World class athletes selected for equestrian 2019-2021 squad

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has selected 25 athletes for the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme Podium Potential squad for 2019-2021.

Selected athletes from the Olympic and Paralympic equestrian disciplines were invited to Warwick University yesterday for their induction where they met members of the World Class Programme team.

The 2019-2021 podium potential squad is made up of the following athletes:


Charlotte Fry (based in The Netherlands), Sonnar Murray-Brown (Gloucestershire), Becky Moody (South Yorkshire), Alice Oppenheimer (Hampshire) and Hayley Watson-Greaves (Gloucestershire)


Tom Jackson (Kent), Richard Jones (Leicestershire), Harry Meade (Wiltshire), Willa Newton (Leicestershire) and Georgie Spence (Wiltshire)


Heather Bennett (East Yorkshire), Charlotte Cundall (North Yorkshire), Diane Green (Gloucestershire), Izzy Palmer (West Yorkshire), Julie Payne (Oxfordshire), Amanda Shirtcliffe (Buckinghamshire) and Georgia Wilson (Conwy County Borough)


Alison Barton (West Yorkshire), Amanda Derbyshire (based in USA) Jamie Gornall (North Yorkshire), Amy Inglis (Sussex), Harriet Nuttall (Somerset), Anna Power (Somerset), Holly Smith (Leicestershire) and Ellen Whitaker (South Yorkshire)

The BEF reviewed the performance pathway in early 2017 and this resulted in a wider pool of athletes being eligible to apply for the new structure and performance standards for the World Class Programme Podium Potential squad. The application and selection process assessed athlete and horse combinations on their potential to compete on a Senior Championship team for Great Britain and add to its medal success. This process included athletes being evaluated on a range of areas which included their competition record, performance attitude and the health and fitness of themselves and their horses.

BEF Head of Performance Pathways, David Hamer says; “We revised the criteria for selection as we recognised at this level performance can fluctuate due mostly to athletes acquiring or losing the ride on a horse. We removed the previous age restrictions to ensure that athletes at any stage of their development, who met the criteria and have the horsepower required at Senior Championship level, were eligible to apply. We received a lot of impressive applications and we are very pleased to be able to welcome the selected athletes on to the Programme”.

BEF Chief Executive Nick Fellows adds; “I would like to congratulate all of the athletes who have been selected for the Podium Potential squad. This is a very talented pool of athletes with exciting horse power and I cannot wait to see how they progress over the next two years on the Programme.

“Our World Class team will be supporting these athletes and their horses on their journey as we seek to establish medal winners for the future.”

As part of the induction, the athletes were given inspirational talks by former Marine, Ben McBean, who explained how his catastrophic injuries in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban has helped to shape his positive attitude to have belief in the future and by Olympic sailor, Saskia Clark MBE who gave her insights into what it took to win a Gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Athletes on the Programme will receive tailored support in world-class coaching, human and equine sports science and medicine, nutrition and sports psychology, as part of an established training pathway.

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