Australian eventer Clayton Fredericks has told H&H that his new job as coach to the Canadian eventing team indicates “a winding down” of his top level competition.
“I am not going to completely retire but I have been wanting to focus on coaching for a while,” he said.
Clayton moved to the US from Team Fredericks’ Wiltshire base last month and the rider has admitted it was to boost his prospects of becoming the Canadian coach.
His appointment was announced on Friday (26 October).
“I didn’t like to say anything prior to getting the job but I knew I had a good chance [of being appointed], although there were some very strong candidates, and I hoped it would improve my chances,” said Clayton.
His base will remain in Florida, where he already has South African eventer Hayley Parker on his yard and US eventer Sinead Halpin is due to move in in the next few weeks.
And he hopes to attract further pupils.
The Canadian event team’s recent performance peaked with team silver at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.
But, with three fallers on the cross-country, their London Olympics result was disappointing.
“A lot of people had bad luck at London,” said Clayton with a wry laugh, referring to his own fall from Bendigo on the course.
“Canada has some really good, solid riders, particularly the young ones, and some exciting prospects.
“It’s very important to have a sound strategy of where the horses run and how often and to bring other horses on. We need to increase the depth of horses available.”