Former British junior and young rider showjumping chef d’equipe Mike Florence has a new role with the Turkish Equestrian Federation.
Mr Florence, who led Britain to 29 European Championship medals between 1997 and 2009, including 10 team and four individual gold medals, been appointed chef d’equipe to Turkey’s senior, young rider, junior and children-on-horses teams.
“I thought my days of cheffing were over, but this is a challenge I could not turn down and I am delighted to be able to accept this exciting role,” he told H&H.
Following his resignation in 2009, Mr Florence became assistant manager to the Spanish showjumping team.
“I worked with Spain for seven years. I will miss the job, but the financial crunch meant it was no longer viable,” he added.
Turkey has not qualified a team for the Rio Olympics, but will send two individual riders. Mr Florence has indicated that the priority this year will be the European championships for young riders, juniors and children-on-horses, which will take place at Millstreet in Ireland (27-31 July).
“It’s going to be a busy year. My plan is to bring the riders to England ahead of the Europeans so they can gain valuable experience competing on British soil,” he said.
“We have some talented riders to work with, but in common with a lot of nations there is a lack of horsepower. I will be working with the president and the new director general of the Turkish Equestrian Federation to put in place a system similar to the one I helped develop in Britain and Spain. The focus is on being able to support and nurture youngsters through the levels.”
Mr Florence will divide his time between his home in Wigan and Istanbul.