Kundrun Dressage Development Program to Support Future USA Team Prospects Announced by US Equestrian Team Foundation
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Dec. 30, 2019
Kundrun Dressage Development Program with “generous support” by Fritz and Claudine Kundrun has been created to support future USA team prospects, the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation announced Monday.
The initiative was created to provide support to selected athletes with an emphasis on Under-25 riders with the perceived ability to make it to the podium or to contribute to program results, aiming for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
“This program allows us to provide more support to those athletes that are identified as potential future team athletes and horses,” said Hallye Griffin, U.S. Equestrian Managing Director of Dressage. “We’re setting our eyes on Los Angeles 2028, with it being a home Olympics that year. This program should be producing horses and athletes for those Games, as well as Games and world championships preceding them.”
The Kundruns have been long-time supporters of U.S. dressage programs and horses owned by them include Flim Flam ridden by Sue Blinks on the bronze medal team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and team silver at the 2002 World Equestrian Games, and Rosevelt, Ali Brock’s mount on the team that took bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“My wife and I have a passion for dressage,” said Fritz Kundrun, who is supporting the Dressage Development Program through the USET Foundation, the non-profit organization that works to provide necessary resources for American equestrian competitiveness.
“Hopefully, we can make a difference for the next Olympics and world championships. We are in this for the love of the sport and for the love of the animals.”
Born in Germany, Fritz Kundrun began his business career working for Thyssen, the German steel producer, and for several years has been an active and successful investor in mining operations in various countries. The Kundruns have farms in Wellington, Florida and Keswick, Virginia.
The Kundrun Dressage Development Program is overseen by U.S. Equestrian Development Coach, Charlotte Bredahl, with the assistance of the U.S. Equestrian Dressage Youth and Young Horse Coaches, as well as the U.S. Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor, Debbie McDonald.
“With this gift from the Kundruns, the program will expand,” said Charlotte, “and we will be able to give even more support to upcoming athlete and horse combinations and offer more educational opportunities and grants. Our goal is to find and help develop the next generation of top international and Olympic combinations.”
Athletes are selected for the program through evaluation sessions held throughout the year. Once named to the program, competition and training targets are agreed on and key performance indicators are monitored by the Development Coach to measure progress.
Athletes in the program will have access to grants for national and international events, with an emphasis on the Under-25 division.
“The Kundruns have been instrumental in supporting our programs for many years,” said Debbie McDonald, who was Development Coach for 10 years before becoming Technical Advisor in 2018.
“Their commitment and contribution will open doors for more combinations and provide access to crucial developmental opportunities that will strengthen our program for the future.”
Applications for the 2020 Kundrun Dressage Development Program evaluation sessions can be found here.
Past Kundrun financial support included a pledge in 2015 of $500,000 to be matched by contribution of another $1 million for U.S. dressage programs. The pledge was one of the largest ever by an individual.
The Kundruns are also actively involved in efforts to help working animals around the world, primarily through The Brooke, the Londoon-based foundation that helps working animals and the families that depend on them. The organization provides shelter, water and feed for working animals in third world countries, plus longer-term health care solutions.