UK Sport has offered the British Equestrian Federation a 48% increase in funding. The Chancellor of the Exchequer recently announced extra money for sports in the run up to London 2012 and UK Sport has decided to allocate a substantial amount to equestrianism.

The BEF’s Performance Director Will Connell said: “The new funding award is excellent news and recognition of the Equestrian successes in Athens and the potential for success in the future. The significant increase will enable the programme to expand the scope of the support it delivers.”

The funding for the years 2006-9 is £9,618,000 and includes start and potential funding previously provided by Sport England. This means that the total for the current year (2006/7) is £3,112,000, an increase of £1,003,000 from £2,109,000 last year (2005/6).

“We face a unique challenge in that we have to have a world class horse performing to its potential as well as a world class human athlete,” Connell continued. “We should be in no doubt about what this money is for: medals. We need to all work together to ensure we put the money to the best possible use. This will require close co-operation with riders, coaches, owners, sports science personnel and the Federation’s Member Bodies. This is not a participation programme, it is a programme that exists to make the best better.”

Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, said: “We have started a six-year process that will not just deliver medals in 2012 but help transform the high performance system in this country forever.”

The BEF is delighted that UK Sport has such confidence in the ability of equestrian athletes to deliver medals. “We must now work hard to ensure that we deliver,” BEF Board Chairman, Hugh Thomas said.

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