January 14, 2009 -- The pursuit of show jumping excellence in the United States continues. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and George Morris have renewed Morris' contract to serve as chef d'equipe and technical advisor through 2012. Morris has steered the U.S. jumping program to tremendous success over the first four years of his tenure. His attention to detail and meticulous preparation of his teams is world renowned.
Highlighted by team gold and individual bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong, Morris has a string of successes to his name over the past four years. The team also won team and individual silver at the 2006 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Aachen, Germany, and team bronze at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Since 2005 he has led seven winning Nations' Cup efforts highlighted by a 2008 win at CSIO Wellington as well as Spruce Meadows in Calgary which was right on the heels of Olympic gold. He then travelled to Argentina where for the third consecutive year; a developing rider team captured the Nations' Cup at the CSIO Buenos Aires.
In 2005, his first year serving as chef d'equipe, Morris steered the U.S. to victory in the Samsung Super League. To date this is the only time a non-European country has won this prestigious series.
Morris' resume is one of the most prolific in the sport. In the saddle, he won Pan American team gold and Olympic team silver as well as riding on eight winning Nations' Cup teams. He also had an incredible coaching career; his students consistently win medals and championships worldwide. Prior to becoming U.S. chef d'equipe in 2005, Morris had at least one student on each Olympic team since 1980.
Morris' next challenges looming large on the horizon are the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., and the next Olympic Games in 2012.
"I am very much looking forward to working with the horses and riders that have been so successful in the program over the last four years," said Morris. "I am also enthusiastic about the new riders and horses coming up through the system; they will help strengthen our ability to field successful international teams."
Morris emphasized that he is dedicated to the owners, riders, grooms, professional and USEF staff who have been so supportive of his efforts. He added that a key to any future successes will be a great team effort such as he's experienced over the last four years.
"George's leadership, vision and knowledge of the sport are unparalleled," said Sally Ike, USEF managing director of show jumping. "I'm thrilled that he has agreed to sign on for four more years and we look forward to supporting him through the next quadrennium."