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Disciplines unite for medals

Performance managers have joined forces to boost Britain’s team medal chances

The three Olympic disciplines, whose World Class Performance Managers now meet on a monthly basis, are working on a new medal-winning strategy, which they believe will be the key to Britain making it’s mark at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain.

Speaking at the first Hickstead Equine Event, which saw an attendance of more than 6,000 over the three days, Yogi Breisner (eventing), Derek Ricketts (show jumping) and Ian Williams (dressage) said they believed that preparation was the key to team success.

“Our biggest challenge is to win medals,” said Derek Ricketts. “People have said that we lack horsepower, but Britain has outstanding riders and my job is to make sure that both horses and riders get to the championships in the best possible condition.”

Looking to the future of show jumping, rider Tim Stockdale, who presented a seminar with Ricketts entitled: “Yes, our showjumpers CAN take on the world”, said: “Realistically, we can only improve our results. If you want to be a show jumper and represent your country, there has never beena better time!”

Ian Williams, who became involved with dressage following success in international endurance, believes the British dressage team can also improve on past results in the 2003 European Dressage Championships to be held at Hickstead.

“I would be disappointed if we were worse than fourth,” he said. “My job is to ensure that money is spent correctly until then to ensure maximum results and to create an atmosphere around the riders so that they can get on with the job in hand.

” We recognise that each rider is an individual. We want to design a system where training is tailor-made but under the umbrella of a British-based director of training, whom we will announce next week.

“A good result is if the team walks away from the competition knowing that no single stone has been left unturned.”

A squad of five dressage riders for WEG will be named in the spring, while the eventing team is due to be selected in June and the show jumpers in July.

The public will get their chance to see the three performance managers in action on 3 June at a special WEG fund-raising event, which will see all three disciplines competing against each other at a British event to be announced.

  • Read about the search for a vet to help the British teams take on the world by clicking here.
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