A young foal bred at a Haverfordwest stud may well be destined to compete at the very top of his sport after scooping a coveted award.

Lucy Sheldrake’s foal, DeLaRoche Lamac, earned a Higher First Premium at the Baileys Horse Feed/British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Futurity Evaluations held recently at Plumpton College, West Sussex.

The BEF Futurity Evaluation series aims to identify British-bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for careers in dressage, eventing, show-jumping or endurance, and may even find the Olympic champions of the future.

DeLaRoche Lamac received the second highest score for a show jumping foal and the sixth highest overall score of the day. An overall score of 8.89 and a higher first premium indicates that the horse has the potential and outlook to perform well at top level.

The judges described DeLaRoche Lamac as a “modern show jumper with a lovely temperament.”

Lucy, who owns and runs the DeLaRoche Stud in Simpson Cross, also entered a further three of her youngsters and was awarded a first and two second premiums.

“We come to the BEF because it is nice to hear other people’s opinions and it is a fantastic marketing tool. It’s also a great education for the youngsters,” explained Lucy.

Adding to Lucy’s success, Classictop Lancelot, the overall highest scorer of the entire series, is by her own stallion, Lauriston.

The foal, now owned by Jane Townshend, of the Classictop Stud, in Crowborough, was awarded an overall sore of 9.46 and a coveted Elite Premium.

Lauriston, an accomplished stallion, is the highest ranked show jumping sire in the 2010 series.

BEF’s head of equine development, Jan Rogers, was delighted with the results.

She said: “The futurity’s support has exceeded all expectations this year and the standard at Plumpton was excellent.

“The futurity is showing itself to be an assessment system which British breeders value, because it enables them to demonstrate, long before a horse is able to compete, that it has performance potential. It is serving as a valuable marketing tool for British breeders and we are delighted that so many people want to be part of it.”

The BEF Futurity Evaluations are held at 15 venues throughout the UK and with entries limited to 60 at each evaluation venue, places are keenly sought after.

Entries are categorised by discipline with age groups for foals, yearlings, two and three year olds and each horse is evaluated in hand and loose in a safe indoor environment as well as undergoing a vet’s assessment. Horses go home with a BEF premium (grade), a rosette and a detailed, informative score sheet.

All futurity results are listed against each horse’s passport record on the National Equine Database at www.nedonline.co.uk and are also in a fully searchable format (by venue, age and discipline) on the futurity entries page, which is accessible from the NED website.

For more information, go to www.bef.co.uk/ british_breeding.