Emma Cunnington, 19, from Skegness, was a member of the British Hanoverian Horse Society (BHHS) junior team at the recent International Young Breeders World Championships in Bollerup, Sweden last month.
The BHHS was one of three teams of British Young Breeders (BYB) representing British studbooks that were selected for the championships, organised by the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH).
The junior team finished 12th overall.
The championships are open to all horse breeding studbooks which are members of the WBFSH and the teams must be made up of young people aged from 16-25.
The Championship tests young breeders skills in breeding theory, conformation judging, the assessment of paces at liberty, loose jumping and handling on the triangle. There are two sections for the Championships, Junior (16-19 years) and Senior (20-25 years).
Emma became interested in breeding horses two years ago, after visiting the Irish National Stud, a renowned thoroughbred stud and she has now gone on to study a BSc Honours Degree in Equine Breeding and Stud Management at Writtle College. “I was excited to represent my team and country, and am honoured to be part of a great experience,” said Emma, who scored 96 per cent in the theory section with just one incorrect answer.
The British Young Breeders training has helped Emma learn the numerous skills needed for judging horses’ conformation and loose jumping ability.
“I have also learned about the preparation that goes into presenting horses for gradings and young horse assessments, by being able to give the horse the best opportunity to look its best, as well as presenting the horse to the judges.
“Initially I want to learn as much as I can through experience gained in the breeding sector then ultimately working at a top stud or run my own,” said Emma.
The British team has benefitted tremendously from a donation and training bursaries from the Elise Pilkington Chariatble Trust, which supports BYB to help educate young people in the importance of responsible breeding with a view to reducing welfare cases.
The donation will also go towards recruiting and training new members and will form the basis of four special bursaries to support the development of talented young breeders. The teams were also supported by The Stallion Company.
If Emma was to receive one of the training bursaries from the Elsie Pilkington Charitable Trust she would expand her knowledge in equine breeding by taking courses such as the thoroughbred breeding course at the Irish National Stud, and seeing how other studs are run around the world to help further her experience and career prospects.
To find out more about how to get involved with the British Young Breeders visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/British-Young-Breeders.