CANADA (by Imogen Wood) In late July, the first ever International Young Breeders Championships to be held on the North American continent saw the youngsters from the combined junior (age 16-19) and senior (age 20-25) teams from the small breeding district of Brandenburg beat off their powerful rivals from many of the major European studbooks.

These included the previously all-conquering Holsteiner Verband - who had been victorious in both the junior and senior sections in most of these championships held since 2009 – and the Hannoverian Verband, one of whose junior members Sarah Scheerer was the overall individual combined champion and the first junior ever to take this honour.

The championships include four distinct sections: A theory test, an assessment of each competitors’ ability to assess conformation, an assessment of their ability to judge jumping and paces and, finally, their ability to present a horse in-hand in front of a panel of experienced grading judges. This took place over two intensive days at the hallowed showjumping venue of Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta.

The hard working team from the host Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association studbook was delighted that a total of 16 WBFSH member studbook teams attended, plus one individual from the Rheinlander studbook. The final breakdown of 16 senior and 13 junior teams plus the in- dividual totalled 111 com- petitors overall, notably lower than previous years. But with the downturn in breeder numbers and global studbook membership, plus the considerable cost (around €2,000) for each of the European attendees to make the trip if coming from Europe it was perhaps not surprising. With studbook teams unable to attend, or only able to send seniors (KWPN,

Westfalian and Rheinland-Pfalz-Saar), it is hoped the situation will be rectified in 2019 when Austrian Warm- blood hosts the IYB championship...

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