Australian Dressage Outlines New Development Program to Focus on Olympics & World Games

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SYDNEY, April 20, 2017–A new program to develop Australian dressage focused on future Olympics and World Equestrian Games was outlined Wednesday by the Equestrian Australia Dressage Committee.

Led by recently elected Chair Prue Spurrett with guidance of a newly structured National High Performance Team, the key goals of the new program were given as:

–New selection policies for the World Games in Tryon, North Carolina in 2018 to be announced within the next three months;

–New national dressage squads formed with new criteria to be announced soon and introduction of higher performance levels for Grand Prix squad;

–Formation of a high performance panel to work closely with the federation’s national high performance director to align communication, planning campaigns and management of teams for WEG and major international events and provide support and backup for national selectors. The panel will also engage support personnel to advise and support riders domestically and internationally;

–Appointment of a volunteer chef d’equipe/administrator who will also be a member of the high performance panel;

–Emphasis on “protocol days” to gauge and improve performance during on-the-spot critiques–national squad riders will get first priority, followed by state squad riders;

–Improvement of equine anti-doping and awareness practices;

–Cultivation of team culture, and

–Development of future funding for dressage in Australia.

Prue Spurrett described this as a time “of very positive change for the sport and that the program will encourage athletes to strive for ‘personal bests’.”

“It’s a good time to have confidence in our sport as we have the riders and the horses with the skills and talent to raise the bar to new levels,” she said.

“The Equestrian Australia Dressage Committee is putting the important foundations in place to be able to achieve this.”