Two Essex riders have been earmarked for future Olympics, announces the British Equestrian Federation.
Two riders from Essex have taken a step closer to their aim of representing Great Britain at Olympic and Paralympic level by being selected onto the British Equestrian Federation England Excel Talent Programme, which includes around fifty riders earmarked with the potential to represent Great Britain on senior teams in the future.
Para-Equestrian Dressage rider Victoria Barrick (30) from Epping and showjumper Nathan Grant (20) from Colchester, have been invited onto the programme along with other up-and-coming riders from the four Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian disciplines – Dressage, Showjumping, Eventing and Para-Equestrian.
The riders gathered on 20th October 2011 at Warwickshire Racecourse for an induction day to learn more about the programme, which is being run by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and will provide selected these individuals with access to top equestrian specialists including coaches, physiotherapists, psychologists, vets and nutritionists via a series of rider performance camps.
Victoria said: “I am very proud to be a part of the Excel Talent Programme given that there were only a few places. I know that I will learn a lot from the Programme and gain lots of experience. The Induction day was brilliant; it is always good to know what is expected of you from the start and the speakers that gave presentations were very insightful.”
Riders also had the opportunity to find out what it takes to succeed at the top level from those on the World Class Programme. Laura Collett (Eventing), Simon Crippen (Showjumping), Maria Eilberg (Dressage) and Natasha Baker (Para-Equestrian Dressage) – talk about their experience of making the transition into the senior ranks and onto the world stage.
Simon Wergan, Senior Talent Development Manager for Sport England, said: “These athletes have already been identified as having the talent to succeed and the Excel Talent Programme is the next step of this journey. It is important that these riders grasp the opportunities on offer with both hands.”
The Excel Talent Programme has been set up through funding from Sport England and replaces the Regional Foundation Squad system. It is intended that the revised nationalised format will allow the BEF to provide a heightened level of expertise, so aiding riders’ development as all-round athletes. The programme’s managers are working closely with British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping to ensure they add value to what is already on offer through the disciplines.
Leader of the Excel Programme, David Hamer, said: “We are lucky to have the funding to support these riders from the Lottery and Government Exchequer through Sport England. The induction day has set the theme for the programme which is to develop riders for future Olympics and Paralympic Games.”