The British Equestrian Federation’s World Class Programme has today launched the selection policies for its 2019-2021 Podium Potential squads and the new Podium Potential Pathway programme (formerly Excel Talent), and with them, a new structure for the performance pathway as we build to Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024 and beyond.
Gordon Burton, equestrian Performance Director says: “We have been reviewing the performance pathway over the last few months, and as a result, have revised the structure of the pathway to ensure we are providing the best support to both our human and equine athletes to promote their continued development.”
The equestrian pathway has three distinct stages – Podium, Podium Potential and Podium Potential Pathway – which support athletes across the three Olympic (dressage, eventing and showjumping) and one Paralympic (para-equestrian dressage) disciplines.
BEF Head of Performance Pathways, David Hamer explains more about the structure: “Podium Potential aims to identify, support and develop partnerships that demonstrate the potential to deliver medal winning performances at senior championship level. The changes we’ve made to the policy recognise that it’s about the continuous development of two athletes – human and equine, as a combination.
“We have revised our criteria and, recognising that at this level performance can fluctuate due mostly to athletes acquiring or losing the ride on a horse, we have removed the previous age restrictions to ensure that athletes at any stage of their development, who meet the selection criteria, are eligible to apply.”
For Podium Potential Pathway, the key objective is centred around identifying, supporting and educating athletes, to develop the foundation skills needed for future performance. Within this programme there are set upper age limits.
David adds: “Supporting riders in their progression along the pathway is an integral part of the World Class Programme. We know that at different stages athletes need different support, and the new Podium Potential Pathway squad structure will enable selected athletes to benefit from tailored support and education, to enable them to progress up to Podium Potential, or more widely into the industry.”
The two year programmes will open for applications later this year.
To view the Podium Potential and Podium Potential Pathway Selection Policies click here.