There’s a familiar face stepping into a new position for ESNZ high performance eventing. Lizzie Green is no stranger to the world of eventing, having come right through the grades, and competed for New Zealand at both young rider and senior level, and more recently as a coach, mentor and chef d’equipe. She is moving to the role vacated by Penny Pearce, who recently became the dressage high performance manager.

For Lizzie it was a natural progression having been an eventing specialist coach in the high performance programme for five years, with the last two as performance manager for the TID and TD squads. She was also recently chef d’equipe for the victorious Oceania young rider team I Melbourne.

Lizzie Green rides Caprioska. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

So while she has long been looking to enhance her career off the horse, the opportunity came up slightly earlier than the Hamilton based mum of two had anticipated.

“I am really passionate about developing the next generation of Kiwi eventers, not only as athletes but also personally and for future leadership positions,” she said. “Through my involvement over the past few years I the programme, working alongside Penny in a more development space, I felt equipped to take on a bigger role, and here we are.”

Lizzie’s own eventing journey has not been without its challenges, so she brings an understanding of the ups and downs the sport can produce. “I have some visibility of the road ahead for these riders and can support them as they develop and grow,” she says.

Lizzie was in High Performance Sport New Zealand’s first cohort of Te Hāpaitanga 2020-2022 – a holistic coach development initiative designed to enable more females to pursue and maintain a career in high performance coaching in Aotearoa New Zealand. “The skills and experience gained, plus connections made across other sports, have been invaluable and will be put to good use in my new role.”

As a mum to two-year-old Archie and one-year-old Sienna, she is keen to lead by example, showing young women they can have a long and successful career in sport alongside other areas of life.

“Financing sport alongside trying to be competitive can be tough,” says Lizzie. “It looks different for every athlete but it is always a challenge. Horsepower is another area that I know can be tricky. As part of an answer to this, I would love to align our riders with breeders and coaches to educate them on producing their next champions.”

While Lizzie is moving into a different role, she has no inclination of giving up her own riding career. “I have a small team that are coming up the grades really nicely and I would love to have another crack at some bigger international competitions in the coming years,” she says.

Jock Paget, ESNZ general manager of high performance, says Lizzie brings much to the table both as a rider coming through the grades right through to high performance, and as a development coach, co-leading the TID and TD squads. “She has done a great job coaching and leading our pathway athletes and this is a great appointment for the New Zealand based high performance programme,” said Jock.

The programme is in a rebuilding phase. “We have had five championship riders head to the Northern Hemisphere over the last cycle, and while support is still required in the high performance squads, there is a focus on the development space to support our athletes as we build towards the Los Angeles and Brisbane Olympic Games.”

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photo by Libby Law/ESNZ