All eyes on Tokyo 2020: meet the team behind Britain’s renewed eventing success

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Following Britain’s golden success at the European Eventing Championships in Poland last month (17-20 August 2017), catch up with the team behind our renewed success

At last weekend’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (31 August-2 September 2017), the British eventing team’s performance coach Chris Bartle and their performance manager Richard Waygood conducted a masterclass in the main arena — giving the Burghley crowds a chance to see the team behind Britain’s eventers in action.

“When I was first interviewed for the position, and when they suggested that Dicky (Richard Waygood) came on board with me I couldn’t have been more delighted,” says Chris. “He is a very accomplished rider and a very accomplished coach in his own right, so we bounce ideas off each other.”

Dicky, who was a former riding master of the Household Cavalry, and performance manager for the British dressage squad for the past seven years prior to this role, adds: “I see myself as there to facilitate what Chris needs to do to coach. We work so well together, long may it continue.”

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Having been national coach to the German eventing team since 2001, Chris took on his new role with the British eventing team in January this year. Much of the credit for Germany’s meteoric rise as the dominant force in eventing in recent years has been given to Chris — and under his guidance the British team clinched the gold medal at the European Eventing Championships in Strzegom, Poland last month.

“In Poland, it was a great performance by everybody – the team, the squad and the team behind the team,” says Chris.

“The proudest moment for me was that they performed on the field of play,” adds Dicky. “And that shows championship character. We’re clearly focused now on Tokyo (the Olympic Games in 2020) and the World Equestrian Games (next year in America) are the next step.”

Don’t miss our full report and analysis from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in the current issue of Horse & Hound magazine (7 September 2017)

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