Writtle University College has announced the end of its breeding programme.

The university operated a successful breeding programme through its on-site stud, Lordships Stud.

The news comes after its homebred, Lordships Graffalo, finished second at Badminton Horse Trials with the current world champion eventer Ros Canter.

“To optimise the use of the facilities at our disposal, and in line with student demand, Writtle University College has taken the business decision to absorb our stud facility into our dedicated Equine Training and Development Centre,” said a statement from the university.

“We will continue to offer our students opportunities to work with young horses as part of our behaviour and breeding modules, the only significant change being that we will no longer have a unit suitable for foaling mares and will therefore not produce foals on-site after the end of this academic year.”

The university added that staff members will move into new roles at the re-focused equine facility. Its two pony stallions will also remain at the site to be cared for by the equine centre, while liveries have been given notice to find alternative arrangements.

“Our new facility will provide increased grazing and will give more students the opportunity to bring their own horses to university,” continued the statement.

“The expansion of our equine campus allows us to utilise our extensive facilities to strengthen industry partnerships and offer additional student-led events and commercial opportunities.”

The university thanked those who had shared their congratulations for Lordship Graffalo’s Badminton performance.

“Hermes, as he was called during his time with us, is loved by all those who have worked with him and we’re delighted to see horses bred by our Lordships Stud fulfilling their potential,” it said.

“We look forward to offering an outstanding student experience at our newly expanded Equine Training and Development Centre and hope to be cheering Lordships Graffalo on at the World Equestrian Games in the autumn and in Paris 2024.”

Main image: Lordships Graffalo and Ros Canter at Badminton. Copyright Trevor Holt

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