Former Eventer, Senior Military Officer Dan Hughes Named British Performance Director

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Dan Hughes
Dan Hughes

Oct. 31, 2014

Dan Hughes, a former event rider and a senior British Army officer, was named Friday as the new Performance Director of the British Equestrian Federation with responsibility for the World Class Program for dressage, eventing, jumping and para-equestrian.

The UK Sport National Lottery funded program has been key in delivering Olympic and championship success for Great Britain’s equestrian teams. The program was previously headed up by Will Connell who resigned after the World Equestrian Games to join the United States Equestrian Federation as director of sports programs.

The British Equestrian Federation announced the appointment after what it said was an intensive global search.

Dan will start with the British federation after he complees his army service in spring nexr year.

“He brings with him a breadth of experience, shaped through a lifelong involvement in equestrian sport as well as from within his 24 year military career, having served as Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry,” the BEF statement said.

Before joining the army, Dan trained with Olympic medalist Ian Stark and went through the junior and young rider development system. He competed to 4* level in eventing and was a member of the successful British European Young Rider squads in 1989 and 1990, continuing to compete up to 2* level while in the Army.

Dan’s wide variety of roles in the army included deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

He commanded the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment during the 2011 Royal Wedding, the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympic Games in 2012.

In his new role, Dan will be responsible for identifying talent, maximizing potential and delivering success.

The aim will be to develop systems that will win more medals for Great Britain now and in the future on the international stage through what the British federation describes as a ‘no compromise’ approach.

To do so, he will lead a team of athletes, staff and consultants and work closely with the three British Equestrian Federation Olympic member bodies; British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping as well as British Carriagedriving, British Reining, British Vaulting and Endurance GB when their teams compete on the world stage.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Army but always wanted to return to the equestrian world,” Dan said of his appointment.

“The opportunity to take up the role of BEF Performance Director was impossible to resist.  I am extremely excited about the challenges that lie ahead and the prospect of working with such a talented group of athletes, coaches and support staff. I look forward to building on the outstanding success achieved by them, and my predecessor, to further develop and drive that success forward to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and beyond.”