USEF Announces Updates To Dressage Program Amid Empty Technical Advisor Position

Dec 16, 2021 - 5:46 PM

The U.S. Equestrian Federation has announced several updates to its dressage program and coaching structure looking ahead to the 2022 competition year. The updated structure has been approved based upon the review of the USEF dressage programs and events conducted after this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. These adjustments will provide further support and clarity around the roles and responsibilities of the current coaching staff, detail of program planning, and development of the Coach Support Network.

Program leaders will collect feedback from constituents and athletes throughout the year on the degree of need for centralized coaching support at the Elite and Pre-Elite championship levels, with the goal of naming a chef d’equipe for the 2022 FEI Dressage World Championships in Herning, Denmark, by spring 2022.

While not immediately filling the position of what was previously named the technical advisor, which was held by Debbie McDonald, whose contract wasn’t renewed, the USEF coaching and program staff will provide support to program and team athletes ensuring the various functions performed by the technical advisor are well covered. This will include program oversight of training plans for elite and pre-elite athletes and organized discussions and advisement on KPI and target markers for athletes participating in the high performance programs. Additionally, program coaches, as well as members of the Coach Support Network, can serve as chef d’equipe when needed, expanding the scope of their individual responsibilities.

The role of a high performance and pathway development advisor will be added to the overall program structure and filled by George Williams, who will also retain his position as the emerging youth coach. Williams will assist in the development of coaching professional development opportunities and initiatives, as well as oversee the Coach Support Network, and promote the USOPC Coach Program opportunities and help identify potential coaching candidates for participation. Williams will also advise the USEF Elite/Pre-Elite programs and attend home visits and competitions, as needed, to advise on appropriate performance targets and assist in the overall strategy development and planning for championships and preparation for those events. As the emerging youth coach, Williams will continue with his current responsibilities for the program, including target setting and performance monitoring, as well as oversight of training and evaluation sessions and input on program planning and selection processes including the USEF Young Rider European Tour.

Charlotte Bredahl will continue as the development coach and remain responsible for setting target markers and competition performance indicators for combinations participating in the development program. Bredahl will also continue with training support and evaluation sessions with identified athletes and contribute to event planning and selection processes.

Christine Traurig will remain the emerging young horse coach, responsible for helping to identify future talent and set target markers and performance indicators with participating combinations. Traurig will oversee training and evaluation sessions and give input on planning and selection processes for all programs, as well as provide supplemental training support for the Elite, Pre-Elite and Developing lists as needed.

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