USA Dressage Chief Eva Salomon Looks to Develop New Programs to Build to Elite Levels

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Eva Salomon
Eva Salomon

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

After three months as the U.S. Equestrian Federation Managing Director and Chef d’Equipe for Dressage, Eva Salomon is looking to introduce new programs to develop more riders to the elite level.

The former International Equestrian Federation (FEI) director of dressage said that while she wants to spend the summer seeing how existing programs work, “I would like to state that I look very positively on the development of U.S. Dressage both short and long term.”

“Where we do not already have programs in place, it is my hope and ambition that the Dressage Department will now work together with relevant USEF committees and the USDF (U.S. Dressage Federation) in order to introduce new programs that will support and develop all levels of FEI Youth: Pony riders – Juniors – Young Riders in order to get more senior riders at elite level,” she told dressage-news.com.

She made the remarks after spending several days in California with Kyra Kyrklund who was conducting training sessions for short listed horse and rider combinations.

“We hope that we will be able to launch a new Youth Program as of 2011.” Details were not available.

The U.S. has several program levels for both horses and riders–four, five and six-year-old dressage horses; developing horses aged seven to nine years; junior and young riders; Brentina Cup to bridge the gap between Young Rider and elite levels; Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire at which the Pan American Games are competed, and the elite Grand Prix. Plans have been announced for a Grand Prix division for horses eight to 10 years old similar to Germany’s hugely successful Nürnberger Burg-Pokal and efforts are being made to provide FEI pony classes and championships.

Eva, a Swedish national, fills the position at the USEF headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky that had been held by Gil Merrick until last September.

She worked with the Swedish Federation from 1984-1989, and then served on the Swedish Dressage Committee from 1992-2000, including chef d’ equipe assignments, and chaired the committee from 1995-2000 and was FEI Director of Dressage from 2003 to 2009.

She has won high praise from Debbie McDonald who told dressage-news recently that Eva had been instrumental in getting Americans into European competitions this year. Debbie cited as an example that Adrienne Lyle received a grant to compete in Europe last year, but was unable to gain entry to shows so could not use the grant.

“As the FEI Director of Dressage I approved all international dressage schedules and know many show organizers personally,” Eva said. “This is of good help to us when we request invitations to shows where we are not on the invited NFs (national federations) list.”

She has been involved in the equestrian industry for more than 40 years, as a rider, owner of a dressage training center, breeder and owner of a horse that represented Sweden at two Olympic Games.