Ocala, FL – Due to his vast international competition experience, World Champion Combined Driver Chester Weber has joined the USEF Dressage Search Committee as the committee chair. The committee’s goal is to find a new National Dressage Coach and Chef d’Equipe to guide the American Dressage Team through the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
“At the request of the USEF Dressage Eligible Athlete and High Performance committees, Chester was asked by John Long as USEF CEO to join the committee after the original seven members had met and went to work at electing a chair for the committee,” said Gil Merrick, Assistant Executive Director, Sports Programs at the USEF. “The committee members feel that Chester brings a wealth of international competition experience to the committee and that he fully understands the coaching and Chef d’Equipe needs of an international discipline such as dressage.”
Merrick went on to say that coming from the Combined Driving discipline, Weber brings an objective view to the search. “Chester has extensive experience in the governance of equestrian sport through his participation on boards and committees and is an ideal person to manage the entire search process in his role as chair of the committee,” Merrick said.
Weber, whose goals include competing in the 2010 World Equestrian Games, looks forward to working on the committee. “I love our equestrian sports and want to see all of our disciplines succeed at home and in the international arena,” he said. “I am very honored to be a part of this search committee. Finding the right coach is crucial to helping the American dressage team reach its goals.”
Weber is accustomed to setting goals and working toward them. Recently named a 2008 USEF Equestrian of Honor, Weber is the six-time National Champion Four-In-Hand Combined Driver and was the first American to win an individual medal at the Four-In-Hand World Championships in The Netherlands.
In addition to Weber, the Dressage Search Committee includes Capt. Mark Phillips, Eventing Chef d’Equipe; George Morris, Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe; John Madden, Show Jumping representative; Karen O’Connor, Eventing representative; Mary Anne McPhail, High Performance Dressage Committee; Susan Blinks, High Performance Dressage Eligible Athlete; and Guenter Seidel, High Performance Dressage Eligible Athlete.
The United States Equestrian Federation's High Performance Dressage Committee recently appointed Jessica Ransehousen as the interim U.S. Chef d’Equipe to support American dressage riders at the 2009 FEI World Cup Dressage Finals and at international competitions in Europe where U.S. riders will compete prior to the naming of a definite coach. The search for the U.S. Dressage Chef d’Equipe/National Coach – a position held by Klaus Balkenhol until the end of 2008 – is open until May 15, 2009.
For more information on Weber and his combined driving team, visit their website at www.chesterweber.com.
Photo: World Silver Medalist Combined Driver Chester Weber has joined the USEF Dressage Search Committee. Weber will serve as chair of the committee that is searching for a new National Dressage Coach and Chef d’Equipe that will lead the USEF Dressage Team through the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Weber (left) shakes hands with Gil Merrick, Assistant Executive Director, Sports Programs at the USEF. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)