New support roles aim to help British showjumping get back on top

British Equestrian has created two new roles within its showjumping programme to assist on the path to Paris 2024.
British Equestrian has created two new roles within its showjumping programme to assist on the path to Paris 2024. © BEF / Jon Stroud Media

Britain’s national equestrian sports federation has created two new high-level support roles following a review of British Showjumping’s programme.

The role of Technical Expert is being taken up by Stanny Van Paesschen, who represented Belgium at Olympic level and has managed medal-winning showjumping teams internationally. His initial focus will be on building relationships with the riders and team support staff, and May will be his first opportunity to be at competitions, including Windsor CSI5* and Rome CSIO5*.

Tony Newbery, an Olympic rider who has worked with Britain’s prolific youth championship teams, is taking on the role of Nations Cup Chef d’Equipe. His role focuses mainly on the European Equestrian Federation Nations Cup series (previously the FEI Europe Division 2) while Performance Manager Di Lampard will continue to have oversight of the teams in the FEI Nations Cup series. He will oversee the teams at Lisbon in May, and then Madrid.

In addition, Dr Simon Woods BVSc CertAVP(ESO) MRCVS is Britain’s new Team Veterinarian, after Robrecht Cnockaert stepped down after 19 years. Woods was his assistant for six years.

The new roles are expected to enhance the support team headed by Performance Manager Di Lampard to take showjumping through to Paris in 2024 and beyond.

British Equestrian Performance Director Richard Waygood said the individual gold medal won by Ben Maher and Explosion W at Tokyo last year kept Britain amongst the world’s leading showjumping nations.

“However, our showjumping teams haven’t featured on the top of the podium in recent championships, and we want to redress this. Within the World Class Programme, we took time to reflect on the Tokyo cycle, considering input from a wide range of stakeholders. These new appointments reflect our philosophy of continuous improvement, always seeking to evolve.

“We have a great deal of talent in our showjumping ranks and are committed to developing a support network and structure which nurtures and develops those combinations,” Waygood said.

“For our showjumping team, this year is about securing Olympic qualification at the World Championships in August, earning a place at the FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona and keeping our place in Europe Division 1 of the FEI Nations Cup. I firmly believe that this new structure, with these key appointments in place, gives us a real chance of achieving those aims to put us on a positive pathway to Paris.”


Stanny Van Paesschen has been a leading contributor to showjumping for over five decades. He is based near Brussels at Hof ten Bos, where he and his wife, Béatrice, have run a training and breeding establishment for more than 20 years. His son Constant is the fifth generation of the Van Paesschen family to ride at the top level. Stanny’s CV as a rider is remarkable, having ridden at the top level from 1975 before retiring in 2005, having amassed 300 international victories and represented Belgium in three Olympics, including a bronze medal in Montreal. His attention then turned to training and he has had medal success with teams at Olympic Games, World and European Championships, Asian Games and South American Games. He helped the Belgian senior squad to eight championship medals, before then supporting the Saudi Arabian teams, including a historic team bronze at London 2012. More recently, he’s worked with the riders from Mexico to claim two team gold medals and a number Nations Cup victories.

Tony Newbery was competing in the elite ranks from the age of 19, going on to be a member of many victorious Nations Cup teams and earning a place on the Olympic squad for Montreal in 1976. He was also non-travelling reserve for Los Angeles in 1984. Through the mid-1980s, Tony’s focus turned to training and he has made a name as an internationally renowned coach and manager. Time in the Middle East and Asia saw him help several riders develop to compete on the world stage, before focusing closer to home in his current role of Chef d’Equipe for the British Showjumping Junior and Young Rider squads, which he’ll continue with alongside this new role, as well as coaching the riders on the World Class Programme Showjumping Performance Pathway.

Simon Woods owns a five-vet equine practice with his wife in Llanymynech in Shropshire and holds an Advanced Veterinary Practice certificate in Equine Surgery (Orthopaedics). He’s an Official FEI Veterinarian, FEI Permitted Treating Veterinarian and an Official Veterinarian on behalf of the Animal and Plant Health Agency, which helps with his detailed knowledge of FEI rules. Simon has previously worked with many of the riders and horses on the World Class Programme, and will build on these relationships in conjunction with the riders’ home teams in preparation for the season’s main fixtures in the build-up to the World Championships in Herning, Denmark.

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