Revised pathway to podium performances for BD Youth riders

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 03 Jul 2020 17:01

In January 2020, British Dressage (BD) instigated a review of the development pathways for riders with international and team aspirations in order to provide a clear and transparent system which makes best use of the resource and funding available. The review was headed by BD’s Chief Operating Officer with input from the Chief Executive, International Teams Director and BD Youth Director, as well as extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Recommendations from the review have now been approved by the BD Board and shared with key staff, Selectors, Chefs d’Equipe, team trainers and officials ahead of this public release.

Key decisions include:

  • A clear pathway from a sound start in the regional environment, through squadding, training and teams, into the development structure provided by the British Dressage Academy programmes. These operate in parallel with competition opportunities at Premier League and High Profile Shows and then on to competing internationally.  Meeting the criteria here leads to selection onto a long-list, with targeted training activity aimed at improving performance towards the ultimate selection goal; a place on the British team at the FEI European Championships.
  • The BD Academy programmes will now form a key part of the selection process, with riders new to international competition benefiting from the significant expertise available, as well as progressing their horsemanship skills.  This also removes the duplication of effort for Selectors and other team officials, who can view riders during the Academy ‘camps’, saving the cost of bespoke training, test riding and viewing days.
  • Selection Policies for all teams and competitions will be reviewed and criteria determined by an in-depth analysis of results and scores at international championships over the past three years to provide a robust standard required to achieve podium results.  International team selection criteria will be benchmarked alongside policies for the BEF World Class Programme to ensure that there is a consistent approach across all levels.
  • A clear route will be established for riders who are new to competing internationally, including those who achieve qualifying scores outside of the formal development pathways, and a ‘fast track’ system for those who are proven performers at CDI level.

The summary report, pathway infographic and a selection of frequently asked questions are available from the BD website.

BD International Teams Director Judy Harvey commented; “This review has brought an overwhelmingly positive sense of change across all of our Under 21 programmes. We’re privileged to have an extensive pool of talent in the country and we needed a clearly defined pathway where every rider can realise their true potential in an inspirational and educational environment.

“My fellow director Claire Moir and the BD Training & Education team have developed the Academy programme into a world class resource and more riders should receive the benefit from this.  It will help us improve overall standards across BD Youth, but also provide our international riders with team aspirations the correct environment to strive towards podium place scores.

“Now more than ever we must make sure that the investment, expense and resource required to send teams to championships is well utilised and managed. This review has produced a framework which should hopefully reap rewards for all riders engaged in the BD Youth network, as well as at the elite end of the sport.”

The first recommendations of the review are already in the process of being implemented, with the data analysis required for the revised selection policies for the 2021 international shows and championships already underway.  It’s anticipated the new policies will be shared with stakeholder groups for further consultation by the end of August.

Applications for this year’s Foundation Academies are now open and close on Wednesday 19 August. Riders who haven’t competed internationally but have a CDI as their goal should apply for a place in line with the new pathway. Any questions should be directed to BD Youth Development Officer, Hannah James, 02477 087801 or via email.

BD U21 Review Report 03.07.20

U21 Pathway Review FAQs

BD Youth Performance Pathway