I have been a breeder here in the US for over 30 years, and have had a fairly successful event horse breeding program in that I have bred 2 5* horses, as well as 4* horses, advanced and intermediate horses, and good number of prelim and lower level horses. Even with that success, it has been difficult in the past for me to find and attract buyers for my event bred horses. I know other breeders have the same problems. Because I also compete (at the lower levels), I also often hear upper level eventers say they do not know where to find talented young horses in the US - they feel they must go overseas to find them. Obviously, both sides need to connect in order to support both our breeding programs and our upper level riders. Discussions centering around this need have led to the concept behind The US Event Horse Futurity
This was not my idea- it was Dr Laurie Cameron's , but I was extremely excited by the concept . The purpose is to bridge the gap between breeders and riders in the US. I know a lot of breeders who don't know where to go to get youngsters trained or how to find riders for them. Hopefully, we can create a program that attracts trainers to promote our US-bred horses and lets both sides make connections that may align our different but related goals. We hope that trainers will look for prospects to partner with, riders will find breeders who produce nice youngsters, and everyone will benefit. We also want to showcase trainers and riders who aren’t well known but do a great job so that it will benefit them as well .
What we really need now is for breeders and trainers to take steps and commit to trying this out. I think that deals could be worked out that would lessen the cost for the breeders, but you have to put your money where your mouth is and spend a little to get your horses and your name out there. We are such a tight fisted group - we will spend money on stud fees and mares, but when it comes to training fees…
And trainers must realize that breeders cannot foot all the costs
at all times and still remain in business. We have to work together to make it a success.
Why did I decide to run with the project (besides being caught in a weak moment)? I bred a horse that was selected to represent the US at the World Championships for Young Event Horses at Le Lion d’Angers in France, and was lucky enough to attend. The best young event horses in Europe were there, as were the best riders. And at the end of the day, my US-bred horse (the only US bred in the over 100 horses that were there) was just as competitive as the best Europe has to offer. There are many more of these horses in the US - we just have to get US riders to find them and get breeders to find the trainers and riders. It’s simple, it’s just not easy....
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