Swindon's Tom McEwen gets international boost

SEVERAL Wiltshire-based riders have been selected for the British Equestrian Federation’s 2013-2015 World Class Development Programme.

Funded by UK Sport, the Development Programme works with talented riders to maximise their potential and deliver success on the international stage.

The selected riders cover the three Olympic sports of dressage, eventing and show jumping and the Paralympic sport of para-equestrian dressage.

In eventing, four Wiltshire riders have been included – Laura Collett, David Doel, Tom McEwen and Harry Meade.

In show jumping, it is Jessica Mendoza, while in para-equestrian dressage, Alex Sutton has been nominated.

“After such a fantastic 2012 which saw our equestrian athletes perform magnificently in London at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is great to start 2013 with the announcement of the Development Programme which identifies our most talented up-and- coming athletes,” said Equestrian World Class Performance Director, Will Connell.

“The strength in depth across all four disciplines made the selection process very difficult. It is therefore beholden on both those athletes that have been re-selected and those that are new to the Programme to make the most of the help and expertise available to them.

“It’s an exciting time for our sport and to see such a wealth of young talent during the selection process is testament to the success of the World Class Programme, the Sport England-funded Excel Programme and the member bodies’ programmes to date and should give us great confidence to build for the future.”

All riders on the Development Programme will have access to the same world class benefits including mentoring, coaching, human and equine sports science and medicine (fitness/nutrition/equine management/farriery advice etc).

Performance is continuously assessed and riders are formerly reviewed every six months. Targets and objectives are also set, as is funding to assist with achieving these agreed aims.

Selection is on a two-yearly basis but this does not mean that a rider cannot be taken on to or removed from the Programme during the two-year cycle.

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