Graeme Thom’s role as Equestrian Sport New Zealand’s High Performance Eventing Manager will be sadly short-lived. Having been recently appointed in January of this year, the flare up of an old back injury has forced Graeme’s resignation.
The Canadian underwent a spinal operation in December 2015, which he thought had successfully subdued the injury’s symptoms. Since they resurfaced, Graeme has been sidelined for weeks, and his doctor has strongly advised against travel.
Graeme shared with Equestrian Sports New Zealand:
“It is a huge disappointment to me,” he said. “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 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.
“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.”
Graeme will stay on to complete administrative items and intends to still help the team, where possible, in its WEG preparation. Meanwhile the search is on for a new eventing manager.
Feel better soon, Graeme!