Lottery funding has been withdrawn from British show jumping following its failure to qualify for the Athens Olympics, 2004.
UK Sport distributes Lottery funds to 35 of Britain’s elite sports via the World Class Performance Plan (WCPP), from which show jumping received £112,000 last year. But since February, the squad has been under close scrutiny, and its failure to qualify at the European Championships has now led to the sport’s removal from the WCPP.
“WCPP is for the top 20% of athletes within each discipline who have the potential to deliver medals at major championships both now and into the future,” says Matt Crawcour from UK Sport. “It’s unashamedly about success. Show jumping failed to qualify a team and so fell short of the criteria.”
However, the sport has not been cast off the agenda completely — one or two individuals can still qualify for Athens, so £66,666 of exchequer funding (from the government) will be awarded on 1 December to help pay for an ongoing international campaign.
Andrew Finding, chief executive of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), which distributes the funding to equestrian disciplines on the WCPP, sums up feelings within the BEF and BSJA.
“The team has to stay positive, become more professional, work very hard and produce results. I believe unequivocally that show jumping will be back on the programme, but it will take determination and perseverance.”