New assistant for eventing’s Yogi Breisner

Philip Surl
Philip Surl

Philip Surl has joined British Eventing as assistant to Eventing Performance Manager, Yogi Breisner.

Surl, who is currently British Eventing’s Regional Co-ordinator for the East Region, will eventually take on the running of the World Class Programme’s Eventing Equine Pathway and the Eventing Nations Cup Squad that will campaign in the FEI’s new CICO3* series.

He will also take on certain administrative, logistical and liaison roles. The appointment will allow Breisner to focus more time on the Performance Programme riders, but the next few months is very much a transitional period and the role is a consultant’s role and not ‘full time’.

Surl will continue in his role as East Region Co-ordinator for the foreseeable future, although there will be some re-allocation of his Technical Advisor commitments.

Surl is a UKCC Level 3 qualified coach and completed the coach development programme run by Breisner from 2005 – 2008.  As an eventing rider he competed up to 4* level. He is married to Claire and has two children.

“It is a privilege and very exciting to have the opportunity to work closely with someone as successful and as experienced as Yogi Breisner,” Surl said.

“The next few weeks will be very interesting and challenging as I get to better understand my new role. I remain fully committed to my Regional Co-ordinator role although there will be some reduction to other commitments outside the World Class and British Eventing roles.”

Breisner said he had worked closely with Surl through his coach development work and knew him well when he was competing.  “He will be a talented addition to the Programme and I look forward to working with him over the coming months. The CICO Squad that will compete in the Nations Cup competitions will be great proving ground for riders pushing for senior selection and will broaden the reach of the World Class Programme. The Equine Pathway is a well established Programme, with the coaching sessions oversubscribed; we are however always looking at how we can improve and refine the support we provide.”

Will Connell, Performance Director said: “I have known Philip for many years and he has worked very hard to develop his coaching and management skills since ‘hanging up his boots’. It is an exciting time as we seek to expand the work of the World Class Programme and I know Philip will bring new skills and energy to the Programme and he will be a great asset to Yogi.”

British Eventing Chief Executive Mike Etherington-Smith said BE had looked carefully at how the next few months will unfold and was comfortable that Surl would be able to fulfil his role as RC and support the Organisers and Field Staff. “We shall of course review Philip’s workload as he becomes more engrained in his new role.”

The Equestrian World Class Programme has been funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, through Exchequer and National Lottery funds, via UK Sport since 1998.

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