Showjumper resigns in protest over Europeans decision

  • International rider Tim Stockdale has resigned from the British Showjumping (BS) international committee over the decision not to send a team to the European Championships in Sweden last month.

    Tim, 53, who has been a rider representative on the board for over a decade, handed in his formal resignation after hearing the news that Great Britain would be represented by two individual riders rather than a four-man team — and without the committee being given the opportunity for consultation on this decision.

    “At no point were we given any indication prior to the announcement that we wouldn’t be sending a team,” Tim told H&H. “It had never even been mooted as an option.

    “I’d heard a whisper the weekend before, but certainly not through official channels. I wanted the opportunity to say ‘That’s not the right decision’ but we weren’t given that. There was no consultation at all,” added Tim, who worked alongside fellow riders Tracy Priest, Sian Edwards and Ben Maher on the international committee, which is chaired by Tim Watson and also comprises Clare Whitaker, Di Lampard and Gary Widdowson.

    It was announced on 9 August that this “unusual approach” would be taken, with Michael and William Whitaker the two individual riders selected to represent Great Britain. The decision was made after “the selectors went through a robust process, based on performance data and discussions with the athletes and owners from the nominated entries list.”

    The selection policy for the European Championships was developed “in consultation between the BS board of directors, selectors, athletes, World Class programme performance director and jumping performance manager” with the selection panel comprising Di Lampard, Derek Ricketts, independent chair Tim Watson and the non-voting World Class programme vet and doctor.

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    BS chief executive Iain Graham said: “We’re very sorry to see Tim Stockdale stand down from the committee. He’s always represented the riders’ best interests and he’ll be a hard act to follow.”

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