Thursday, January 18, 2018

Team spirit” and “new policy for selections”…the right way for the bronze medal at the 2017 European Championship - Full Article

7 January 2018

By Leonard Liesens, coach of the Swedish team

Another big goal to me was to create a real ‘team spirit’ Obviously the Team Bronze was like the ‘icing on the cake’ for the Team Sweden.

It was not my goal to go for a medal at the European. I started my duty as the coach of Sweden only in April.

I wanted to review the whole elite system. Like in any situation, a first study of the existing situation was mandatory to me. I was already able to pick a list of rider/horse combinations which could pretend to a better speed on the distance of 160 km. But these amazons – almost all endurance riders in Sweden are females – didn’t really believe in their ability to perform better and faster.

A first gathering with the riders, followed by a couple of clinics in the spring were organized. Some changes were introduced in the training program, in the management of the horses, and so on. Also a major change was brought to the selection system: no minimum speed – except the 14 km/h FEI threshold which was required to enter the long list.

All in all, we were able to reach a total of 15 horse/rider combinations qualified on 160 km. While only 5 were qualified at the start of the season. So the new policy was working...

Read more here:

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