Equestrian Sport NZ’s High Performance programme is seeking a new HP eventing manager after the resignation of recently appointed Canadian Graeme Thom.
The flare up of an old back injury has completely laid Thom out for several weeks, and doctor’s advice is that the worst thing he could do, would be extensive travel.
“It is a huge disappointment to me,” said Thom. “I don’t wish to put the New Zealand team at risk through me being unable to do my duties at a critical juncture on the road to the 2018 World Equestrian Games.”
Thom had thought the symptoms of his back injury were successfully subdued with a spinal operation in December 2015. “I felt reassured that I was free and clear of any revision."
Thom said he was saddened by the repercussions his resignation may have on athletes, owners and support personnel. “ESNZ has created a pathway to excellence from New Zealand to Europe and the rest of the world,” he said.
“Incredible athletes, dedicated owners, highly-qualified coaches and best of breed support personnel. This would not be possible without the unparalleled support of High Performance Sport New Zealand. No one could have asked or wanted for a better opportunity than I.”
He said the wider ESNZ team had been hugely welcoming and supportive when he accepted the role earlier this year.
“I am sorry I will not be able to fulfil my duties and obligations. That said, it is with unbiased empirical analysis, mixed with some hands-on subjective expertise that I am certain medals will be forthcoming in 2018 . . . that’s where my money is.”
ESNZ high performance director Sarah Dalziell-Clout said she had regretfully accepted Thom’s resignation, after having extensively discussed the options around making the role viable for both him and the team.
The search starts immediately for a new high performance eventing manager.
Thom will stay on to complete administrative items and will still help the team, where possible, in its WEG preparation in North America. Dalziell-Clout thanked Thom for his input and the value added in the short time he was in the role.
For information on the HP eventing manager role, please contact Sarah Dalziell-Clout on firstname.lastname@example.org