U.S. Equestrian Federation officials announced today, March 3, that the field for 2013 Eventing Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor position has been narrowed down to two candidates. David O’Connor, of the Plains, Va., and Ocala, Fla., and Leslie Law, of Bluemont, Va., and Ocala, Fla., have been named to the short list for the position.
The USEF search committee received nine applications from individuals representing six countries. O’Connor, who currently serves as USEF president and Canadian eventing technical advisor, said he thought his résumé played a big role in having been selected.
“I think my experience is probably a big part of it [having been named to the short list],” he said. “I have the experience of producing international riders over the last 10 or 15 years and also the experience of coaching a team and having a created a successful program in Canada.”
Law could not be reached for immediate comment.
The application window for the position closed on Jan. 31, and the search committee interviewed its top six picks during the last two weeks.
“It was a two-part [interview] process,” O’Connor said. “I had written a pretty extensive application. In some ways it’s like a thesis of what you believe in, how you see the sport as it is now and what you think the next steps could be with putting a team together. And then there was a phone interview with the search committee. They had standard questions I guess they asked everybody. And then a couple other questions related to my application.
“The desire is to create a support system that the riders can flourish under. That’s the job,” O’Connor continued. “And that the person have the belief and the confidence and the positive attitude to make the U.S. number one in the world, so when we go to the Olympic Games or a world championship, we’re going to expect to win a medal.”
O’Connor and Law will answer questions regarding their nominations in an open rider forum on Mar. 10 at Red Hills Horse Trials (Fla.). After they undergo a second round of interviews with the USEF Eventing Eligible Athlete Committee, that committee will issue a final recommendation to the Eventing High Performance Committee, and the new chef d’equipe will be named.
O’Connor’s wife Karen is a member of the USEF Eventing Eligible Athlete Committee. He confirmed that she’ll recuse herself from the interview process to avoid conflict of interest.
The USEF Eventing Eligible Athlete Committee consists of:
- Amy Tryon – Chairman
- Jan Byyny
- Stephen Bradley
- Buck Davidson
- Phillip Dutton
- Lauren Hart-O’Brien
- Becky Holder
- Marcia Kulak
- Bonnie Mosser
- Karen O’Connor
- Kim Severson