Allison Brock, Rio Team Medalist, Becomes US Olympic Equestrian Athlete Representative
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 2, 2017–Allison Brock, the United States team Olympic bronze medal rider, has been named as the athlete representative for the three Olympic disciplines, dressage, eventing and jumping.
Ali, 37 years old and based in Wellington, began her new role this year–officially, the equestrian representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Advisory Council. Because of that position, she also has a seat on the U.S. Equestrian board of directors.
This is the first involvement in sport governance for the rider of Rosevelt on the American team at Rio last summer that won the first Olympic dressage medal since 2004.
“I live under a rock,” joked Ali, usually soft spoken and popular among riders, trainers and officials, who was born and raised in Hawaii. “I just ride horses in circles, try not to tick off anyone. I never got involved before, but I think it’s time.”
Ai’s role is to act as liaison between U.S. Equestrian and the USOC and insure views of equestrian athletes are presented to the national Olympic governing body.
Ali said that until the Rio Games she had never been around so many other athletes in so many different sports.
“I heard more stories of corruption embezzlement of funds, total disregard of selection procedures, biased treatment, on and on,” she said. “I could not believe I’m hearing this stuff.
“No system is perfect, but hearing how some other sports work, it was a real eye opener. I realized as an American how much better things are here.
“It made me very interested to start learning how our system works, how we get funding, how we have a body advocating for us.”
“I’m hoping we have an even more available and transparent system, to see how we can make things even better.”
She is keenly aware of being a representative of the only Olympic sport with totally equal gender participation but with the often expressed view that equestrian is threatened with being thrown out of the Games.
“Hopefully we can help influence things in the right direction,” Ali said.
As a member of 19-member U.S. Equestrian board of directors, she joins two others that reverses the previous board that had been cut substantially and included only one dressage representative. Others on the new board with dressage interests are Lisa Goretta, co-chair of the newly created Dressage Sport Committee and Judith Sloan, an independent member but who has been deeply involved in dressage, including commercial sponsorship for Laura Graves by the global accounting firm Deloitte where she is an executive.
Creation of the Dressage Sport Committee to take over the functions of multiple other committees, was a move by U.S. Equestrian to streamline decision-making and improve relations with affiliate organizations. Working groups will be set up to deal with specific issues.
Members of the Sport Committee are:
KATHLEEN CONNELLY, Concord, Massachusetts, co-chair;
LISA GORRETTA, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, co-chair;
GARDY BLOEMERS, Crozet, Virginia;
LISELOTTE FORE, Santa Rosa, California;
JANET FOY, Colorado Springs, Colorado;
ELIZABETH JULIANO, Gates Mills, Ohio;
HEATHER PETERSEN, Elbert, Colorado;
LISA WILCOX, Wellington;
ELISABETH WILLIAMS, Horsham, Pennsylvania;
KATHERINE BATESON CHANDLER, Wellington, elected athlete;
CHRISTOPHER HICKEY, Wellington, elected athlete, and
PIERRE ST. JACQUES, Orefield, Pennsylvania, elected athlete.