USEF Names Elite Program Task Force For Eventing Amid Leadership Void

Jan 14, 2022 - 4:27 PM

The U.S. Equestrian Federation on Friday announced the members of its new Eventing Elite Program Task Force, created to help restructure management of the sport at the high performance level. On Dec. 2, 2021, USEF announced it did not renew the contracts of U.S. Performance Director Erik Duvander and USEF Managing Director of Eventing Jenni Autry, a move that shocked many in the eventing community.

During the U.S. Eventing Association’s annual meeting in New Mexico, USEF CEO Bill Moroney announced that they would be revamping the elite and pre-elite structure and would not immediately replace Duvander’s position. Instead they will be creating a task force to update, among other things, the job description.

“I believe maybe it’s time to evolve to a technical advisor type of position for that, similar to what show jumping does,” he said, adding later, “In the dressage and jumping, we have extremely strong managing directors who have an extremely deep depth of experience with their sports, and so as a federation, what can we do as we go forward to make sure that the person in that position, [and] in all positions, gets the mentoring, gets the education, gets the resources they need to be as successful as possible?”

The individuals on the task force, appointed by USEF President Tom O’Mara and the USEF Athletes’ Advisory Committee are: Will Coleman, Max Corcoran, Derek Di Grazia, Ariel Grald, Liz Halliday-Sharp, Dr. Mark Hart, Leslie Law, Eric Markell, Lynn Symansky and Christine Turner. USEF Director of Sport Will Connell will serve as the USEF staff representative on the task force.

“Facilitated by a United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) representative, the task force will focus on the elite, high-performance aspect of the discipline pathway,” the USEF said in a statement released Friday “The task force will be responsible for reviewing the roles, functionality, and operating procedures associated with the Elite Programs for eventing to recommend a structure that will deliver sustained success at the world and Olympic level through the 2024 Paris Games and beyond.

“Time is of the essence; therefore, the task force meetings will begin shortly, and as concepts are developed, they will be socialized with relevant eventing constituencies for input,” the statement continued.

Email EEPTaskForce@usef.org  for any comments or recommendations.

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