News catgories


Victoria Underwood named new Performance Director to lead equestrian World Class Programme

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 by Sasha Melia

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is pleased to announce that Victoria Underwood has been appointed as the new Performance Director for the UK Sport National Lottery-funded equestrian World Class Programme.

Vikki re-joins the BEF after working as the Head of World Class Development between 2001 and 2009. Most recently she has operated as the Director of Athlete Performance Support for High Performance Sport New Zealand which leads the country’s high performance sports system, working in partnership with its national sporting organisations.

Vikki says; “I am delighted to accept this prominent position to orchestrate the equestrian high performance teams through to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020, and beyond to Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028. The great success that Team GBR has had to date needs to be sustained and built upon to ensure that UK Sport continue their incredible support for our sport through future cycles.”

Chief Executive of the BEF, Nick Fellows adds; “We are thrilled to welcome Vikki back to the BEF. Having worked in high performance sport for 18 years with a number of sports, including equestrianism, Vikki has a wealth of knowledge and a strong strategic mind-set which will aid the successful development and delivery of a performance-focused World Class Programme. Her significant leadership experience and success in previous roles will make her a valuable addition to a high quality performance team as we continue on our journey to Tokyo and beyond.”

From 2009 to 2015 Vikki led the Performance Operations team at the English Institute for Sport for the East Midlands, delivering support to athletes’ from over 40 sports. She then joined Loughborough University where she headed up their Sport Science and Medicine for Performance Sport team, leading a complete reform of their performance services and establishing practitioner development pathways linked with National Governing Bodies for sport. Vikki also played important roles with the British Olympic Association and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, in and around London 2012.

As Performance Director, Vikki will lead and direct the BEF’s vision to nurture a winning environment and ensure that Great Britain maintains the most advanced performance programme in the world. Working in partnership with British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping, she will oversee the management of athletes and horses, while supporting their owners, and develop emerging talent through identifiable pathways to ensure a rich pipeline for the future.

Vikki will take up her post on 24 January 2019 and will be working with a team of world-leading coaches, practitioners and support staff who will continue their work towards making Great Britain the leading equestrian nation on and off the field of play.


World Class Stars of Sport Head to Liverpool for the Biggest and Best Horse Show in the North

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 by Sasha Melia

The Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show is set to host the biggest and best sporting spectacle at The Echo Arena on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront this New Year.

Kicking off on Friday 28th December world-renowned double individual Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin OBE will light up the stage for the opening night of this equestrian and family extravaganza, with a rare guest appearance from the living legend that is multiple medal-winning horse Valegro.

Charlotte Dujardin is the most successful British dressage rider and winner of all major titles and world records within the sport and spectators will see her compete on the night with her super-talented, grey mare Florentina VI. Dujardin will be joined by Olympic gold medallist Carl Hester MBE to host a signing and meet & greet session for young aspiring riders before the show. The line up of dressage superstars competing at the show also includes Ulrik Molgaard, Nicki Crisp, and London and Rio Paralympic Gold Medallist Sophie Wells.

Charlotte commented: “Having competed at Liverpool International last year it is great to be returning and to partner Florentina in such an electric arena will be fantastic.”

As well as seeing the super stars of dressage, visitors to this incredible show will experience a world-class display of show jumping with the biggest names in the sport from around the Globe arriving in Liverpool to compete. Famous names such John and Michael Whitaker along with 2018 World Equestrian Games team member Holly Smith and one of the world’s top female riders, Laura Renwick will all be heading to the city for a chance to get on the leader board.

The event will have a real family feel as Liverpool-born Peter Charles supports his son Harry in the 4*, with daughters Sienna and Scarlet also competing in the under 25 category. And Irish eyes will be smiling as two-time Liverpool International Grand Prix Winner, Irishman Billy Twomey returns to the Arena to defend his prestigious title.

The incredibly high level of international competition each day will be nail-biting enough then crowds will witness the spectacle of brand new Horse Stunt action from Gilles Fortier who will be performing his spectacular pyrotechnic routine ‘Phoenix’, as well the much-loved entertainment of the Shetland Pony Grand National and the awesome and adrenalin-filled action of the Arenacross UK Freestyle Motocross crew with live music from Rick Parfitt Jr.

Show visitors will also have the chance to see the City’s official closing ceremony for Liverpool 2018 during the Saturday evening performance on 29th December. And of course on New Year’s Eve an electric atmosphere will build for the 7pm performance, starting with the Theraplate UK Grand Prix and climaxing at midnight with a breathtaking display of indoor fireworks and pyrotechnics to welcome in the New Year.

Families can enjoy this rare opportunity to spend such an important occasion altogether with all ticket holders having access to the Champagne Bar and Shopping Village, with unallocated seating in the Arena all day from 9am to enjoy the full programme of amateur and pony jumping finals.

The Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show is the perfect way to spend the New Year weekend and will make an ideal Christmas gift for loved ones with family tickets start from only £13.85pp plus booking fees.

For further information and to book tickets visit

To reserve VIP Hospitality tickets on the purpose-built stage at the head of the arena please contact Hospitality Manager, Melanie Simm on 01829 307676.


Holly Smith and Quality Old Joker equal winners of last year's Puissance.

1 2 3 129
Central Horse News, Unit 8, Glebe Business Park, Horley, Oxfordshire. OX15 6BN
Web design Dorset Weymouth and Portlandweb design pooleweb design witneyWeb design Weymouth and Portlandweb design oxfordshire