Ian Williams will leave the BEF in March to take up a leading managerial job at the FEI in Switzerland after being headhunted by the Federation this autumn.

His new role will be as head of the sports discipline department, with worldwide responsibility for endurance and reining.

Ian will be based in Lausanne, and his wife Jane and daughter Anna, both keen endurance riders, will join him in Switzerland with their horses.

“My initial role will be to focus on endurance and reining and to look at the development of these disciplines and their prospects for inclusion in the Olympics. I will also be considering the future of the World Equestrian Games,” he confirmed.

“While I have very much enjoyed working with the dressage world, I am looking forward to putting something back into endurance, a sport from which my family and I have gained so much enjoyment. Endurance has expanded considerably over the past few years, and it is time for a review of the way that the 140-odd national federations run the sport to find some common ground and then take it forward.”

To maintain continuity in the weeks before the team faces its “last chance saloon” at Hickstead, Ian will continue to liaise with director of coaching Ferdi Eilberg, who is to be appointed acting performance manager.

“We plan to focus on a smaller performance squad to try to achieve the results we are capable of at Hickstead,” said Ian. “Nothing will be left to chance – the BOA needs to be confident that we can not only qualify for Athens but achieve a top-half finish at the Olympics, and that is what we are setting out to do.”

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