New British Equestrian Federation performance director revealed

  • Serving army officer Dan Hughes is to take over as the performance director for the British Equestrian Federation.

    As Dan is still serving in the army he will not start in the role until next spring, when he completes military service.

    He replaces Will Connell, who left the organisation to work for the US team.

    Will spent 11 years where he was the team leader for the equestrian sports at the last three Olympics and chef de mission at the 2006 and 2010 World Equestrian Games.

    Dan will take on the responsibility for the coordination and delivery of the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme for eventing, dressage, showjumping, and para dressage.

    He has been in the army for 24 years, and prior to that trained with Olympic medallist Ian Stark.

    He competed up four-star level in eventing and was a member of the British European Young Rider squads in 1989 and 1990. He continued to compete up to two-star level while in the army.

    In his new role Dan will be responsible for fulfilling the mission of the BEF’s World Class Programme — identifying talent, maximising potential and delivering success.

    The BEF said the aim is “to develop systems that will win more medals for Great Britain now and in the future on the international stage through a ‘no compromise’ approach”.

    “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the army but always wanted to return to the equestrian world; the opportunity to take up the role of BEF performance director was impossible to resist,” said Dan.

    “I am extremely excited about the challenges that lie ahead and the prospect of working with such a talented group of athletes, coaches and support staff.

    “I look forward to building on the outstanding success achieved by them, and my predecessor, to further develop and drive that success forward to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and beyond.”

    BEF chief executive Andrew Finding added: “Dan showed us that he has the talent, fortitude, managerial and leadership skills worthy of our finest athletes.

    “We will vest in him responsibility in leading the British Equestrian team to the Games in Rio and beyond.

    “We will welcome him with warmth and open arms. Until he joins us we will continue in our drive to achieve success with Gordon Burton, head of performance, and Sarah Armstrong, head of administration and Logistics.”

    Dan’s start date is not yet confirmed.

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