USA Blue Ribbon Panel to Map Future Strategies for Elite Equestrian Programs

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LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Oct. 9–A blue ribbon panel has been appointed by the U.S. Equestrian Federation to evaluate United States’ high performance teams, triggered by the results of the Olympic in London that were the worst for dressage. eventing and jumping in 56 years with no team or individual medals.

The panel, appointed by USEF Chief Executive John Long and announed Tuesday, will consist of representatives from each of the three Olympic disciplines, leadership from the USEF High Performance program, the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee National Governing Bodies Council.

The panel was formed to review every aspect of U.S. Olympic teams, including development and training programs, selection procedures, encouraging greater owner participation and all factors contributing to better positioning the U.S. in a changing global sport landscape.

The U.S. Olympic results in London “a wake-up call,” John Long said, and an opportunity to grow from the experience.

The findings will result in a series of recommendations to be presented to the USEF High Performance Working Group, USEF Board of Directors, the USEF Annual Meeting in January 2013 and the USOC Sports Partnership Division in February, 2013.

Panelists include:
Robert Costello – Chairman, High Performance Eventing Committee
Ron Galimore – Chief Operating Officer, USA Gymnastics
Anne Gribbons – Technical Advisor, U.S. Dressage Team 2010-2012
Anne Kursinski – Chairman, High Performance Jumping Committee; Board of Trustees, USET Foundation
Dr. Armand Leone, Jr. – Vice President High Performance, USEF Board of Directors; Chairman, USET Foundation
David O’Connor – President, USEF Board of Directors; Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor, U.S. Eventing 2013-2016
Robert Ridland – Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor, U.S. Show Jumping 2013-2016
Howard Simpson – Executive Committee, USEF Board of Directors
Chrystine Tauber – Secretary and President-Elect, USEF Board of Directors
George Williams – Chairman, High Performance Dressage Committee; President, U.S. Dressage Federation

“This Blue Ribbon Panel will take apart everything that we did leading up to London 2012,” John Long said.

“This is an opportunity to evaluate every single thing that we do to put our teams together with a fresh perspective. While funding will certainly be a consideration, I’m hoping the panel will look elsewhere for solutions charting our return to the medal stand. From my perspective, we must rekindle our focus and passion for being the best and I’m looking forward to the panel’s recommendations along these lines.”