WILTSHIRE riders feature heavily on the British Equestrian Federation's World Class Development programme for the next two years announced today.
Funded by UK Sport, the Development Programme works with talented riders to maximise their potential and deliver success on the international stage.
Rising international event star Laura Collett, who is based at the Membury Estate near Marlborough, is included on the eventing list.
The 22 year old, tipped to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, finished eighth on her debut at the Badminton Horse Trials in 2011 and recently saw legendary racehorse Kauto Star arrive at her Membury yard ahead of a possible career in dressage.
David Doel, from Reybridge near Lacock, is also on the eventing list. The 19-year-old clinched British Eventing’s U21 two-star Festival of Youth competition at Weston Park late last year.
Hodson rider Tom McEwen, who was part of Britain's Young Rider Eventing Team at the annual FEI European Championships in Malmo last summer is also included, as is Harry Meade, from West Littleton, west of Chippenham.
County showjumper Jessica Mendoza, who had two top-five finishes at events at Olympia last month, is one of 15 showjumpers included on the programme.
In the para-equestrian dressage section, Swindon teenager Alex Sutton is included.
“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.”
All riders on the programme will have access to world-class mentoring, coaching, human and equine sports science and medicine.
Performance is continuously assessed and targets and objectives set for riders, who are formerly reviewed every six months.
MORE ON THIS STORY IN NEXT THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND NEXT FRIDAY'S WILTSHRIE TIMES