Post-London planning key, says Davison

21 April 2012 / 21:27

Richard Davison believes it is crucial British dressage plans for life after what promises to be the sport's most successful Olympic Games in history.

Great Britain are favourites for team gold in London this summer, with world-ranked top five riders Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin also strong individual medal contenders.

Davison, who is chasing Olympic selection with his World Cup horse Hiscox Artemis, will step down as British performance manager following the Games, and he is determined the sport in Britain does everything it can to keep itself at the forefront of world dressage, post-London.

"If Great Britain wins any Olympic medal this year it will be the end of a very long journey for me," Davison said. "Apart from what I've done for myself, I am always open to help British riders get better in any way I can.

"And the one thing I am very determined about is that we need to plan for when we don't have the three big-gun British horses around.

"Of course, you need big funding for those horses, but finding the horses and partnering them with the riders is the biggest challenge.

"I predict that things will change after London in terms of the horsepower, and then what we have got to say is 'where are we encouraging new owners and new horses to come in?' That's the big thing.

"If you put yourself into an owner's position and you don't have one of those big three or four horses, you are probably thinking you don't have much of a chance.

"We need to not just be supportive of the big boys, we actually have to look at the horses and owners below that and work with them properly and keep them involved. It is not happening as well as I would like, and it is not all plain sailing."

Davison and Hiscox Artemis ended a successful weekend at the Brabanthallen in s-Hertogenbosch with a strong performance in the 18-rider Reem Acra FEI World Cup freestyle final, finishing fifth.