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Another £21.7m in funding for British horse sport

Zara Phillips: she helped her team to win a silver medal, but she's still Britain's golden girl.

Zara Phillips helped Britain’s eventing team to a silver medal at London 2012.

British equestrian sport will be swimming in cash over the next four years with the announcement of a further £21.7 million in funding from UK Sport.

Sport England also granted equestrian sport £6m this week, as part of a £493 million four-year investment.

The UK Sport funding figures for the Rio Olympiad were announced yesterday, totalling an investment of £347 million into 42 sport over the next four years.

Equestrianism secured an award of £17,929,600 for Olympic equestrian sport and £3,782,800 for Paralympic equestrian sport for the four year cycle 2013-2017, a total of £21,712,400.

The award places equestrian as a priority one funded sport alongside the likes of cycling, rowing, sailing, gymnastics and athletics. The money is allocated from Lottery and Exchequer money.

The funding has established the World Class Performance and Development Programmes as the envy of the international equestrian world. Its aim is to have in place a sustainable system that can deliver more medals on the international stage now and in the future through the provision of a range of services and support.

“2012 has been a very good year for Equestrian sport and we are thrilled with this award,” said BEF Chief Executive Andrew Finding.

“Success comes with outstanding team work and I want to pay tribute to a Government that’s put so much faith in sport, to UK Sport, the National Lottery players, British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping, the owners of the horses, Performance Director Will Connell, the support staff and coaches and of course the athletes who deliver the results.

“Liz Nicholl, UK Sport’s Chief Executive, told me that ours was ‘a very, very good bid’.  This was made possible with the entire operation working in a single minded, mutually supportive and focused manner.  Now we can concentrate on more medal success in Rio with the broad support we need – it continues to be an exciting time.”

Although the funding represents a significant increase on paper from the previous Olympiad, differences in the way that this must be spent means a direct comparison is not straightforward.

Will Connell said 2012 was “a very satisfactory conclusion to a journey that started in 2005 when London was awarded the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.”

“We have been working on the Rio plan since 2011 and now we have the funding figures we will be able to add the final detail.  We also need to look at the detail of the Rio funding Agreement as there will be some changes from the London Olympiad and way the funding is managed and spent,” Connell said.

With news that substantial funding is now available for the coming four years from both Sport England and UK Sport, the future looks bright for work to progress in equestrian’s successful elite and grassroots programmes. The British Equestrian Federation will continue to work with its Member Bodies and the wider equestrian community to ensure a lasting legacy from 2012.

 

 

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