USA’s Anne Gribbons, Selected as US Chef d’Equipe/Technical Adviser, Elected to FEI Dressage Committee

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COPENHAGEN, Nov. 19–The election of the USA’s Anne Gribbons to the new FEI Dressage Committee on Thursday has thrown into disarray the appointment of the Swedish-born trainer as the United States Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor.

Anne, who is an “O” or 5* judge, was elected to the committee at the FEI General Assembly in Copenhagen.

Sources within the U.S. Equestrian Federation who did not want to be named as they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the USEF, said that Anne had delayed signing a contract as Chef/Technical Advisor, the leader of high performance dressage in the United States, until the vote in Copenhagen.

“As a top judge and now being elected on the FEI Dressage Committee it is impossible to see how she can resolve very obvious conflcits of interest and head up the American dressage effort,” the source said.

Anne Gribbons with former Gil Merrick, former USEF Director of Dressage. © 2009 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com
Anne Gribbons with former Gil Merrick, former USEF Director of Dressage. © 2009 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

Gribbons, who lives near Orlando, Florida, was selected as chef d’équipe/technical advisor for the U.S. dressage team in August after a lengthy search process. She was selected from 11 candidates that included six-time U.S. Olympian Robert Dover of Wellington, Florida.

She has not yet signed the contract to fill the post that was considered critical in creating a U.S. high performance program ahead of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, the fist time the quadrennial extravaganza has been held outside Europe.

The position was designed to develop a program to replace that undertaken for eight years by Klaus Balkenhol, the German Olympic gold medalist.

The U.S. dressage program has also been without the highly respected Gil Merrick, who was the UEF Director of Dressage for four years before resigning three months ago. A replacement has not been announced.