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British breeding awards

Desi Dillingham (right) receives the Meritoire Lifetime Achievement Award from Jennie Loriston-Clarke Photo: Craig Payne

GREAT BRITAIN (by Celia Clarke) The annual British breeding awards dinner is now firmly established as a year-end highlight given the increasing importance internationally of British-bred sport horses. Generously supported by the British Horse Foundation, the British Equestrian Foundation and a host of sponsors, the event recognizes not only the breeders, but also those who work for them, and the studbooks that register their horses and ponies.

Chiefly, though, it ser ves to identify the current success and long-term, trends in the industry. For instance this year’s big winner was Judith Davis whose long-established Hawtin’s Stud saw success in the five- and six-year old dressage horse classes where she was owner and breeder of the champions in both sections. Meanwhile, relative newcomer Barbara Heaton Smith saw her CAW affix score in several of the young- stock eventing breeding sections. Regular winners Lynne Crowden (Woodlander stud), Jennie Loriston-Clarke (Catherston Stud) and the powerful team of William and Pippa Funnel and Donal Barnwell (The Billy Stud) also all featured prominently once again. But one of the most fascinating awards is presented by Horse and Hound for the most outstanding mare, which went this year went to one of Ju- dith Davis’s foundation Han- noverian mares, the very aptly named St.Pr.St Finest, who has four ‘elite’ daughters and likely broke records when she was represented by three offspring and four grandchildren in the 2016 British dressage national championships. With one of them (Hawtins Floriana) winning its young horse section and another, Hawtins Delicato, becoming National PSG Champion in the hands of Charlotte Dujardin, things are obviously looking ver y bright for the stud and the evening’s awards celebrated this...