The British Equestrian World Class Programme is inviting up-and-coming athletes with ambitions to compete on future senior equestrian teams to put themselves forward for consideration to join the Podium Potential Pathway (P3) squad for 2023–2025.
Now embedded into the equestrian performance pathway, the aim of the Podium Potential Pathway is to act as a transitional level to help athletes make the progression from the well-established youth and talent programmes to the next stage in their sporting careers. Funded by The National Lottery and Government Exchequer via UK Sport and Sport England, the pathway provides athletes with a process of development that delivers the essential performance foundation skills to underpin future sustained senior championship success.
The opening of applications comes in tandem with the publication of new selection policies for Podium Potential Pathway, which include the lower age limit in the Olympic disciplines increased to 21 years. This decision has been made to allow for a more flexible process of skill development in the younger athletes who are balancing the pressures of performance sport with completing their education.
Those athletes under 21 years who achieve the selection requirements are still eligible to apply, but other training opportunities will be provided to support them through discipline-specific rider performance development camps. These will be by invitation of the relevant discipline governing body, British Dressage, British Eventing or British Showjumping.
Para dressage continues to have established age stipulation but will also have a series of rider development performance camps that will be run in partnership with British Dressage.
David Hamer, Head of Performance Pathways at British Equestrian, explains: “The continued success of our senior championship teams is very much underpinned by the pathway of development that Podium Potential Pathway provides.
“The aim of the programme is to identify and develop younger athletes who demonstrate the ability to compete on the world stage and provide support to help them to reach their potential. The unique element of equestrian sport is the requirement to have an equine sporting partner with the same potential to be an elite performer. Podium Potential Pathway nurtures the human element of the partnership and provides a broader base of skill development that helps young athletes to develop a career, as well as a skill set and profile to attract the horsepower required to progress to the next step in British Equestrian’s structured performance pathway.”
Selected athletes have access to top equestrian specialists and coaches during their time on the programme. Technical skills and knowledge are supported by a human and equine sport science team, who deliver physiotherapy, sport psychology, nutrition advice, vet and farrier support, and saddle fitting advice. Athletes also receive guidance on managing themselves and their careers, as well as their finances and public profile.
Yasmin Ingham, CCI5* runner-up and currently on the nominated entry list for the FEI Eventing World Championship 2022, credits the programme for its positive impact on her career so far. “The transition from being successful in the Young Rider ranks into Seniors is very difficult for many riders, but the support I’ve had from the World Class Programme has massively helped my progression, allowing me to break into the top 20 of the FEI World Rankings this year,” she explains.
“I’ve found the support, advice and encouragement from the entire support team invaluable, from the management of my horses at home, to the sessions with the programme practitioners at training and events. Any rider aspiring to get to the top of the sport should apply for the programme – the network of support and training is unrivalled.”
British Equestrian’s performance pathway features three distinct levels – Podium, Podium Potential and Podium Potential Pathway – which support athletes across the Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing and showjumping, and the Paralympic discipline of para dressage. Each stage of the pathway is designed to provide athletes with the specific support needed at that stage in their competitive career as they progress towards a place on the championship podium.
Join the Podium Potential Pathway
Registration is now open for athletes who would like to be considered for the Podium Potential Pathway squad for 2023–2025. For further details about the selection process and to download the registration form, click here.