It is not often show jumping gets a mention on breakfast television, but the victory of Laura Renwick and her rising 9 year old British bred Top Dollar VI in the Olympia Puissance, certainly caught the media’s attention.
Category: Success Stories
There is a lot of talk on social media at the moment about how hard it is to cover the costs of breeding quality sport horse foals, and how many buyers perceive it is better to go abroad to shop, than buy British youngstock. With sale prices often not covering costs, will we see breeders cutting back, giving up, or taking short cuts in the rearing of their stock to save money?
Scotland is increasingly becoming a hotspot for successful sport horse breeding, from both in terms of results in competition, but also commercially. So what are the Scots doing to generate this success and what can we learn from them.
I spoke to three dressage breeders, Reay Campbell of Caledonia Sport Horses, Caroline Ironside of Morayfirth Stud, and Jennifer Gilchrist of Romanno Stud. To my mind all three of them have 2 essential elements that have contributed to this success. They have all invested in broodmares from exceptional motherlines, and all three of them have spend many years learning about the genetics behind the best horses in sport.
Hawtins Werona is a performance tested Elite British Hanoverian mare whose early promise has blossomed into a successful dressage career. She was bred by Judith Hawtins at Hawtins Stud and was competed by the Stud’s rider Bryony Goodwin up to Advanced Medium level. In 2016 she was purchased by 18 year old Bridget Tate with an eye on future Young Rider competitions and eventually a breeding career.
Laura Gulliver is a Para Grade IV rider, who is on the BEF Talent Excel Para Squad and who has her eyes set on a place on the British team. She has won her last 10 BD outings, and has competed at CPEDI** (International 2 star Para Dressage) and Premier League level.
Her partner for the last few years has been the Trakehner mare Woodcroft Natalia, a 6 year old bred in Cambridgeshire by Woodcroft Stud.
It is always exciting to see British bred stock moving up the competition ladder, helping to highlight the expertise of their breeder. But it is even more exciting when a rider and breeder partnership really works and both parties achieve success, united by a horse.