Combined Driver Chester Weber Joins Search Group for New US Dressage Coach
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OCALA, Fla., Apr. 23–Combined driver Chester Weber has become chairman of the USEF committee searching for a new U.S. dressage coach and chef d’equipe through the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
“At the request of the USEF Dressage Eligible Athlete and High Performance committees, Chester was asked by John Long as USEF CEO to join the committee after the original seven members had met and went to work at electing a chair for the committee,” said Gil Merrick, Assistant Executive Director, Sports Programs at the USEF. “The committee members feel that Chester brings a wealth of international competition experience to the committee and that he fully understands the coaching and Chef d’Equipe needs of an international discipline such as dressage.
“Chester has extensive experience in the governance of equestrian sport through his participation on boards and committees and is an ideal person to manage the entire search process in his role as chair of the committee.”
Candidates for the position include six-time Olympian and trainer, Robert Dover of Wellington, Fla. and Olympic-level judge and trainer Azel Steiner of San Diego, Calif.
Jessica Ransehousen, a two-time Olympian and a previous highly regarded chef d’equipe, is filling in until a successor to German Olympic gold medalist Klaus Balkenhol is chosen. Balkenhol served two four-year terms as leader of the U.S. squad in international competition.
Weber, of Ocala, Fla. said he looks forward to working on the committee. “I love our equestrian sports and want to see all of our disciplines succeed at home and in the international arena,” he said. “I am very honored to be a part of this search committee. Finding the right coach is crucial to helping the American dressage team reach its goals.”
In addition to Weber as chairman, the search committee comprises:
Capt. Mark Phillips, Eventing Chef d’Equipe; George Morris, Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe; John Madden, Show Jumping representative, Karen O’Connor, Eventing representative; Mary Anne McPhail, High Performance Dressage Committee and Susan Blinks and Guenter Seidel of the High Performance Dressage Eligible Athlete
The USEF will accept applications for the post up to May 15. The search committee will review the applications and determine which applicants should be interviewed based on their fulfillment of the position requirements. Interviews will be conducted jointly by the chair of the search committee, members of the USEF High Performance Dressage Eligible Athlete committee and USEF staff. The Eligible Athlete committee will then put forward their recommendation to the search committee.