Lexington, KY. - The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) has announced a new national committee to aid in overseeing and supporting the development of the sport of dressage. The US Equestrian Dressage Sport Committee will be responsible for the sport's development, organization, rules, licensing changes and handling any issues that may arise.
Approved by the USEF International Disciplines Council in December 2016 and the USEF board of directors last month, the new committee structure and appointed members will serve to oversee programs, selection processes and procedures, the competition calendar, rule changes and dressage tests. The USEF Working Groups will focus on the competition calendar, licensed officials, selection and grants, rules and test writing.
The USEF board of directors began working with respective discipline committees to examine governance structure and develop a single committee that included appointees of both the USEF and the affiliate in early 2016. This new structure to FEI discipline committees allows each discipline to create a structure that best suits its needs and divide responsibilities more efficiently, allowing for future growth. Each discipline is near having their committees fully seated.
"We are excited about what these changes will bring as we view this as a positive development which will strengthen and encourage a close working relationship between US Equestrian and USDF," said George Williams, USDF president and US Dressage Youth Coach. "Moving forward it will require a collaborative effort with some shifting of responsibilities.
"On a basic level, the committee will create greater efficiencies and help to eliminate the duplication of efforts," Williams explained. "On another level, it recognizes the expertise of the affiliate, especially in areas such as education, where USDF has traditionally been strong. I believe it's a win-win situation allowing each organization to concentrate on what we do best."
The new US Equestrian Dressage Sport Committee will consist of five USEF and five USDF appointments, as well as three athletes, including Chris Hickey, Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Pierre St. Jacques. Janet Foy, Lisa Wilcox, Elisabeth Williams, Betsy Juliano and Gardy Bloemers make up the USEF appointments, and Lisa Gorretta, Gary Rockwell, Lilo Fore, Kathy Connelly and Heather Petersen round out the USDF appointments.
Gardy Bloemers, member of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation's Board and Executive Committee, one of our country's top multidisciplinary competition venues based in Lexington, Virginia, is a recently appointed member of the Dressage Sport Committee.
"I am honored and humbled to be part of the Dressage Sport Committee," Bloemers said. "I hope to serve the sport by bringing my perspective to this group of committed and incredible people. I have developed an understanding of equestrian competition facilities and the role these venues play in developing the horse and human athlete."
Bloemers has 25 years of experience in international financial services management roles gained in both Europe and the United States. Also being involved in the sport of dressage as an upper level amateur competitor, she is confident that she will be provide a meaningful contribution to the Dressage Sport Committee's work over the next four years.