The 2017 International Young Breeders World Championships (IYBC) hosted by the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association (CWHBA) and Spruce Meadows, July 20 – 22, wrapped up Saturday night with a Western style BBQ and dance at KT Warmbloods, after two days of friendly, but intense competition. The scores were so close, that when it came time to calculate the results there were many ties and individual placings determined by less than a point.

The overall champion team of the Pferdezuchtverband Baden-Württemberg beat its rivals by only five points margin, ahead of the young breeders from Sweden and the Hanover.

The Holsteiner Verband, which had dominated the previous three championships in France, Sweden and England, won in the Senior team category, for ages 20 – 25 years; the Hanoverians took first place among the Junior teams, with participants aged 16 – 19 years.

In the individual rankings, the Danish participant Lasse Reiffenstein Bendixen won the Senior category. In the Junior category, the judges were treated to a very special performance by Sarah Scheerer from the Hanoverians, who emerged as the clear winner. The 18-year-old not only won in the junior category, but also in the overall rankings of all ages. In all disciplines she consistently achieved first or second place. The first-time participant in the world championships modestly put her success down to the fact that she “simply had a good horse for the in-hand presentation.”

In total, 111 participants from 8 different countries represented 17 different Studbooks: teams came from Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, the host country Canada, Austria, Sweden and the USA. The country sending the largest number of teams was Germany with 37 participants representing 8 studbooks in the international competition.

The Canadian team, coached by Cassandra Morrish, who also carried the load of chairing the Organising Committee, were right in the thick of things with a Bronze medal performance in the Senior In Hand competition from Tara Landsbergen and a top 9 placing by Grace Arnburg in the Junior Loose Jumping Judging division.

The keys to our success were of course:

  • The great venue of Spruce Meadows combined with the unbelievable support and co-operation from Linda Heathcott, Marg Southern (pictured at left) and their amazing staff.
  • Super volunteers, from the organizing committee to the grooms, judges and runners, everyone gave their full effort.
  • Fantastic horses supplied and cared for by our CWHBA breeders and volunteers
  • Generous Sponsors and donors
  • And most importantly, the wonderful young people from across Europe and North America that competed, made friends and brought their youthful energy to the event. Their cooperative and enthusiastic participation made it all worth while.

To top it off, the weather was perfect, so from the perspective of the coaches and participants it is hard to imagine how it could have been better. IYB President Inken Gräfin von Platen-Hallermund summarised her impression of the event: “It was a highly successful event, delivered by the Canadian Warmblood breeders with great professionalism, in a very congenial and welcoming atmosphere at Spruce Meadows.”