British Dressage appoints U21 Performance Manager
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British Dressage (BD) is delighted to announce the appointment of Caroline Bell in the new role of U21 Performance Manager which will oversee the management and development of our Pony, Children on Horses, Junior and Young Rider squads through the BD Youth pathways and teams at the annual FEI European Championships.
Having acted as British Dressage’s Pony Chef d’Equipe since 2016, Caroline is no stranger to elite level youth competition. In addition, she’s been instrumental in the success and development of daughter Rebecca who has ridden for Britain at Pony, Junior and Young Rider, including winning medals at the Pony European Championships including team gold in 2015.
Caroline served in HM Forces Army for seven years through the late eighties and early nineties before going on to have a career in the finance industry centered around investment and fund management. She continues to regularly support BD and Pony Club competitions as a volunteer.
International Director Judy Harvey commented; “This is a pivotal appointment for our international effort and the development of our youth riders towards being competitive at championships as well as future Senior team riders. Caroline is ideally placed to take up the challenge having had firsthand experience both as an official and a parent. She fully understands the international system and selection process and where further improvements can be made. I look forward to working with her to drive our pathways forward for the next generation of championship riders.”
The U21 Performance Manager role is a key outcome of the review of our youth pathways conducted last year and will help drive the youth programmes to provide riders a system to achieve international success. Working closely with both BD’s Sport Operations team and the World Class Team at British Equestrian, Caroline will develop programmes to monitor, evaluate and profile the athletes. She’ll assist them, in conjunction with their home teams, to manage their personal development including planning training and competition activity towards selection.
Caroline will also work with the Selectors to manage the process in the build up to the FEI championships linking through the BD Youth Foundation and National Academies, acting as a conduit between them, the riders and their parents and trainers, the squad support staff and BD office as well as managing the budgets for the programmes.
On her appointment, Caroline, who starts today, 1 September, said; ““Competing successfully in equestrian sport of any kind requires a rider to draw on a wide range of life skills. For me, it is a great honour to be involved in our International U21s Dressage pathway where our youth riders are given the chance to develop and utilise these skills at the top of their chosen sport of dressage. I am very much looking forward to working with them, their teams and families, and my colleagues and selectors within British Dressage.”