Sunday, Apr. 21, 2024

USEF Announces Departure Of Graeme Thom, Appointment of Hallye Griffin As Director Of FEI Sport

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The U.S. Equestrian Federation has announced the appointment of long-term employee Hallye Griffin as director of FEI sport. Griffin will assume the duties of former director of FEI/high-performance sport Graeme Thom, who has chosen to step away from the role he assumed in October to attend to personal matters. Griffin assumes her duties as of today, March 22.

“Over recent months, I have encountered some evolving personal obligations that are limiting my ability to commit the necessary time in my role as director of FEI and high-performance sport,” Thom said. “It is out of great respect to the [U.S.] Equestrian Federation, the sport department and, most importantly, to the athletes that I am stepping aside.”

Griffin, who will also serve as chef de mission at the Olympic, Paralympic and Pan American Games as well as the FEI World Championships, will have plenty of support from Thom, who will assume a consulting role to ensure a smooth transition.

“I welcome and look forward to staying on over the next few months to assist in special projects with a particular focus on major games preparedness,” said Thom.

Griffin enters the role with extensive experience and deep sport knowledge. The native Kentuckian joined USEF as the director of national dressage programs in 2011, following her role as the competition department assistant for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Kentucky). She was promoted to managing director for dressage in 2015, overseeing both the national and the FEI side of the discipline, which allowed her to hone her management and leadership skills.

Griffin managed U.S. team efforts at two Olympic Games (Rio and Tokyo), which yielded team bronze and team silver medals, respectively. Additionally, she has served as dressage team leader through two world championships, several Nations Cup events, finals and national championships, providing leadership, oversight, and support for teams that garnered multiple medals. Additionally, Griffin’s experience extends beyond dressage, having served as team leader for the U.S. para-dressage and vaulting teams at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France).

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“Hallye brings a proven track record from her experience as managing director of dressage and has the respect of all who have worked with her,” Thom said. “I am confident that Hallye will do an excellent job and represent the federation and its athletes admirably.”

Griffin will report to USEF Chief of Sport David O’Connor.

“I am very enthusiastic about Hallye coming on as the federation’s director of FEI sport,” O’Connor said. “Hallye’s experience with the Olympic successes that dressage has achieved in these past eight years is a testament to her leadership qualities. Coming up the ladder from within the USEF family places Hallye in a position that will allow for a seamless transition and keep USEF athletes focused on the path toward the 2023 Pan American Games [Chile] in October and the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer. We are fortunate to have someone with these qualities step into this important role.”

Effective immediately, Laura Roberts will be stepping up to managing director of dressage.  Formerly, Roberts served as dressage performance and event support director. Roberts has worked under Griffin’s guidance for five years and is well-prepared for the transition.

“I have been fortunate to work with a great team at [USEF] over the last 10-plus years, and I am grateful for the knowledge and experience that has been shared with me,” Griffin stated. “We have busy months ahead readying for the many events on the calendar for the FEI disciplines. We have a strong staff at the [USEF] office, and we will be working closely on not only the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games but also focusing on the home Olympics and Paralympics—Los Angeles 2028—which are on the quickly approaching horizon.”

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