Performance Director announced to lead equestrian World Class Programme

24th Feb 2017

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is pleased to announce that Gordon Burton will take up the mantle of Performance Director to the UK Sport National Lottery-funded Equestrian World Class Programme.

Gordon brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked within elite sport for over seventeen years. Currently Performance Advisor at UK Sport, he is no stranger to equestrian sport; both equestrian and para-equestrian were among his five core portfolio sports during the Rio and London cycles.

Gordon says; “I have worked with the equestrian programme since 2009 and grown a deep respect for the performances achieved through extraordinary partnerships. My time working at UK Sport has also afforded me the opportunity to see excellent practice in other sporting arenas and I look forward to sharing my knowledge and network with the BEF.  It is a very exciting time to be leading the World Class Equestrian Programme as the challenges and opportunities facing the equestrian disciplines are both huge and ever changing. I am greatly looking forward to the journey to Tokyo 2020.”

Chief Executive of the BEF, Clare Salmon says; “I am delighted to welcome Gordon to the team as we embark on our journey to Tokyo. We recognise that there are lots of opportunities for us to learn from other elite sports and this is the first appointment we have made where the candidate is not from an equestrian background. The appointment was the result of extensive collaboration with the Olympic disciplines, who have been working closely with the BEF to design our ambitious plans for the cycle.

“Gordon’s work with the BEF over seven years and his background in high-performance sport strategy and sports science will be hugely valuable to the Programme, as we embark on a more tailored approach to creating a highly regarded performance system.”

As Performance Director, Gordon will provide leadership, management and strategic direction to the World Class Programme across eventing, showjumping, dressage and para-dressage squads, and will be responsible for the delivery of the BEF’s performance strategy.

Gordon began his career with British Rowing, and was part of its coaching development programme. At GB Canoeing he lead their science and medicine strategy as well as heading up the coaching technical group and initiating a ground breaking talent programme before taking a high-performance coaching consultant role at UK Sport. Since the Beijing Games, Gordon has worked as an advisor across many World Class Programmes and has taken secondments with Team GB for both the London and Rio Olympic Games. In 2016 he was accepted onto the inaugural cohort of UK Sport’s Future Leaders in Performance Programme.

The appointment of Performance Director comes as the World Class Programme is undergoing an ambitious strategic change, as it looks to build on a winning culture across the disciplines. Gordon joins a team of world-leading coaches, practitioners and support staff, who will aim to build upon Great Britain’s London and Rio successes.