After a lengthy selection process which included interviews with the final three applicants for the job, Anne Gribbons of Chauluota , Florida has been selected as the new U.S. Chef d’Equipe / Technical Advisor, pending contract negotiations with USEF. This is the same position/title held by George Morris for the showjumping team, and by Mark Phillips for the eventing team. This past year Gribbons, an "O" judge has covered the globe in her judging capacity officiating at the top dressage events around the world. Her application which was until the selection process was decided top secret was part of a thorough process in search for a U.S Team Chef d’Equipe. Applicants met in Denver Colorado, where they presented their plan/proposal.
The search and selection process to fill this role for the U.S. dressage program was exhaustive. It began in November 2008 when the high-performance dressage athletes met in Chicago, IL, seeking the successor to Klaus Balkenhol who had served as USEF Dressage Coach and Technical Advisor for the eight years ending in 2008. By recommendation of the High-Performance Dressage Committee, USEF Chief Executive Officer John Long formed a search committee and named Chester Weber to the Chair.
“This search was conducted following the same process that was used to place George Morris in his current role for show jumping. This model ensures that the Eligible Athletes Committee, representing the interests of their peers, makes the choice about who they want to lead their sport into the future. The role of the Search Committee is to steward all of the parties through this process, and I am quite pleased that they have done this so successfully. I thank everyone on the Search Committee for their objectivity throughout the process and their commitment to achieving the best possible result,” said Weber.
Eleven applicants met the qualifying criteria. The Search Committee narrowed the field to three candidates. Following interviews held in Denver, CO, the Eligible Athletes Committee, chaired by Sue Blinks, recommended to the USEF High-Performance Dressage Committee that Anne Gribbons be offered the position. At a meeting of that committee on August 10, the recommendation was approved.
“We are grateful to all those who put forth the time and energy to this important process,” said Long, who continued, “The USEF looks forward to continue building a strong dressage program for the future, and we believe Anne Gribbons is the ideal person for this job.”
Anne and David Gribbons ran their Knoll Farm on Long Island, New York pioneering the American Trakhener Association and representing the Swedish Warmblood Association. They ran a full time breeding, boarding and training facility standing 17 stallions over the years and organized a large dressage show every year, while David had a full time job as a hospital administrator, and Anne competed, judged, and trained around the world.
In 2006 they moved full time to Knoll Farm, Chauluota, Florida, just 30 minutes from the Orlando Airport an important location requirement for Anne’s busy international judging schedule as an “O” Judge. Together, they designed and built the ideal facility for Anne’s horses and students.
Robert Dover one of the applicants announced the decision on his website doversworld.com. “I wish nothing but the best for Anne as well as our teams and that I will always be the proudest supporter of our Dressage Teams. I want to thank all those who supported my efforts and let everyone know that I am extremely happy and content with my life of retirement and look forward to many exciting adventures to come.”