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Paget returning to NZ to coach and compete

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/10/2016

World class eventer Jock Paget is returning to New Zealand to become a coach and rider.

While keeping his sights on competing at the Tokyo Olympics, the 32-year-old is moving home to further his coaching career as part of the Equestrian Sport New Zealand performance programme.

Northland-born Paget and his wife Tegan will settle in the central North Island before Christmas, close to the National Equestrian Centre in Taupo.

His new role begins in February, a month before the centre's indoor arena is due for completion.

It will end a six-year stint in the United Kingdom.

"I want to become a world-class coach and I believe this is the programme to do that in. It is very exciting," he said.

Paget will bring with him his most promising mount, Angus Blue, which he rode at a first three-star event in September.

"I have every intention of still targeting the major events throughout the world but just with a smaller team," Paget said.

"To do both my riding and coaching properly, I won't be able to have the same size team I have done."

Paget is a former bricklayer whose career peaked when he won the 2013 Badminton Horse Trials on Clifton Promise.

ESNZ high performance director Sarah Dalziell-Clout says Paget's recruitment is a coup.

His experience will be invaluable for the country's most talented riders, she said, working alongside a staff which already includes another Olympian, Clarke Johnstone.

"We will now have two of our Olympic campaigners competing and coaching nationally," Dalziell-Clout said.

"I hope this will further encourage more spectators to attend and support our events."

Meanwhile, Paget's place at the UK stable run by owner Joe Giannamore will be taken by Up-and-coming Kiwi eventer James Avery.

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