Step by Step Guide

Baileys Horse Feeds/British Breeding Futurity Entry and evaluation process step by step

Welcome to our step by step guide:

Where do I start?

Choose your venue and date. Entries open early and as venues start to fill, you will be able to see how many entries there are already. Each venue can accommodate roughly 60 horses. A waiting list will automatically open when a venue is full and if you wish to be on the waiting list, please enter. Choose your discipline and your age group.

A horse may only enter one discipline.

The entry fee is £80 plus vat and covers one evaluation section at any one evaluation venue.
Horses may only enter one evaluation per year. However, in the case of unforeseen sickness of horse, handler, owner or transport problems on the day of the first evaluation, which prevents the horse’s evaluation from being completed, the owner may apply for a transfer of the original entry to another venue later in the same year. Provision for this will not be unreasonably withheld, provided there is capacity. 
Entries are only accepted online at, there is no paper entry form, we are not able to make your entries for you and we do not process telephone entries or telephone credit card payments.

In order to enter you will need all the information contained on your horse’s passport and/or registration papers. If your horse is a foal and does not yet have a passport, you will need full sire, dam and damsire information including their passport details and/or registration details (if sires are overseas) and you will need to specify which studbook you intend to register your foal with. You will also need to have your method of payment at hand - the payment portal is directly linked to the Futurity online entry system and your entry at the venue is not complete until payment has been received.  

Your evaluation times and number will be available online for you to view on your entries page approximately one week before evaluation day. Specific times will be given for vetting and for evaluation, however, because young horses can be unpredictable, we try to be flexible to the needs of each Futurity participant which means the times can slip a little.

Before you set off

Make sure you have your horse’s passport with you (with the exception of foals); this is a legal requirement when travelling your horses. Make up or buy your bridle numbers. Ideally, horses should be plaited, mainly so that the evaluators can see the shape of the neck and withers, although this is not mandatory. If your horse is intended for endurance, long plaits or a running plait will be fine. Ultimately, in all cases, a tidy mane will be fine, but most people do plait. Tails are left natural. You will need a helper/helpers on the day. You may struggle to manage a young horse on your own, so it is safer to have plenty of help.

When you arrive

Declare your arrival to the organisers and produce your horse's passport (or that of the mare in the case of mares and foals) to be checked before unloading. At your specified vet time, have your horse ready for the vet in hand and he/she will assess the horse for any potential performance inhibiting conditions which could compromise your horse’s ability to perform at its best when it reaches competitive maturity. This is usually outdoors. The vet’s comments will be recorded on an electronic system which will be available to you following the event. The vet will explain any comments he/she makes. If you have any questions, it is your responsibility to ask the vet there and then to explain them to you, because it is difficult to deal with any concerns later. Baileys Horse Feeds will also be on hand to provide nutrition information. In order for your horse to have a fair assessment please would you ensure that any horse, where appropriate, has had its feet seen by a farrier 2-4 weeks prior to the evaluation. Unbalanced or untrimmed feet could lose you marks. In addition, if your horse has been trimmed the day before the evaluation, he/she may be more sensitive on the hard trot up area.

At your evaluation guideline time, please present your horse at the indoor arena. Horses are not allowed to wear any boots, bandages, hoof oil or any other dressing on their legs. Whips and other aids (shakers, whistles) are allowed but must not be used in the collecting ring, where they may alarm other horses, they may ONLY be used in the evaluation arena. Bag whips are not allowed at any time. There must be no lunging in the collecting ring. Handlers’ assistants are advisable in the ring to encourage horses to go forward so that their paces can be properly seen. The order of the activity below may vary in order to allow your horse time to settle and show him/herself to the best of their ability

1. You can then walk your horse in hand around a triangle of approx 18m x 18m x 18m in a clockwise direction (foals are normally seen in hand in walk but may go loose if necessary). Foals should be to the inside of, behind or in front of the dam, as required, but not on the far side of the dam. The walk should be brisk and forward.

2. When the evaluators say, trot your horse around the same triangle in a clockwise direction. They may ask to see walk or trot more than once and foals can be loose or in hand in order to see the best example of the gait a foal can show. 

Proper presentation really helps.

3. The evaluators will then ask you to stand still and square for conformation assessment. Please practice this at home. You may also be asked to back up your horse a few steps. Please practice this as well.

4. When the evaluators say, yearlings and two year olds will then be turned loose in order to fully assess their paces and athleticism. Foals will be held at one side of the arena and the dam walked away, then the foal turned loose, in order to be able to assess any pace/s not already seen. A demonstration of this can be seen on our video. Please practice slipping the rein through the foal’s halter to release it quickly but without allowing the rein to strike the foal as you pull it through. Do not clip the rein on to the halter at this point because you will be unable to release it quickly and the foal may hurt itself as it tries to return to its dam. Three year old mares with foals at foot can be evaluated but only in the dressage section, mares with foals at foot may not be loose jumped.

5. There is a new assessment structure for 3-5yo horses and ponies, to find out more, go to:

Your vet sheet and score sheet will be accessible via the database. Full results will be available online during or shortly after the event.  You may also collect a copy of your score sheet at the venue before you leave.  

The top scoring Futurity horses will be awarded trophies or certificates of merit at the British Breeding Celebration Ball on 9th November.   The owners/breeders of these horses will be contacted before this event which is open for anyone to attend and details are available on the British Breeding website - see link on home page.

Important information

Scores will be recorded in the Futurity database and we may permit certain academic establishments use of the equine and score data to use in research projects (but they will not be permitted to see your personal information). Certain venues may be filmed for academic, educational, research, sales or promotional purposes. All venues will be filmed by TV or internet TV companies. You must let us know in advance if you do not wish to feature. Futurity photographers are present at all venues and contact details will be printed in all catalogues and on the Futurity page at

Holdsworth PR will be helping us to publicise Futurity successes and may well contact some participants in advance of or following the evaluation for comments and profiles. Please make the most of the opportunities we have created for you to promote your stud or breeding programme. We will give Holdsworth PR your contact details for this purpose only.

What do I (and any of my helpers) wear?

A hard hat must be worn by participants in the arena and outside and gloves are highly recommended for both vetting and evaluation phases. White, beige or cream trousers and white tops. Tops in stud colours are permitted. Sensible footwear for trotting your horse (robust trainers or lightweight jodhpur boots are ideal). Long riding boots are not advisable as they may restrict your movement. Please bring a bucket of food to catch your horse.

What does my horse wear?

Broodmare – snaffle bridle and lead rein or reins (unless, for safety reasons, another type of bridle is more suitable). Broodmares may wear boots or bandages if required. Broodmares will not be evaluated. In the event of embryo transfer foals we realise that the broodmares will be recipient mares. In the event of orphan foals, any equine companion is allowed to accompany the foal.

Foal – leather foal slip/headcollar and lead rein with a clip that is easy and quick to undo but still safe.

Yearling and two year old – Yearlings are generally shown wearing an in-hand bitless bridle or leather headcollar and lead rein. Yearlings are permitted to wear an in hand bridle with bit if you prefer. Two year old colts must wear a snaffle bridle. Two year old mares and geldings may be shown in an in-hand bitless bridle, snaffle bridle or leather headcollar. Please use a clip that is easy and quick to undo but still safe.

Three year old – snaffle bridle. Please use a clip that is easy and quick to undo but still safe.

Bridle number – when you are sent your times online you will see your bridle number. This is the number you will need to make or buy to put on your horse’s bridle on the day. Ideally you will have a number both sides since this makes it easier to identify the horse, particularly for the photographer. In the case of foals, the mare usually wears the number/s.

Please do:

Enjoy yourselves and take the feedback you receive in the supportive and informative spirit in which it is intended. It will be constructive. Not every horse will receive an elite or even a gold premium. This does not mean that they are poor horses. But please do be honest with yourself and practice critically evaluating your own horses so that you are aware of where your horse’s strengths and weaknesses lie before the day.

Please try to come to an evaluation before the one you bring your horse to. They are free of charge to attend and you will benefit greatly from watching a variety of other horses before you attend yourself, and you will be better prepared. If you confine your Futurity experience to bringing just one horse on one day, you will not fully understand the range of types of horse and pony we see and the range of scores obtained, and why.


T: 07834 194821 (Eva) or 07799 701521 (Sasha) E:


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