Graeme Thom was appointed to the role of High Performance Manager back in January 2017, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth from his fellow Canadians who had hoped he would be able to work with their eventing team again.
Then, only a few months later, he resigned due to a back injury and doctors advising him not to undertake the extensive international travel required with this job.
The job was then readvertised and presumably there were some applicants as, after all, it is a good job with an exceptional team. Then we heard whispers that Graeme Thom had been reinstated to the role, and so we went to Equestrian Sports to ask them if this was the case and whether they were going to make a statement about what was happening.
Sarah Dalziel-Clout, the ESNZ High Performance Director, came back to us with this information.
“No, we will not be issuing an announcement on this, but we are pleased to have Graeme continuing in the role and are fortunate to have been able to come to a position that meets the needs of our high performance programme as well as providing Graeme with the comfort that he can best manage his back injury.”
In the ESNZ’s website preview of the Barbury competition, there was a paragraph (amongst all the information about who was competing) referring to Graeme’s appointment. “Graeme Thom will be at Barbury in his capacity as ESNZ high performance manager, a position he will continue through until after the 2018 World Equestrian Games.”
We understand Graeme is also going to attend Aachen CICO3* in Germany which is coming up very soon: 20-22 July. The team for Aachen has already been named. Sir Mark Todd on Leonidas II, Tim Price on Cooley Showtime, Blyth Tait on Darius and Dan Jocelyn with Grovine de Reve make up the team with Caroline Powell on Onwards and Upwards competing as an individual.
We are a little curious about the on-off-on situation, and the way of communicating the reinstatement, but it is good to know that there is a good person in the key role for the New Zealand Eventing team and we hope that Graeme brings out their brilliant best.