Endurance GB’s management of international teams is under the spotlight after the resignation en masse of its selectors. The resignation follows a row over the selection of US-based rider Dominique Freeman for the British team for this January’s World Championship in Dubai.
The panel of June Adams, Jane Mcguinness and Judith Heeley, led by chairman of selectors Stevie Martin, had initially named Dominique Freeman’s horse Paris as a member of the squad. Paris was assessed competing at a ride on a special trip to America by Stevie Martin and team vet Hugh Salmon.
But it transpired that the horse was not qualified for the team according to EGB rules, having not completed 120km as a combination with Ms Freeman within the past two years. Then, instead of calling up first reserve Beccy Broughton, the selectors tried to remedy the error by substituting the unqualified horse with Ms Freeman’s Proud Legacy.
Maggie Maguire, chairman of the international committee and vice-chairman of EGB, then overturned the selectors’ decision, and called up Beccy Broughton’s Murmansk instead.
She says: “A mistake occurred and I, with the backing of the international management team (IMT), intervened to put it right. The selectors were unhappy with the intervention and, unfortunately, felt it necessary to resign.”
Stevie Martin says: “We felt we had no choice but to resign due to the lack of support from the IMT and the board. We have no intention of doing EGB’s dirty washing in public.”
The sport’s selection process has been troubled in the past 18 months with the sport’s international management coming under scrutiny a year ago. British endurance teams historically have an excellent track record in World and European Championships, but after the past two years’ poor performances, changes were called for.
The issue is likely to be hotly debated at the society’s AGM on 27 November.