A TOP rider has been chosen to spearhead Britain’s challenge for the 2012 Olympics.
Rob Hoekstra has been appointed as the World Class Performance Manager for Showjumping, with immediate effect.
He will be charged with leading the Showjumping Programme during the run up to the London 2012 Olympic Games and will start to develop plans immediately for the 2010 season.
At this stage it is not known whether Britain will be competing in the Promotional League or the Meydan FEI Nations Cup series.
The move means he will work closely with Britain’s top Olympic hopes – including several members of the Huddersfield-based Whittaker family.
Several members of the dynasty – notably John, Michael, Ellen, Robert and William – are all expected to be challenging for places in the squad for London.
An international show jumper, Rob has ridden at 5-star level and represented Great Britain. He is also renowned as a successful trainer across Europe, with experience of coaching riders up to Olympic level.
He said: “I am extremely pleased to be appointed as the Showjumping Performance Manager and I am looking forward to what will certainly be a challenge but also presents a huge opportunity.
“My first task is to meet with all the riders and ensure they are focused on developing plans through to 2012.
“Over the next couple of months we will build those plans, working with key stakeholders across the sport in Britain.”
Will Connell, the sport’s world class performance director, said: “The selection process has been detailed and thorough.
“We are delighted to welcome Rob on board to the UK Sport funded World Class Programme. There is no doubt that he has a healthy challenge ahead of him but we do have very talented riders and an increasing number of horses together with supportive owners.
“I am confident that Rob will develop plans over the next few months that will bring the team together as a cohesive and successful unit. This appointment would not have been possible without the exchequer and lottery funding we receive from UK Sport.”
The World Class Programme incorporates the three Olympic sports of Dressage, Eventing, Showjumping and the Paralympic sport of Para-equestrian dressage.
It has been funded through Exchequer and National Lottery funds via UK Sport since 1998. The Showjumping Programme works closely with British Showjumping to create the best chance of medal success on the European, World and Olympic stage.