“It’s been increasingly difficult to compete alongside my coaching commitments,” said Di, 54, who is expanding training facilities at her Spring Farm, Leics, base.
“I’m a perfectionist and doing both was impossible.”
Successful as a young rider team coach and chef d’equipe at the 2008 Youth Olympics in Australia and as BS consultant head of training, Di’s new role as assistant chef d’equipe arose from a phone call with performance manager Rob Hoekstra and began 12 months ago.
Nominated by Rob, Di is now a selector for senior British teams and will share more chef d’equipe duties with him.
“Di makes an ideal team manager,” said BS performance development chairman Clare Whitaker. “She’s ridden at championship level, is full of knowledge, a great communicator and knows what is required.”
Former team-mate Geoff Billington agreed: “Di was a solid team member who could always be relied upon,” he said.
“As selector, she’ll know exactly what’s going on and her judgement will not be swayed.”
Di is selling all her top horses, including 2010 H&H Foxhunter finalist Puck and the exciting 10-year-old stallion Curtis.
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (2 June, 2011)