Lincoln show jumper Spencer Roe takes next step towards Rio Olympics
Lincoln showjumper Spencer Roe can now keep one eye on the Rio Olympics after being selected for the World Class Development Programme.
Spencer, from South Hykeham, admits to taking inspiration from last summer's London Olympics and the success of the gold medal-winning British equestrian team.
Forcing his way into contention for a place in the British team for the next Olympic Games in 2016 will be a huge challenge, writes Dave Marshall.
However, being selected for the World Class Programme does give the 19-year-old a helping hand and is not a programme which is easily earned.
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"You have to have an interview in front of the panel," explained Roe.
"They also come and watch you and your horse at squad sessions, so it's quite nerve racking.
"Without the benefits of this programme, my Olympic hopes may have been scuppered, but now it has to be my aim.
"However, you have to have the right sort of horse for that. I have had my current horse, 'Wonder Why' for five years now and we have developed together over the years.
"We are quite a team now, but I will also need to develop some younger horses.
The World Class Development Programme is funded by UK Sport and works with talented riders to maximise their potential and deliver success on the international stage.
All riders on the programme will have access to the same world class benefits including; mentoring, coaching, human and equine sports science and even medicine and nutrition.
The programme is due to last for two years.
However, it is continuously assessed and riders are formerly reviewed every six months.
The aim of the programme is to be a sustainable system that can deliver more medals on the international stage now and in the future.
Former Priory Academy LSST student Spencer has a busy year ahead, with a possible highlight being the Under 21 European Championships in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain which takes place in July.
"Looking at this year, my goal is to compete at the European Championships in Spain this July and do well," Roe added.
"I have been lucky to have the horses I have had so far.
"Going forward, going to the Olympics is a dream, but I like to think it is a realistic dream."