Fifteen of Britain’s brightest up-and-coming show jumping riders will be given the chance to train with international riders and coaches, as well as receiving individually tailored plans to help them further their careers, after being selected as members of the 2005 World Class Start and Potential Show Jumping programme.

Around 90 individuals initially applied for places on the 2005 World Class Start and Potential squad, from which 39 were invited to attend a viewing day where they could be assessed. This was a change in the selection format from previous years and gave riders the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in front of a selection panel.

Thirteen riders from the viewing day were chosen to take part in the ridden selection trials, along with riders who have ridden on a senior Nations Cup team, or were individual or team medallists at the junior and young rider European Championships, together with the current 12-squad riders. The chief selectors were Franke Sloothaak and Peter Wylde.

Six riders were chosen to join the Start programme, with nine riders for the Potential programme. A small number of younger riders have been placed onto a peripheral programme, where they will be invited forward to attend a couple of squad sessions in the year to introduce them to the World Class system and services it can offer.

Vikki Underwood, World Class Start & Potential Manager says: “The concept of the viewing days has proved a success and the standard of the short-listed riders was incredibly high. A number of riders who were part of the 2004 programme have been re-selected, which highlights that the structure and training offered by World Class is effective, but some new faces have also appeared indicating that the selection process continues to be consistent and fair.”

WCS&P has modified its funding structure to a tiered system incorporating WCGold, WCSilver and WCBronze levels within each of the Start and the Potential programmes. While all riders on the scheme will have the same World Class benefits, the level of individual funding will vary between the levels. These levels are primarily set on the rider’s performance at the selection trials, although movement between the levels (up and down) may be possible throughout the year.

Riders in the Start squad are:

  • World Class Gold: Hannah Paul
  • World Class Silver: Sophie Heaven, Andrew Mizon, Charlotte Platt
  • World Class Bronze: James Billington, Hanna Penny

Riders selected for the Potential squad are:

  • World Class Gold: Paul Barker, Ben Maher, Robert Whitaker
  • World Class Silver: James Davenport, Vicky Young, Richard Robinson, Emma Shaw, Lee Williams
  • World Class Bronze: Jamie Wingrave

The British Equestrian Federation’s World Class Start & Potential programme is for riders between the ages of 14 and 30 who demonstrate the exceptional talent and dedication to ride and win at Olympic level in dressage, paralympic dressage, show jumping or eventing. It establishes a development pathway for these riders to progress onto the Olympic Performance squads in 2008 and 2012.