Hartpury Equine Academy director Lizzel Winter is thrilled to have been appointed to an exciting new position leading Team Finland Eventing.
The Fellow of the British Horse Society and international eventing judge has signed a three-year contract to become its senior coach and project manager with the aim of guiding the team to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Lizzel will remain in her role at Hartpury Equine and continue as a trainer on Mark Todd’s Bridging The Gap Training series, as well as retaining her position as the Portuguese Eventing Under-18 and Under-21 team coach.
“I’m very excited about my new position with Team Finland Eventing – it’s a fantastic opportunity,” explained Lizzel.
“Finland has some very ambitious riders and some lovely young horses and I’m very much looking forward to working with them and helping them to fulfil their potential.
“Finland had only one individual rider at the last Olympics in Brazil, but with the right structure in place, hopefully in the future they will be able to send a whole team to compete – that’s the plan.
“Qualifying for Tokyo isn’t going to be easy, because we’re in a very strong zone with Great Britain, Ireland, France and Germany.
“But it’s a wonderful challenge and I know everyone will be working extremely hard to improve our chances of getting there – it’s a massive team effort.”
Lizzel was approached by Team Finland Eventing after helping British-based Finnish rider Pauliina Swindells finish 35th at the 2017 FEI European Eventing Championships in Poland.
“Polly told me she had aspirations of going to the 2017 European Eventing Championships in Poland but was having trouble qualifying,” said Lizzel.
“We clicked straightaway when we started working together and her results started to improve, which meant she qualified for the championships and went on to put up a strong performance with a personal best in the dressage, sitting right up among the world’s best.”