January 23, 2010 -- Olympic superstar Debbie McDonald has taken on the role of U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Developing Dressage Coach. McDonald's name is synonymous with the U.S. dressage program for the last decade as she represented the U.S. across the globe, winning the 2005 FEI World Cup Final and leading the U.S. to team bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the 2006 World Equestrian Games with her legendary mare Brentina.
The USEF Developing Dressage program has been restructured, and the future International High Performance athletes will benefit from McDonald's experience and expertise through a series of clinics across the U.S. as they prepare themselves and their horses for the future.
"The Developing Program is of vital importance to the future of our sport," said USEF Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons. "It is meant to establish the basis for the up-and-coming riders and horses in this country. We are lucky to be in the situation today when we are able to use our own 'human resources' to educate our team hopefuls."
The program is designed to identify and cultivate future U.S. dressage stars.
"Under the capable direction of Debbie McDonald, we will create a nationwide program devoted to guiding our riders and their mounts from young horse classes and the small tour to Grand Prix," said Gribbons.
McDonald, who was named the USEF Developmental Coach of the Year for 2008 for her efforts training and teaching horses and riders, has an exemplary reputation as a coach and a trainer.
"I am very excited to help the development of our sport," said McDonald. "This is a very good time for the U.S., and having the support of the USEF to start this program up again is exciting. I am honored to be a part of it."
The dates and locations for the Developing clinics are as follows (subject to change):
February 6-7, 2010, California
March 27-28, 2010, Florida
June 5-6, 2010, California
June 12-13, 2010, New Jersey
July 10-11, 2010, New Jersey
Participation in these clinics is by invitation only, and riders will be invited at the direction of the USEF High Performance Dressage Committee.