British Eventing and the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) are delighted to welcome Dan Hunt as the Independent Chair of Senior Selectors for eventing alongside BE Master Coach Gillian Watson, Olympian Jeanette Brakewell, coach and former 4* event rider Sarah Bullen and, in his role as BE’s International Director, Nigel Taylor.
As we move into the next four years of the Tokyo Olympiad, and the fast approaching 2017 FEI Senior European Championships (17 – 23 August 2016) in Strzegom, Poland, this announcement marks an exciting development in the selection process with the addition of Hunt in the new role of Independent Chair along with the three new faces to the panel.
Hunt brings with him over 13 years’ experience in performance sport including his former roles with the Premier League, British Cycling and current position as Performance Director of British Ski and Snowboard. He will be joined by Gill Watson, a highly respected BE Master Coach, with extensive experience in working with British teams.
Gill spent over 30 years with the British Junior and Young Rider squads who collected an impressive 96 medals during her tenure. Most recently Gill inspired and developed the popular BE Mark Todd Bridging the Gap Training Programme that aims to educate and support riders aiming to compete at 3* level.
With a competition record boasting double Olympic team silver and four European team gold medals Jeanette Brakewell will provide the panel with an exceptional understanding of the British team along with her knowledge as a UKCC Level 3 and BE Accredited Coach. Similarly Sarah Bullen will also bring forward and combine her experience as both a competitor, riding at the top 4* level, and as a coach to riders competing at championship level.
Nigel Taylor will complete the selection panel in his role as British Eventing’s International Director. Along with his position on the BE Board, Nigel is himself a successful event rider having represented GB at World and European Championships and is also a BE Accredited Development Coach.
Chief Executive of British Eventing, David Holmes, commented; “It is wonderful to see such depth of experience and knowledge on the British Eventing senior selection panel as we head into the next Championship cycle. We are also delighted to welcome Dan as Independent Chair and I am sure his skills working across the variety of high performance sport will bring a fascinating perspective to eventing.
“By advertising for team selectors, three of which are now on the panel, we work towards ensuring we have a selection system that is as open and transparent as possible, this is also supported by the addition of Dan’s position that will be non-voting and to ensure the correct process for selection is followed.
“We have seen this structure used successfully in several other Olympic sports, such as British Triathlon, and look forward to our selectors working with our the whole team, including athletes, owners, coaches, staff and the World Class Programme over the coming months and years.”
Clare Salmon, Chief Executive of the BEF said; “It is fantastic to see the strength and depth of expertise coming forward to the British Eventing senior selection panel, with the welcome addition of an Independent Chair for the first time. The knowledge that Dan brings with him from an elite-sport background, combined with the insight from past GB team-members, will be of great value to the sport, and the World Class Programme team look forward to meeting those appointed as we see the 2017 season getting underway later this week.”