Best British Bred Dressage Sire 2000

Incorrect data denied Holme Grove Solomon of his 2nd "Best British Bred Dressage Sire" title. A title he won in 1998 and was runner up in 1999 by only one point. Since the first publication of it’s SPORT HORSE ANNUAL in 1996 the British Horse Database (BHD) book of performance horse data has rapidly become ‘a bible’ for information on British Bred Sport Horses. At the eleventh hour of printing the 2001 annual and the eve of the British Horse Foundation Awards Dinner an anomaly in the data collected was discovered. It was to affect only the Dressage Sires and only one of the leading stallions, namely Holme Grove Solomon.

The discrepancy was because of the process of downgrading competing dressage horses in order that they may compete at a lower level, therefore making them valuable schoolmasters for less experienced riders. British Dressage assess each schoolmaster and can reduce it’s competition points total on their records for the purpose of a new rider horse combination being able to become competitive at their appropriate level of expertise and training. These reduced points totals should be only to create fair dressage competition but an oversight meant that the most recent reduced points total for each of the stallions offspring were used by the BHD for their data instead of the correct highest lifetime points total.

On receiving the proof copy of Holme Grove Solomon’s page to be printed on the pending annual it was instantly apparent that something had gone amiss as the lifetime progeny total in DEC 2000 was lower than six months before, in JUNE 2000. Not possible, they thought so Susan Attew and Julia Wetton of Holme Trakehners set about sourcing the truth. It took considerable detective work to find that two of ‘Solomon’s medium level offspring, Holme Grove Freshman and Holme Grove Bolero had been sold in those six months and both been downgraded to Elementary level at 60 points. A total reduction of points of 264 points between the two of them. This was also deducted from the annual progeny winnings on which the Best British Bred Sire Award is based dropping Solomon’s annual progeny total from 560 points down to 296 points. The 2000 winner gained 443 points.

Holme Trakehners were of course devastated, 560 points is a brilliant result and should have put him into 5th place in the BHD Annual Progeny Winnings list and to 9th place in the Top 20 Living Sires. Many long discussions followed between Holme Trakehners, British Dressage, British Horse Database, British Horse Foundation and an amicable solution was eventually found. BHD agreed to print a notice at the head of each listing to say, "Data supplied by British Dressage to BHD for downgraded horses does not include points won prior to downgrading and this is reflected in the British Dressage progeny winnings for sires of those downgraded horses." British Dressage agreed to supply full points total for all downgraded horses to the BHD going back to the first year of publication 1996, so that all points earned by all horses will be reinstated and included in the BHD Data 2002.