The World Class Programme introduced an Equine Pathway (in partnership with the BEF Olympic Member Bodies) during 2006 / 2007 to sit alongside the human development pathway in order to identify and support World Class horses.
The purpose of the Pathway is to identify horses that have the potential to develop into medal winning horses, the Programme will then work with and support the riders and the owners of the horses in order to help them maximise the horses' potential. It is also hoped that the Programme will encourage owners to keep their horses with British riders and will enhance GBR's chances at the 2012 Olympic Games and beyond.
Selection for the Pathway varies between disciplines and the criteria and format for each is being constantly reviewed by each individual sport. Horses are identified through results linked to different age groups or through viewing of the horses.
The development of the horses is monitored against a pre-determined (but flexible) pathway with the aim to have horses qualified to compete and challenge for medals at the 2012 Olympic Games / 2014 World Equstrian Games / 2016 Olympic Games. The emphasis for Para-Equestrian Dressage is on identifying the "right" horse(s) for each of the riders on the World Class Programme.
Support will be provided in order to assist the horse to maximise its potential and on an individual basis in conjunction with discussions with the owner/ rider. The Equine Pathway aims to provide support to potential World Class horses through:
- Monitoring horses' development through observation and communication with the owner/rider
- Veterinary/farriery monitoring and advice
- Training sessions
- Coaching advice and support
- Competition planning
- Sports science and medicine support to the rider, if they are not already on the World Class Programme.
A detailed record of each horse's progress is maintained and regular updates are made through competition result analysis, training reviews and veterinary assessments.