By Celia Clarke
Photography: Peter Llewellyn
Putting worrying thoughts of Brexit (deal or no deal), WFFS, the death of the Tripartite Agreement and complex new zootechnic regulations temporarily behind them, the British sport horse and pony breeding industry gathered for the British Breeders’ Awards Dinner on January 12 to honour the best achievers of 2018. For Jennie Lorison-Clarke, it was a double celebration as she was awarded her second Lifetime Achievement Award.
his annual get together, started by Desi Dillingham of the British Horse Foundation over 25 years ago is now an absolute fixture for many breeders, producers and owners in the UK and -- as noted by the joint comperes for the night internationally reknowned eventing breeder Vincent Jones and popular young event rider Harry Meade -- many of the same faces appear again and again, both as winners and supporters.
As an event designed to increase the coffers of the The British Horse Foundation -- and, by association, the several worthy causes it supports, including the British Horse Feeds/ British Futurity wwhich presents these awards – the evening always includes raffles and both silent and open auctions that precede the celebratory dinner and the very comprehensive selection of awards. These cover not only the Futurity itself but also age and discipline awards for young horses and ponies up to the age of seven, and an increasing number of awards presented by various studbooks to promote their own successes as well.
That being said, the most coveted award of the evening, which remains a closely guarded secret until the end of the prize giving ceremony, is the Stallion AI Services Meritoire Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s very deserving but rather surprising winner (as it’s specifically a Lifetime Achievement Award, and she’s received it on a previous occasion), was the internationally successful dressage rider, trainer and owner of the renowned Catherston Stud, Jennie Loriston-Clarke.
She is such a significant figure in British and international sport horse and pony breeding and production, that it would be negligent for the wider world of the breeding industry not to recount more fully her long list of achievements as outlined by Tullis Matson, Managing Director of Stallion AI services when handing her the award: “She has for her entire life lived and breathed horses and ponies. As an young child she was riding ponies of all types in all disciplines, and as she grew older, with the help, advice and knowledge from her parents, learnt to see through the outside coating of a horse, be it poor or over produced, to the underlying structure and strengths, nature and character, to what the movement was and could be. She has been regarded at an honest judge and evaluator for virtually every type of horse or pony in this country and abroad, from Hacks to Hackneys, Shetlands to sport horses, natives and unicorns! She has often bred horses for the generation before they became popular, and has continued to breed outstanding horses for the top-class competition world as well as for the true amateur market. From her own foundation stallions she has bred so many graded and champion stallions and mares that have continued to feature in so many successful competition horses competing today.
“The Foundation stallions for the Catherston Pony Stud must have been the 10-time champion palomino pony stallion Bubbly, and the Thoroughbred stallion Xenocles, whom this lady rode and won at both three-day eventing and Grand Prix dressage, followed by Catherston Night Safe who has sown his seeds worldwide!..CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BREEDING NEWS
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