Huge personnel boost to Britain’s international dressage teams

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Tue, 14 Dec 2021 14:16 GMT

Following an extensive recruitment drive, British Dressage can now announce the new names that have been appointed to join our international team from next year.

After the retirement of some of our officials, Selector roles on the panels covering Senior, Para and Under 21s were advertised earlier this autumn.  A number of high calibre applications were received and following an interview process, three appointments have been made:

Senior selectors – Jill Day, a former BD Training Director, joins Jenny Ward and Chief Selector Judy Harvey, BD’s International Director, to complete the panel.  A prominent figure in dressage for many years, Jill has a wealth of experience and knowledge as an international Grand Prix rider and a UKCC Level 3 trainer / mentor, as well as a former U21 Selector, and replaces David Trott who completed two terms on the panel.

Para selectors – Islay Auty FBHS, a List 2 BD judge and BDCC Level 3 professional coach joins the panel alongside Joyce Head and Jane McGarel-Groves.  Joyce will take on the role as Chief Selector, following the retirement of Carolyn Gardiner.  Islay has been involved in a number of key roles with British Dressage, including as a former U21 Selector, and her extensive skill and expertise as both a judge and a coach for over five decades will make her a valuable asset to the group.

Under 21 selectors – List 1 judge and trainer Richard Baldwin will join Chief Selector Nikki Herbert and Leanne Wall to form a panel of three to select the Pony, Children, Junior and Young Rider teams to compete internationally.  Richard is highly regarded as a judge, including at U21 level, and has international experience as a rider himself, so he is an ideal addition to the team.

Two Under 21 Coach Advisors have also been appointed to support our youth international teams. Identified as a central part of the U21 International Pathway strategic review in 2020, these advisors will work with those in contention for selection to championship squads, across all of the age groups, alongside their home trainers and support teams.

The two Coach Advisors will work closely with our U21 riders and help to oversee their journey through to the FEI European Championships for Ponies, Children on Horses, Juniors and Young Riders.  After interviewing an exceptionally high-quality shortlist of applicants, two of the world’s most highly respected FEI 5* judges and leading international trainers, Clive Halsall and Peter Storr, have been appointed to these important roles.

Both Clive and Peter have impressive CVs that include achieving previous success with our youth teams – and they have also judged at the FEI Championships in the Under 21 divisions in the past, so they can offer great insight into what is required to deliver a medal winning performance.  In this position they will focus on supporting horse and rider progression to produce medal contenders on the U21 international stage.  Clive and Peter will work closely with BD U21 Performance Manager Caroline Bell to engage with each individual rider and their home support teams to identify areas for development and help them fulfil their potential.

Caroline Bell, U21 Performance Manager, commented; “Having the support of Clive Halsall and Peter Storr behind our four youth squads provides us with the perfect start to next year’s campaign and the youth pathway as a whole.  Both are well respected as trainers and have had a huge impact on our teams previously, but their judging expertise will also be invaluable to help riders and their home trainers develop on the requirements of international competition, compared to domestic shows. They’re both strong mentors too, so the riders and trainers involved will hopefully equally benefit.

“The recommendations from the Under 21 strategic review have been fully implemented, so now the hard work begins to bring everything to life as we work collaboratively to get the most from the talented youth athletes and horses we have in Britain.  Planning for next year is already well advanced and we’ll be announcing our international pathway squads very soon.”

Jason Brautigam, BD Chief Executive added; “We were overwhelmed with the quality of applicants we had for the various roles to support our international teams – it really highlights what a wealth of experience and knowledge we have in the sport.  We’re very fortunate that so many want to give back and play a vital part in our international development, helping us to build a bright future for our teams on the world stage.

“We’re working with the other candidates to ensure their expertise is still harnessed for future roles within British Dressage.  With the leadership and vision of International Director Judy Harvey, the collective teams behind our international effort are stronger than ever – so we are looking forward to working with our new recruits alongside the established names to make 2022 a huge success.”