Friday, July 1, 2011

British News: Funding opportunities for talented riders in England

1 July 2011

Up and coming young riders based in England can now seek the benefit of two British Equestrian Federation (BEF) managed programmes to help them succeed in their goals to be the stars of tomorrow.  A new BEF Excel Talent Programme, built on the success of the Regional Foundation squads, launches this summer with applications opening in August. Meanwhile the established Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme opens its doors for a new round of funding applications from July 1st.

Young athletes with ambitions to reach the top as a show jumping, dressage, para-equestrian dressage or event rider are encouraged to apply.

BEF England Excel Talent Programme

The Excel Talent Programme will offer support and guidance for up and coming riders by offering a tailored pathway to support future sporting success. The Programme, which has been set up through funding from Sport England, will provide riders with the opportunity to access top equestrian specialists including coaches, physiotherapists, vets and nutritionists via a series of high quality performance camps.

The revised, nationalised format will allow the BEF to provide a heightened level of expertise to that available in the Regional Foundation squads, so aiding riders’ development as all-round athletes. Excel Talent Programme managers are working closely with British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping to ensure they add value to what is already on offer through the disciplines.

30 year old Vicky Barrick from Epping is a Grade II para-equestrian dressage rider and a member of the East Midlands Foundation Squad. Vicky has enjoyed a recent run of success with her horse Trust Smartie and attributes her rise in form to the coaching she received through the current programme: “Being on the Foundation Squad has helped me no end, both on and off the horse.  I have been given so many opportunities to learn about all aspects of training and competing; it has taught me not to be a passenger but to be a rider and thanks to the squad training my percentage scores have gone from the 60's to the 70's which is amazing. Being part of a team has been fantastic and I've made some great friends. I’ll definitely be applying for the Excel Talent Programme which sounds like it will offer even more support than before.”

Head of BEF Regional Development Maggie Still added: “The new Excel Talent Programme is born out of the success of the Regional Foundation Programmes. Quality has always been a hallmark of the scheme but now we need to focus the resources that we have on those riders who are close to the World Class pathway. Excel will still enable us to identify talent at a regional level but help us channel our resources into delivering even higher standards of training to take riders to the top.”

Applications open on Monday 1st August and riders should be between 16 and 24 years old on first application. Further information and selection criteria can now be viewed on the BEF website.


Applications for the Talented Athlete Scholarship Programme (TASS) for equestrian sport launches today (1st July), remaining open until Friday 29th July 2011. Riders from dressage, eventing, para-equestrian dressage and showjumping are invited to apply.

Now in its eighth year, the Government funded programme assists Great Britain’s most talented young athletes who wish to optimise the effectiveness of their sport and their academic programmes. The TASS programme aims to provide a seamless transition for riders, filling the gaps in current provision between the World Class Programmes as well as providing a stepping stone for 'non-funded' riders into the World Class Start, Potential and Performance Programmes.

It enables them to take advantage of a scheme that will propel them towards Olympic medals, whilst ensuring that they can fulfil their academic potential alongside their sporting ambitions. This system is driven through partnership working between Higher Education Institutions, Further Education Colleges National Governing Bodies of Sport and other sports organisations.

The following criteria are used to determine eligibility for the Programme:

• Aged between 15 (16 by 1st June 2012) – 25 years (35 for para-equestrian riders)
• Recognised from performance profile to be a potential future international winner
• Commitment to an agreed annual training programme
• Commitment to an agreed annual competition programme (where applicable)
• Meet minimum academic entry requirements
• Studying at/with an organisation based in England

For more information about the programme and for an application form please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment