British Eventing (BE) has announced a seven-figure investment into the sport, to help “identify, develop and nurture its up-and-coming talent, both human and equine”.
The money is an investment from David Howden, CEO and founder of Howden and president of Cornbury House Horse Trials, and will be delivered over five years to enable new training for riders and the creation of a young horse pathway.
The Howden Way will enhance the training offered by BE in three areas: regional training, a “talent academy” and the young horses’ scheme.
“Through the investment, British Eventing will be able to introduce new regional training available to all riders,” a BE spokesman said. “Regardless of an individual’s riding experience, all BE members will have an equal opportunity to take part in the subsidised training and have access to remote online content. The Howden Regional Training Academies will endeavour to ensure all riders are competing both competently and safely with the bespoke training syllabus created to develop riders both in and out of the saddle.”
Talented riders aged from 14 to 28 can be identified by regional training coaches and invited to join the talent academy, to benefit from “tailored coaching and mentoring” from top trainers, to help the transition to the elite level.
“The Howden Way also brings about an exciting opportunity for eventing to help maintain the high calibre of horses in the UK required to sustain a leading position on the world stage,” the spokesman said. “Through The Howden Young Horse Academy, horses that have future potential will be identified and enrolled on to an equine pathway consisting of training and competitions. New BE age-specific leagues will be generated to identify, showcase, and develop the up-and-coming five- to nine-year-old horses as they progress through the season. These leagues will also act to support stakeholders, including owners and breeders, on whom the future of the sport relies.”
BE chief executive Helen West described the investment as “a very exciting time and a significant opportunity” for BE.
“ The creation of The Howden Way represents the largest direct sponsorship into one of the national governing bodies of an Olympic equestrian discipline,” she said. “We are very grateful to the support given by David Howden and look forward to the benefits our members will receive from the introduction of The Howden Way.”
Elements of the scheme will be introduced this season, starting with the young horse leagues and followed by the regional training. The talent pathways will follow after more development.
Mr Howden said: “I am thrilled to support British Eventing and the future of the sport through the introduction of The Howden Way. Eventing is such a special sport and through The Howden Way we want to ensure riders and young horses are offered the best opportunities to reach their full potential.”
Riders, including BE pay-as-you-go competitors, will be able to access online support as well as the regular regional training sessions, which will be subsidised. The young horse and talent academies will be free to riders.
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