Following an often tumultuous four-year term, Australian Olympian Clayton Fredericks’ contract as International Technical Advisor for the Canadian Eventing Team has not been renewed by Equestrian Canada (EC).

In a Nov. 15th Facebook post Fredericks stated, “As November ends, so does my time with Equestrian Canada and my role as the International Technical Advisor. The last 4 years have certainly been interesting but years that I would not change … With the post-Games review in full swing it is clear that High Performance Eventing in Canada will require some change to continue and build upon its success. The challenge of a relatively small pool of High Performance riders spread across North America and Europe is one that cannot be underestimated and a rethink of the traditional program and the role of a Head Coach is required, not just to support the riders at the top level of the sport but also to support the development of the up and coming combinations to increase this pool of riders.”

A number of negative incidents marred Fredericks’ resumé in 2016, not the least of which was The Honourable Robert Armstrong, Q.C. of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) ordering Equestrian Canada to pay $35,000 towards Jessica Phoenix’s legal costs resulting from her appeal to be named to the 2016 Canadian Eventing Olympic team. Hon. Armstrong cited Fredericks’ actions and those of EC as “highly inappropriate,” notably Fredericks’ comment to Phoenix that her refusal to run two of her horses at the Bromont CCI3* would ruin her chances to make the Olympic team, despite the event not being mandated as part of the selection trials.

Additionally, Canadian team riders found out during pre-Rio training camp in Florida that Clayton had hired team member Colleen Loach as assistant trainer at Fredericks Equestrian International – a blatant conflict of interest considering he was a member of the Olympic selection committee at the time of her recruitment and hiring.

Fredericks, 48, says he will return to focussing on competition, sales horses, and developing young horses and riders at his farm in Ocala, FL. He has recently been riding horses part-owned by Equestrian Canada president Jorge Bernhard’s wife, Amanda Bernhard. They include FE Bowman, FE Money Made, and FE Vindus.

Equestrian Canada stated that a High Performance review is underway for the next quadrennial and that each discipline is examining what type of technical leadership is needed going forward.