Former eventing world champion and Olympic gold medalist Blyth Tait is to leave his position as Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) eventing high performance director.

Mr Tait’s contract ends on 31 December 2008 and will not be renewed.

A spokesman for ESNZ said: “Unfortunately with Blyth’s increasingly busy personal and business life he no longer has the time to dedicate to the position.

“Blyth has performed an excellent job over the last four years working hard to bring the eventing high performance programme together and has been a pleasure to work with him.

“It is hoped that ESNZ and eventing will be able to retain Blyth’s knowledge and expertise in some capacity into the future.

“ESNZ would like to record its thanks to Blyth for the dedication he has shown to Eventing High Performance over the last four years.”

National eventing coach Erik Duvander will continue his involvement in the high performance programme and specific details on his appointment will be announced early in 2009, he added.