Anne Gribbons Becomes US Dressage Technical Adviser, to Coordinate High Performance Coaching

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

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Dec. 8–Anne Gribbons will be the United States Dressage Technical Advisor, including coordinating all high performance coaching programs, though 2012, the U.S. Equestrian Federation announced Tuesday.

“Gribbons will oversee the training and preparation of US riders and horses as they prepare for World Championship, Pan American Games and Olympic competition,” the USEF said in announcing the contract.

Gribbons, 63, is one of the United States’ four “O” judges and is based at her farm at Chuluota, near Orlando, Florida. She is a native of Sweden but has been active in U.S, dressage since 1972.

She had been named president of the ground jury for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky next year, subject to her acceptance of the USEF post.

“She will advise the USEF Dressage High Performance Committee regarding the allocation of training grants and the selection of athletes for teams. Gribbons will monitor the form and soundness of perspective horses and the form and riding skills of candidate riders in order to identify areas for improvement.”

Following the search for a replacement for former U.S. dressage coach Klaus Balkenhol of Germany, Gribbons was offered a dual position as USEF Dressage Chef d’Equipe and Technical Advisor.

However, at the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) General Assembly last month, Gribbons was named to the FEI Dressage Committee for a term extending through 2013.

“In order to remove any potential conflicts of interest regarding her participation on the FEI Dressage Committee it was agreed that the Chef d’Equipe position would be filled by the Managing Director of Dressage,” The USEF said.

The Dressage Managing Director/Chef d’Equipe position will be filled in the near future. The managing director post had been held by Gil Merrick for four years until his resignation in September.

James Wolf, USEF Executive Director of Sport Programs, said of Gribbons’ appointment: “The USEF is very fortunate to have Anne working for us in the capacity of Technical Advisor. She is an outstanding horsewoman. Her experience as a rider, judge and coach make her uniquely suited for this position. I am certain that she will elevate the standards of our dressage program and be invaluable to the efforts of our dressage athletes as they prepare for, and compete in, international competition.”

“I am honored to have the confidence of the Elite Athletes and excited about the prospect of working with our talented riders and horses,” Gribbons said. “Our most important immediate mission is to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games, either at the World Equestrian Games or the Pan American Games. Our long range goal is to be ready and able to medal in London in 2012. The United States is already a great dressage nation. We will strive to further develop our wonderful horses and riders and to tie our national and international programs together from ponies to High Performance in a way that will one day make us invincible.”