The U.S. Equestrian Federation has announced the appointment of Erik Duvander as the new performance director for eventing, effective Oct. 16. Duvander joins USEF with over 30 years of strategic planning and program development at the high-performance level.
Duvander transitioned from a competitive rider into a coaching role after representing Sweden at the World Championship and Olympic level. Since his transition, Duvander has coached teams and individual athletes to World Championship and Olympic medals. He has worked with the Japanese, Swedish and New Zealand Equestrian Teams, including leading the New Zealand team to a fourth-placed finish at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and a team bronze medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.).
Duvander will use the depth of his experience to lead the U.S. Eventing Team as they prepare for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C., next year.
“It is a great privilege and responsibility to be chosen as the U.S. Eventing Performance Director, a role that I believe holds the highest regard within our sport,” said Duvander. “Having spent the last six months in the United States, I have seen a lot of quality athletes and horses. I have met some truly dedicated horse owners. I also know that the US Equestrian has an excellent group of people, and most importantly, all are working towards a common goal. I am looking forward to working within this community and taking on the challenge of putting together the best prepared combinations for the WEG at Tryon in September 2018 and also with a longer view to the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”
During his time as a coach and team leader for the New Zealand team, Duvander was responsible for a successful development program that used a holistic approach to supporting and developing the next generation of high-performance eventing athletes.
“US Equestrian and our U.S. Eventing Team are gaining an experienced leader in Erik Duvander,” said USEF President Murray Kessler. “His work with both teams and individual athletes is an important asset that will aid in the continued development of our event riders as they set their sights on the WEG and work towards their goals. We are excited for this sport and what is to come.”
Duvander was selected and recommended for commissioning through the US Equestrian Eventing Sport Committee’s appointed search group. The search group included representatives from the ESC, the Eventing High-Performance Working Group, the U.S. Olympic Committee, two eventing athletes, USEF Director of Sport Will Connell and USEF Managing Director of Eventing Joanie Morris.
The search group reviewed responses to a request for proposal and interviewed eligible candidates. Following an extensive search process, the search group made a recommendation to the Eventing Eligible Athletes Working Group, the EHPWG and the ESC, where Duvander received unanimous recommendation.