Irish eventing faces Europeans without leader

  • Irish equestrian teams are again beset by rifts following the resignation of eventing performance manager Lars Christensson three weeks ahead of the European Championships.

    A spokesman for Equestrian Federation of Ireland (EFI) told H&H: “We have asked Eventing Ireland for a report on the resignation of the performance director.”

    Mr Christensson, who has worked with Eventing Ireland for two years, resigned after a spat over selection.

    While officially citing “personal reasons” for his resignation — the Swedish former event rider has four children aged under 16 at home — Mr Christensson told H&H: “I’ve done my best in this position, but I have to bring it to a half-halt now.”

    The performance director named only four riders to represent Ireland at the Europeans in Pratoni next month. He could have taken six.

    “It’s very important not to send anyone who wouldn’t be competitive,” said Mr Christensson. “Many people have worked hard and been very committed, but I was appointed to raise standards and get a structure in place and it’s a long-term job. People need to be more patient.”

    Eventing Ireland issued a statement thanking Mr Christensson for his contribution to the sport. At the request of Ben Jellet, performance and training manager, an independent panel reviewed the selection situation at the weekend and endorsed Mr Christensson’s decisions.

    Read this story in full in Horse & Hound (30 August, ’07)

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