County’s youngsters ready to stake claim

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A QUINTET of Yorkshire stars have been selected for the 
2013-2015 World Class Development Programme by the British Equestrian Federation.

Showjumpers Joe Clayton plus brothers George and William Whitaker – all from Huddersfield – have been re-selected.

But joining them is 19-year-old Halifax ace Ryan Todd who is quickly making a name for himself in the equestrian arena.

Nineteen-year-old Natasha Adkinson – of Bawtry – has also been selected for the World Class Development Programme Para-equestrian dressage set up.

The Programme works with riders to maximise their potential and deliver success on the international stage, with performance continuously assessed and riders formerly reviewed every six months.

Will Connell, Equestrian World Class Performance director, admits competition is rife amongst all four disciplines of showjumping, dressage, eventing and para-equestrian dressage.

“The strength in depth across all four disciplines made the selection process very difficult,” he said.

“So I’m sure Joe, George, William, Ryan and Natasha will make the most of the help and expertise available to them.

“It’s an exciting time for our sport and to see such a wealth of young talent during the selection process is testament to the success of the World Class Programme, the Sport England-funded Excel Programme and the member bodies’ programmes to date and should give us great confidence to build for the future.”

All riders on the Programme will have access to the same world class benefits including mentoring, coaching, human and equine sports science and medicine with the latter taking in fitness, nutrition, equine management and farriery advice.

Targets and objectives are also set, as is funding to assist with achieving these agreed aims.

Selection is on a two-yearly basis but riders can still be taken onto or removed from the Programme during the two year cycle.

Lead co-ordinator for Excel, David Hamer, added: “For a rider to make it through to the final selection of the World Class Programme is an achievement in itself.”

Selected riders – Dressage: Hannah Biggs, Dorset; Nikki Crisp, Buckinghamshire; Maria Eilberg, Worcestershire; Alex Hardwick, Herefordshire; Bobby Hayler, Essex; Gabrielle Lucas, Essex; Olivia Oakeley, Hampshire; Annie Perry, County Durham; Zoe Sleigh, Worcestershire; Amy Stovold, West Sussex; Samantha Thurman-Baker, Oxfordshire; Ryan Todd, West Yorkshire.

Eventing: Charlotte Agnew, Oxfordshire; Jodie Amos, Warwickshire; Laura Collett, Wiltshire; Georgie Davies, Hertfordshire; David Doel, Wiltshire; Millie Dumas, Somerset; Talia Laghzaoui, Oxfordshire; Emily Llewellyn, Surrey; Tom McEwen, Wiltshire; Harry Meade, Wiltshire; Willa Newton, Leicestershire; Alice Sandberg, Oxfordshire.

Showjumping: Pippa Allen, County Durham; Chloe Aston, Hertfordshire; Joe Clayton, West Yorkshire; Simon Crippen, Buckinghamshire; Jessie Drea, West Sussex; Sam Hutton, Surrey; Jessica Mendoza, Wiltshire; Dan Neilson, Essex; Abigail Newbery, Hampshire; Spencer Roe, Lincolnshire; Jake Saywell, Nottinghamshire; Louise Saywell, Nottinghamshire; George Whitaker, West Yorkshire; William Whitaker, West Yorkshire; Tim Wilkes, Oxfordshire.

Para-equestrian dressage: Natasha Adkinson, South Yorkshire; Katherine Cooksley, Berkshire; Ashleigh Jones, West Midlands; Ruth MacCarthy, West Midlands; Annastasia Neale, Staffordshire; Erin Orford, Buckinghamshire; Natalie Povey, North Wales; Alex Sutton, Wiltshire; Nicky Thompson, Surrey; Georgia Wilson, Conwy.