Debbie McDonald Named US Developing Dressage Coach

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Debbie McDonald and Brentina in a medal-winning moment. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Debbie McDonald and Brentina in a medal-winning moment. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Jan. 23–Debbie McDonald, Olympic and World Equestrian Games medalist and World Cup champion, has been named the U.S. Developing Dressage Coach.

A series of five clinics on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. have been scheduled for Debbie, who said she wanted to remain active and give back to the sport following the emotional retirement of the mare Brentina at the 2009 FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas.

On Brentina, the Hanoverian mare owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas, Debbie was a member of the historic silver medal team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Spain, World Cup champion in 2003, the bronze medal team at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006 WEG at Aachen, Germany.

The U.S. Equestrian Federation Developing Dressage program has been restructured to identify and cultivate future US Dressage stars.riders.

“I am very excited to help the development of our sport,” said Debbie who was named U.S. Equestrian Federation Developmental Coach of the Year for 2008 for her efforts training and teaching horses. “This is a very good time for the US, having the support of the USEF to start this program up again is exciting. I am honored to be a part of it!”

The clinics are:

Feb. 6-7 – California
Mar. 27-28 – Florida
June 5-6 – California
June 12-13 – New Jersey
July 10-11 – New Jersey

Participation is by invitation only by the USEF High Performance Dressage Committee

“The Developing Program is of vital importance to the future of our sport,” said USEF Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons. “It is meant to establish the basis for the up and coming riders and horses in this country. We are lucky to be in the situation today when we are able to use our own human resources to educate our team hopefuls.

“Under the capable direction of Debbie McDonald, we will create a nationwide program devoted to guiding our riders and their mounts from young horse classes and the small tour to Grand Prix.”