The U.S. Equestrian High Performance Dressage Development Program will continue to provide strategic guidance and resources to dressage athletes, thanks to the generous support of Fritz and Claudine Kundrun through the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation.
Newly named the Kundrun Dressage Development Program, the U.S. Equestrian Federation initiative was created to provide support to selected athletes with the perceived ability to make it to the podium or to contribute to program scores.
“This program allows us to provide more support to those athletes that are identified as potential future team athletes and horses,” said Hallye Griffin, USEF’s 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 longtime supporters of U.S. dressage programs and have owned top horses including Flim Flam, who partnered with Sue Blinks to win a team bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and a team silver medal at the 2002 World Equestrian Games (Spain), and Rosevelt, Ali Brock’s mount who helped clinch a team bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“My wife and I have a passion for dressage,” said Fritz. “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.”
The Kundrun Dressage Development Program is overseen by Charlotte Bredahl, the USEF development coach, with the assistance of the USEF dressage youth and young horse coaches, as well as the USEF dressage technical advisor.
“With this gift from the Kundruns, the program will expand, and we will be able to give even more support to upcoming athlete and horse combinations and offer more educational opportunities and grants,” said Bredahl. “Our goal is to find and help develop the next generation of top international and Olympic combinations.”
Athletes are selected for membership to the program through evaluation sessions held throughout the year. Once named to the program, competition and training targets are agreed upon with each athlete. Key performance indicators are monitored by the development coach and used to measure progress.
Athletes in the program will have access to grants for national and international events, and there will be an emphasis on the U25 divisions.
“The Kundruns have been instrumental in supporting our programs for many years, said Debbie McDonald, the dressage team technical advisor. “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 are now open for the 2020 Kundrun Dressage Development Program evaluation sessions and can be found online here.