British Breeding has announced plans for its renowned Futurity evaluation series to go digital this year as a result of the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the support of their long term sponsor, Baileys Horse Feeds, the team made the decision to turn to a digital format having considered the requirements and risks of holding the physical evaluations.
“We felt that the risks of travel for our evaluators, vets, scorers, nutritionists and organisers under the current conditions, was too much to ask, even if restrictions were to be lifted sufficiently to allow them to make the journey”, explained organiser, Eva Maria Broomer of British Breeding.
“However, we are also very aware that breeders need an evaluation service for this year’s crop of foals, as well as all the yearlings, two- and three-year olds, and we did not want them to miss out on that opportunity.
“The answer was to create an online evaluation process that would give the breeders the level of feedback that they want from our same panel of experts, including the veterinary and condition scoring assessments and full evaluation process”, she said.
Jane Buchan, Baileys Horse Feeds marketing manager, said: “With Covid-19 restrictions on equestrian activities, many of us have had to embrace digital communications in our day to day lives and we’re pleased to be able to turn this situation into something positive. We’re looking forward to seeing and assessing this year’s youngstock and hope that the digital option will be embraced by a wide range of breeders.”
Making the transition to digital
Entries will open on 1 July and the series will run until the end of August. A 2-part live training webinar will be held on 23 and 24 June to help breeders prepare their entries, and these will be available to watch again on the British Breeding website.
Entries for the 2020 series will be required to submit details and videos of their horses and ponies online. The videos will then be assessed by the veterinarian and nutritionist and the panel of evaluators via online video conferencing.
Detailed training videos have been produced, in collaboration with Baileys Horse Feeds, to show prospective entries for the Futurity series how to present their horses on video. The training videos and further information is available on the British Breeding website and through social media.
The live training webinars will be held in two parts – part 1 will cover veterinary assessment and nutrition at 7pm on Tuesday, 23 June, and part 2 will cover the evaluation in walk, trot and canter at 7pm, Wednesday 24 June. Admission is free but participants need to pre-register via the link on facebook or on the British Breeding website.
Prizes and Elite Futurity Auction
Prizes are on offer for high scoring entries this year. A £5 levy on the entry fee will be ringfenced to create a prize fund that will be allocated to the top scoring youngsters in each age group and discipline.
In addition, the Anglo European Studbook are offering prize money of £500 for the top foal in each discipline registered with them, with smaller prizes for the runner up and third highest scorers.
High scoring entries in the digital series will also be eligible for selection for a new online Elite Futurity Auction to be held in September.
Online entries will open on 1 July and can be accessed at www.british-breeding.com
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