January 21, 2014 -- The USEF launched a pilot "high performance" training program in 2012/2013 with approximately twenty drivers attending one or more clinics held in Kentucky, Florida, and North Carolina. Since there are limited training opportunities for driving at the USEF/FEI levels, the opportunity to train with an International Four-in-Hand driver and coach was overwhelmingly positive. To further this program, it is the intention of the USEF to roll out the 2014 Developing Driver Program (DDP) in a more formal manner by disseminating information to the driving community as to the locations and eligibility for the clinics contemplated.
Venues for clinics will be chosen in locations around the country that have a significant number of CDE participants as well as facilities to best train drivers competing at the USEF/FEI levels. The first 2014 clinic is scheduled for February 28 - March 2, to be held at The Grand Oaks, Weirsdale, Fla. Thorston Zarembowicz will be the clinician. The second clinic is being planned for March 29 -31, at the Sargeant Equestrian Center, Lodi, California, wtih Carola Diener-Slater and William Slater serving as the clinicians.
Eligible drivers must be USEF members. Applicants must have successfully completed CDE's and have performance goals to compete at Intermediate and Advanced levels. Junior drivers who have competed at Preliminary level and who have demonstrated talent and dedication may be given special consideration in receiving invitations. Drivers are encouraged to express their interest in participating by contacting the USEF Director of Driving Elizabeth Staller, at email@example.com, with a summary of their competitive accomplishments along with a letter of recommendation. Participation will be by invitation.
The USEF, in conjunction with an individual grant, will cover the clinician fees, clinician expenses, and venue use fees. Drivers will be responsible for their own transportation and lodging, as well as a $35 participation fee. It is hoped that additional funds may become available through private donors to support this program and broaden its scope. Sponsorship opportunities can also be made through the USEF Director of Driving. As the program develops, there will be opportunities for USEF members to make a bid to hold a clinic at their facility, so long as the participants meet the above referenced criteria.