“Stuart is not only a brilliant rider with some big runs on the board, he is also a highly regarded cross-country course designer and coach. He brings a huge breadth of skills to the position and is also very popular with and respected by riders of all ages and levels,” said EA’s High Performance Director Chris Webb.
“We are very pleased that he is taking on this important role and will help lead us to WEG which is a vital stepping stone towards the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.”
“I am delighted, feel honoured and privileged to be appointed Chef d’Equipe for the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA this September. I have some very credible riders to work with and hopefully can offer several decades of experience to bring Australia to the podium at WEG.”
Another major change is the ramping up of the jumping phase coaches to provide Australia’s riders with the best opportunities wherever they are based around the world. Rod Brown will be based in Australia with the major addition of Brazilian jumping icon Nelson Pessoa.
Rod Brown, Olympian and a prolific member of the Bronze medal team from Rio 2016 will work with the current and future crop of riders based in Australia.
Pessoa, based in Europe will work with the riders based in the Northern Hemisphere.
Pessoa competed in the 1956 Summer Olympics and won the 1966 European Show Jumping Championships. He also rode at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics at the age of 56.
He is a globally renowned coach and the founder of the famous Pessoa saddles. He owns the esteemed Haras du Ligny in Fleurus, Belgium and some of his students include Alvaro de Miranda Neto and Athina Onassis Miranda.
His son Rodrigo, himself a highly regarded coach, won gold in the individual jumping at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
“I am very honoured to be invited as part of the Australian Eventing team as trainer for the jumping phase,” said Pessoa.
“Australia is considered a leading country in Eventing and they have set high goals for the World Championships, Olympic Games and the major events around the world.”
“I have had several sessions with the them in the past few months, and I am very happy with the atmosphere between everyone — management, riders and grooms — and the talented riders I have seen. It is a fantastic team.”
“I look forward to more time with the team this year and I hope that my training will help Australian Eventing to achieve all their objectives,” he said.
Chris Webb welcomed Pessoa;
“To get someone
of Nelson’s stature to assist in the development of the jumping skills of our riders is a huge coup. Too often in the sport of Eventing competitions can be won on dressage and lost on jumping and so we are very focussed on averting that trend and making sure that our riders are consistent across all three phases. I see both Nelson and Rod firming our chances in this phase and look forward to the times ahead”
Rod Brown, who has coached Australian riders at three World Equestrian Games and three Olympics including Atlanta and London, said he was looking forward to continuing in his role;
“I like working with people that are keen and want to learn. The good riders are always the ones that want to improve,” said Brown.