Great Britain's London 2012 eventing team is due to be announced next week - and a 60-year-old Yorkshireman remains one of the biggest threats to their Olympic title hopes.
Chris Bartle will not be competing at Greenwich Park from July 28-31, but he could easily play a major part in plotting the host nation's downfall.
Bartle is a former British eventing and dressage rider of distinction.
He finished sixth in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics individual dressage competition - it remains a British-best performance - before winning European eventing team gold 13 years later and then being crowned 1998 Badminton champion.
Now though, Bartle coaches Britain's biggest rivals Germany, the 2008 Olympic team and individual gold medallists who also swept the board at last summer's European Championships on home soil in Luhmuhlen.
Bartle is based just 25 miles up the road from this weekend's Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials, which represents the final pre-Olympic selection opportunity for British hopefuls.
The event is given added significance after Badminton and Chatsworth were both rained off in recent weeks, and top riders such as William Fox-Pitt, Tina Cook, Nicola Wilson and Zara Phillips will be out in force.
Selection is also occupying Bartle's thoughts at the moment, yet whatever five-strong German combination is selected - spearheaded by reigning world and European champion Michael Jung - they will be major London medal contenders.
Bartle has done the job long enough now - 11 years to be exact - to accept he could be viewed by the British eventing fraternity as public enemy number one.
But such is his standing in the sport that respect oozes from those who have worked with him, whatever their nationality.
"I tend to stay in my own bubble and see the German riders as what I call 'my team and my guys' as opposed to seeing it in national terms," said Bartle.
"I have been very much involved working with [British rider] Nicola Wilson and other members of other teams, but on the day, I see the German team as my team and my guys.
"In terms of performance, the German riders have come on a bundle.
"Eventing is still the Cinderella of horse sport in Germany behind dressage and showjumping, but it has a very strong fan base and because of successes the riders have had it is getting a lot more interest.
"We will keep our fingers crossed and, as the footballers say, we will take it one game at a time."
Bartle, who was boss of the Great Britain team before current performance chief Yogi Breisner took charge, is managing director at the Yorkshire Riding Centre in Markington, near Harrogate.
His riding career featured many high points, but after travelling to the 2000 Sydney Olympics as British reserve, he had a decision to make.
"I worked with and coached the Brits at the 1999 European Championships in Luhmuhlen, but after Sydney I had to decide on riding or coaching," he said.
"Did I want to ride or did I want to coach? I was reserve rider at Sydney, then Yogi Breisner took the reins which meant I was a free agent the next year, and I got the phone call from Germany."
Bartle devotes about a third of the year to his German role, and everything is moving nicely towards London with riders like Jung, Sandra Auffarth, Andreas Dibowski, Frank Ostholt and Dirk Schrade all enjoying unhindered preparations.
And by the time the first dressage test begins at Greenwich Park in 51 days' time, Bartle knows he will send out a team with serious gold medal ambitions.
"Winning the Europeans in Luhmuhlen last summer was special for German eventing. It wasn't luck, it came out of great performances," Bartle said.
"But you have to keep your feet on the ground and accept, as always with horses, that one day is different from another.
"It was home advantage for Germany on that occasion, and it will be a totally different ball game in Greenwich.
"The riders will have to perform as well as, if not better, because there are going to be a lot of strong riders and horses at Greenwich.
"Germany might well be the favourites but, at the end of the day, the horses don't know that, do they?
"I think it is relatively wide open. You need three good results from your five riders in the team competition, and you can look at a lot of nations and see three good riders.
"I know people keep talking about the Germans - and I hope it is going to be good - but there are some strong teams out there.
"My impression of Greenwich at the Olympic test event last year was that it definitely has the wow factor. Because of the terrain, it presents a different set of challenges.
"For every course you go to throughout the world, different horses are ideally suited to it, and we will be keeping that in mind in terms of selection."