David O’Connor, Olympic Gold Medalist, Named USEF Chief of Sport, Canadian Graeme Thom Director High Performance Sport Programs

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David O’Connor. © USEF

Sept. 22, 2022

David O’Connor, Olympic eventing gold medalist, has been appointed to the newly created position of U.S. Equestrian Chief of Sport while Canadian Graeme Thom becomes Director of High Performance Sport Programs to succeed Will Connell.

Both David, 62, USEF president from 2004 to 2012, and Graeme, 61, will start Oct. 3.

The federation said David’s responsibilities will be to work with the executive team on overall international and national sport support of the USEF strategic plan and its initiatives, sport integrity, education, and equine and human safety and welfare, as well as focus on strengthening relationships with stakeholder groups.

David earned individual gold and team bronze medals in eventing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and team silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Graeme Thom, appointed US High Performance Sport Programs .

Graeme Thom has been chair of Canada’s High Performance Committee and has been chef d’equipe for either Canada or New Zealand for the past 15 years at major championships. He rode to the CCI3* level in eventing.

His responsibilities will focus primarily on sport operations, supervising activities of the managers directors for international disciplines recognized by the FEI, developing and implementing the strategic high performance plan and programs and overall administration of all aspects of sport programming.

He will overlap for almost two months with Will Connell, successful as a key official for Great Britain for 11 years before joining the USEF in 2014. He leaves Nov. 25.