Equestrianism: Disciplines in unison

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The Independent Online

Cross-pollination is the new buzz word in British equestrian circles, thanks to unprecedented cooperation between the three Olympic disciplines whose World Class Performance Managers now meet on a monthly basis. Yogi Breisner (eventing), Derek Ricketts (show jumping) and Ian Williams (dressage) are clearly finding these opportunities for an informal exchange of views enormously helpful.

The three managers are among the speakers at the first Hickstead Equine Event, which began yesterday. The Event combines shopping opportunities with the chance to listen to some of the top people in equestrian sport. The same speakers will be back at the microphones today and tomorrow.

Having previously gone their own way, the Olympic disciplines are now developing remarkably similar strategies.

Breisner, Williams and Ricketts all believe in a no-stone-left-unturned approach, which includes individual meetings with riders and the early selection of teams for September's World Equestrian Games in Spain, so that everybody can have a better preparation. A squad of five dressage riders is due to be named in the spring. The eventing team and individual riders will be selected in June and the show jumpers in late July or early August.

Though later than the other disciplines, Ricketts will be picking the show jumping riders much earlier than his predecessors.