The British Equestrian Federation will be seeking a new world class performance director to lead the British teams at this year’s Tryon World Equestrian Games and beyond to Tokyo 2020, following the news Gordon Burton will be leaving the organisation at the end of May.
Mr Burton took over the role in February last year from Dan Hughes, who had held the position since spring 2015. During Mr Hughes’ time at the BEF, British teams won a number of medals on the world stage, including team gold and individual bronze at the European eventing championships and eight medals at the European para dressage championships.
“It has been a very difficult decision to make as I have developed a new strategic approach to the programme and appointed a strong team,” said Mr Burton, who joined the BEF after working as a performance director at UK Sport.
“UK Sport have shown confidence in the programme through their endorsement of the strategy and increased investment. However, sadly there are areas that have not been possible to progress as I wished.
“The equestrian world class programme has an immensely talented and strong team in place supporting Great Britain’s athletes, and I am confident of a positive future for the federation under the leadership of Nick [Fellows, chief executive of the BEF] and Mohamed [Elsarky, BEF chair].”
The new performance director replaces Will Connell, who left the organisation to work for the US team
If you've been waiting for the tickets for the individual world championship disciplines to become available, now is the time
The British team held on to their overnight lead to win gold and individual bronze during a tense final showjumping
The BEF has said it will begin the process of recruiting a new performance director “soon”.
“I am very sad that the BEF will be losing Gordon,” said Mr Fellows. “He has helped strengthen and shape the programme during his tenure and will be greatly missed; I wish him well for the future.
“We are very fortunate to have fantastic staff involved with the programme and I will be working closely with the whole team in the coming months, to ensure that our staff, athletes and their teams continue to receive the best support as we build towards the WEG in Tryon, later this year.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday
This week’s edition (10 May) features our full report from Badminton, including in-depth analysis, expert comment, pictures and more. Plus, read our feature on the options for retiring your horse and in this week’s vet clinic we look into the challenges of equine surgery