U.S. Equestrian Federation officials announced George Morris and Phillip Dutton the 2009 Coaches of the Year for their commitment to coaching and developing the equestrian sport.
Morris is a legendary equestrian, renowned trainer and former Olympian. His equestrian career began when he became the youngest rider to win both the AHSA Hunter Seat Medal Final and the ASPCA Maclay Finals. He was a member of the silver medal Olympic team in 1960, the gold medal Pan American Games team in 1959, and he competed on eight winning Nations Cup teams.
Known for his dedication to his students and eye for perfection, Morris has trained revered equestrians such as Leslie Burr-Howard, Anne Kursinski, Peter Leone and Chris Kappler. As the chef d’equipe of the U.S. Show Jumping team since 2005, he coached the U.S. team to two Olympic gold medals and to a second-placed finish in the 2009 Meydan FEI Nations Cup.
Dutton, one of the most successful eventing riders to date, was a member of Australia’s gold medal three-day eventing team in 1996 and 2000. He represented Australia in four World Equestrian Games before changing his citizenship in 2006 to compete for the United States. He’s been named the USEA Leading Rider of the Year eight times and was the number one FEI World Event Rider in 2006.
Dutton trains many up-and-coming riders including three of the top 10 riders in the country.
As USEF’s recipients of this award, Morris and Dutton will also be the USEF’s nominees for the U.S. Olympic Committee Coach of the Year Award.