Equestrianism: A wider role for new job at BHTA

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The Independent Online
The Sports Council has decided that the responsibilities of a performance director for equestrian sports will now have to cover all three Olympic disciplines: show jumping, dressage and three-day eventing.The position had been announced - and advertised - as one concerned with eventing only.

The British Horse Trials Association had been preparing to interview four applicants when the Sports Council, who will be funding the appointment, decided to extend the parameters. The vacancy will, therefore, be re-advertised, probably with more emphasis on training rather than administrative skills.

Giles Rowsell, chairman of the three-day event selection committee, said: "We have to abide by the rules to get the money." However, the change of goalposts seems likely to make the new appointment less fruitful for eventing than the one originally envisaged.

Britain's leading event riders are at Stoneleigh, attending a three-day course sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, with Chris Bartle instructing in dressage and Graham Fletcher in show jumping. Those taking part are likely to include the entire British team for September's European Open Championships at Burghley, where Rowsell will also fill the role of chef d'equipe.

In previous years the selectors have usually required those looking for a place on the championship team to compete at Badminton in May. This time, however, they are being given a free rein to plan their itineraries, albeit in the knowledge that good form in Badminton's four-star event will count for more than any performance - however impressive - in a three- star contest, such as Saumur in France or Punchestown in Ireland.

THREE-DAY EVENT RIDERS (on senior training course): C Bathe, K Dixon, W Fox-Pitt, K Gifford, C Hunnable, L Jennings, M King, L Law, K Parker, G Parsonage and I Stark.