Australian roles announced for WEG

We were surprised Stuart Tinney hadn't been named in the squads the WEG teams will be picked from but here he is, named as Chef d’Equipe!

Australia’s Stuart Tinney and Pluto Mio competing at the last WEG in France (Image: Libby Law)

Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist plus Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, Stuart Tinney OAM, is the new chef d’equipe for the Australian Equestrian Eventing Team.

Equestrian Australia (EA) is thrilled that Tinney, 53, has accepted the position.

“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 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.”

Stuart said;

“I’m delighted, feel honoured and privileged to be appointed chef d’equipe for the World Equestrian Games this September. I have some very creditable 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 jumping phase coaches to provide Australia’s riders with the best opportunities, wherever they are based in 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.

Nelson Pessoa, based in Europe will work with riders based in the Northern Hemisphere. He competed in the 1956 Olympics and won the 1966 European Show Jumping Championships. He also rode at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics at the age of 56.

His son, Rodrigo, himself a highly regarded coach, won gold in the individual jumping at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Rodrigo Pessoa is currently the Irish show jumping team’s Chef d’equipe (Image: FEI)

“I am very honoured to be invited as part of the Australian Eventing team as trainer for the jumping phase,” says Nelson. “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.”

“To get someone of Nelson’s stature to assist in the development of the jumping skills of our riders is a huge coup,” says Chris Webb. “Too often competitions can be won on dressage and lost on jumping, so we are very focused 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.”

Rod Brown, who has coached Australians 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.

UK-based Gareth Hughes will continue in his role as dressage coach for the team.