Development Squad

We are delighted to announce the 2023 Development Squad

  • Holly Barber with Mistral D'Atela
  • Lynne Macleod with Hermes and Lexus QQ
  • Tamsin Devonport with Naipe D'Atela
  • Karen Forsyth with Faffa and Tenaz
  • Suzanne Dipple with Guapero

Development squad selections take place on Saturday 3rd February, venue TBC applications open in December. 

How Does the Development Squad Work?

The Development Squad is a mentoring and development program run by The Association for British Working Equitation for riders who show potential to compete on the British Working Equitation team, either in Seniors or Junior / Young Riders.
Participants receive regular training with team trainer Paulo Santos and professional support and performance management from a world class team of human, and equine professionals to help guide them towards reaching their full potential.
This doesn't mean that you need to be team ready now, it means you need to have the potential to be at some point in the future.

We normally work on a 4 - 5 year basis. In previous years the Development Squad has been open to everyone and has been a great contributing factor in improving the standard of the sport across the board from Novice to Advanced including a 5th team place at the Senior World Championships in 2018 with one rider finishing in 6th place and a 2nd team place at the Junior/YR European Championships in 2019. However, with the rapid growth within the sport over the last year and the fact that good, approved trainers are more accessible across the country now, with more being approved next year we will now be focussing the Squad more on producing World Class British riders on the International stage.

Development Squad participation including the training is free however riders are responsible for covering stable costs.

We strongly believe in and will be maintaining the philosophy that this is a sport that is open to everyone, even at the very highest levels and so we encourage everyone, no matter their circumstances or experience to not rule themselves out of this process, however those wishing to be considered should strongly consider the following -

* Do I have time?

Squad training takes place roughly every 4 - 6 weeks and will mostly require 2 days and a night away from home. As a Squad rider you will also be required to attend all of our National competitions and some of the regional competitions so you may end up seeing more of your squad family than your real family!

* Am I willing and prepared to travel?
Training is offered completely free and the only way for us to do this is by holding it at Paulo's base in East Sussex. Therefore you will be required to travel to East Sussex for all training weekends.

* Can i commit financially?
As with any sport in which you are aiming to compete Internationally, although much less than some, there is a considerable financial commitment to be made. Travelling and entry fees are just some of those that are to be taken in to account.

* Am I up for the challenge?
We will push you, this is not free training, this is a pathway to world class performance, the horses welfare and good management are absolutely paramount to us and your horse will be accompanied by a team of world class farriers, physios and vets who will work with your home teams, but we do expect absolute commitment and effort on your part also.

You may have heard the Squad being referred to as a family, and that’s exactly what it is, it's a group of passionate, driven individuals working together and supporting each other to achieve a common goal and we would love to have you join us!!

Could you be on the 2024 Squad?