the Year at the International Sports Awards 2016.

The award, which recognises the work of the international governing body for equestrian sport, including its leadership in integrity and governance, was presented on Thursday at the International Sports Convention in Geneva, Switzerland.

Voted for by members of the Swiss-based International Sports Chamber of Commerce (ISCC) and ISC conference delegates, the annual awards celebrate the best work in global sport, recognising individual, group and company achievements.

This award tops off a year of recognition that has also included significant accolades for key elements of the FEI’s #TwoHearts Olympic campaign – Billy to Rio and the ground-breaking video Hoofloose.

Billy to Rio, the FEI’s social media project focused on engaging new fans, won two bronze Lovie awards in the Internet Video and Social categories in September. The Lovie Awards are recognised as the most prestigious and the only truly pan-European awards honouring online excellence. Billy to Rio was also the winner of Equestrian Commercial – International at last month’s Equus Film Festival 2016 in New York City (USA).

The Hoofloose video won an award at the Grand Prix Romand de la Création under the Craft Film category last month. The Grand Prix Romand de la Création is the only Swiss-French award for communication and creativity. Hoofloose also won this year’s GRAND award, which rewards the best creative project among all submitted projects across all categories.

national-equine-forumTrio up for prestigious award

Three remarkable individuals have been shortlisted for the prestigious National Equine Forum (NEF) Sir Colin Spedding Award 2017. The award is presented annually to an outstanding and as yet unrecognised individual or organisation that has made an important contribution to the equestrian world.

The three nominees for the 2017 award are fire and rescue expert Jim Green, side-saddle authority Maureen James and equine veterinary nurse Bonny Millar. The winner will be announced at the National Equine Forum on March 2, 2017.

Sir Colin Spedding was the founding chairman of the NEF and chaired the event for 20 years until shortly before his death in 2012. He ensured that representatives of all areas of the equine sphere were made welcome to the Forum, and that topics of general interest and concern could be discussed openly and without rancour. His aim was to allow the equine world to consider and then speak with a coordinated voice on matters of the moment. The award was introduced in 2013, in his memory.

Previous recipients of the award are: Sue Martin BHSII who runs Trent Park Equestrian Centre (2016), Paul Greeves former Executive Director and Keeper of the General Stud Book at Weatherbys (2015), Dr Andrew Waller on behalf of the Animal Health Trust (AHT) Infectious Disease Group (2014) and Martin Clunes on behalf of UK Equine Welfare Charities (2013).

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