Jumping for joy after two horses score top marks

First published in Equestrian

Two horses bred in Pembrokeshire have earned top marks at a prestigious breeding evaluation event.

Yearling filly DeLaRoche Land Girl and two-year-old mare DeLaRoche La-Di-Da earned two higher first premiums at the Baileys Horse Feeds British Futurity Evaluations (BEF) at Plumpton College.

The BEF Futurity Evaluation series aims to identify British-bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for careers in dressage, eventing, showjumping or endurance.

Bred by Lucy Sheldrake, at the De La Roche Stud, Simpson Cross, DeLaRoche Land Girl had the highest mark for a yearling with 8.74 and DeLaRoche La-Di-Da had the best score for a two year old showjumper, scoring 8.54. The scores equate to higher first premiums and indicate that the horses have the potential to perform at national level.

Lucy bred Land Girl from her mare Birthday Girl, who is by showjumping sire Randi.

Lucy, who breeds around ten foals each year, said: “We plan to keep Land Girl, and Jane Townsend from Sussex will take her to a few shows – including the National Hunter Show – before she comes back to Pembrokeshire to grow in a field. I’ll take her back to the futurity as a three-year-old so she can be evaluated for jumping.” Land Girl is by Lucy’s famous stallion, Lauriston, as is DeLaRoche La-Di-Da. Lucy has now owned Lauriston for seven years and during this time his success as a stallion has gone from strength to strength. Lauriston is now 25 years old and has sired numerous top show jumpers, including Promise Me, who was on the Canadian team at the Athens Olympics in 2004. He was also the sire of the highest scoring horse in the 2010 Futurity, Classictop Lancelot.

Lucy added: “You would never think he is 25, he looks so well. I am so proud to own him.”

Entries at the futurity evaluations are categorised by discipline, with age groups for foals, yearlings, and two and three-year-olds, and each horse is evaluated in hand and loose, as well as undergoing a vet’s assessment, before being given a BEF premium (grade), a rosette and a detailed, informative score sheet.

Visit www.britishbreeding.org for full details and results.

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