Statement on behalf of the BD Board of Directors
- Written By:
We are aware that there have been some comments and speculation on social media in recent days, concerning British Dressage’s Under 21 international programme and European Championship selection, which do not reflect the official position of the Board. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to correct any misapprehensions with regards to our current strategy.
Our Under 21 activity evolves each year and we continue to make a substantial six-figure investment annually to train and send riders to compete internationally, whether individually or as part of teams. Our budgets, policies and qualification criteria are reviewed annually by the Board to ensure that we can offer these opportunities across all age groups, based on merit, to achieve the stated selection objectives.
We recognise that it is vitally important for aspiring young athletes to have this chance to participate on the international stage and gain the experience required to aid their personal progression and development. As part of our role as a National Governing Body and charitable organisation, we are committed to providing the structures, resources and financial backing that will help our talented riders achieve their true potential. This has included the appointment of a Performance Manager and two Coach Advisors to support our Under 21 teams this year, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to support and develop our stars of the future.
We are extremely proud of the achievements of all those riders who have represented Great Britain since British Dressage was founded in 1998. We celebrate the successes we have enjoyed, at Pony, Junior, and Young Rider level, which have provided the strong foundations that we continue to build on today. This is measured not just in terms of medals won, but also acknowledging how many of those athletes have progressed into senior and professional ranks, who are in turn inspiring the next generation.
We were of course delighted with the results achieved by our Juniors and Young Riders at the FEI European Championships at Hartpury last week and congratulate them on some outstanding performances. However, this would not have been possible without the contribution of all the athletes, parents, owners, coaches, chefs, selectors, and support teams before them, who have been such an integral part of our U21 international programmes over the past 24 years.