Selection and squads
Find out more about selection for International competition and teams.
Selectors and support staff
Nikki Herbert is the Chief Selector supported by U21 Selectors Leanne Wall and Richard Baldwin – they’re responsible for deciding who goes to which international competition, and ultimately the FEI European Championships.
The Performance Manager, currently Caroline Bell, is your go-to for everything concerning the U21 International effort. She is responsible for co-ordinating the pathway towards selection and the FEI European Championships, and helping you plan your route to the top.
Coach advisors, Clive Halsall and Peter Storr oversee progression from a training perspective for Children on Horses, Ponies, Juniors and Young Riders.
There are two Chef d’Equipes responsible for ensuring your international competitions are a positive experience! Nina Boex and Tom Hobday look after Ponies, Children on Horses, Juniors and Young Riders. If you’ve got any questions about what to expect at a show, you can ask our Chef d’Equipes and they’ll offer their support.
At BDHQ, Youth International Officer Sharon Weir takes care of all your international entries and training selection/days at home. She is responsible for maintaining and distributing the monthly show planner, so squadded riders, keep her up-to-date with your show availability!
Rob Oulton is our team veterinary officer and is responsible for ensuring our team horse and ponies are in tip-top form and ready to compete in their best health.
The U21 National Championship will be hosted at the LeMeiux National Championships at Somerford Park, 15 – 18 September. Rules and qualifying criteria can be found in the BD members handbook 2022, rule 197. The points are based on the current scales awarded at the British Dressage competitions, within the qualifying period from March – July 2022.
Direct qualification will be awarded to the European Team combinations and reserves in the same calendar year of both Championships. There are six places for each U21 category, Children on Horses, Pony Riders, Junior and Young Riders and the balance of places will be based on the highest placed league combinations for each category. Successful combinations will be notified mid-August from BD Head office and published on the U21 International webpage.
Route to European Selection
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
If you are aspiring to European Selection, the pathway begins at a Premier League or High Profile Show. All Premier Leagues, and most High Profiles, hold U21 FEI Team and Individual Test classes for Ponies, Children on Horses, Juniors and Young Riders and scores in these classes in line with the current Selection Policy will enable the selectors to consider you for international competition.
The next step is selection to compete at a CDI or CDIO, either here in the UK or abroad. Once you have gone down the centre line as a GB rider, and subject to your performance, the Performance Manager can then work with you and your team to plan your development through further competition towards being in the frame for European Selection.
The Under 21 International Pathway Squad is drawn from rider/horse/pony combinations who have met the criteria to compete internationally and, in the professional opinion of the selectors, have clear form or potential to be considered for team selection. The competiton year is started with a Dismounted Day for all squad riders, usually in January. Selection then progresses through competition, the long and short lists and training camps, narrowing down talent and potential through performance, to the excitement of Championship Team announcements, usually in June.
All the criteria, important dates and scores required at each level are outlined in the Selection Policies which are updated annually and published in early December, before becoming Policy from 1st January.
2022 Selection Policies
See blue boxes below for the 2022 policies covering CDIs/CDIOs and the FEI European Championships covering Pony, Children on Horses, Juniors and Young Rider categories.