International three-day event riders Phillip Dutton and Robert Costello announced today their intention of applying as a team for the position of USEF Eventing Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe. Dutton would assume the technical advisor role, and Costello would become Chef d’Equipe. Current Chef d’Equipe for the U.S. team, Capt. Mark Phillips will be retiring from his post at the end of 2012.
Dutton, 47, of West Grove, PA has been one of the top event riders in the world for well over a decade. Riding for Australia he won team gold at both the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Dutton finished first in the 2005 FEI World Rankings and in 2006 obtained his U.S. Citizenship, promptly winning individual silver and team gold at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil. Dutton then went on to represent the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and most recently the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.
Dutton has been the United States Eventing Association’s Leading Rider for 12 of the past 13 years and has coached dozens of riders to international three-day event wins as well as year-end awards. Many of Dutton’s students have gone on to successfully represent the U.S. on international and championship teams and in 2009 he was named USEF Developing Rider Coach of the Year.
Apart from coaching and riding, Dutton serves on the USEF Active Athletes (vice-chair), USEF High Performance and USEF Safety Committees. He currently sits on the USEF Board of Directors and is President of the Professional Riders Organization (PRO). If hired as Technical Advisor, Dutton would retire from competition after the London Olympics in 2012. Along with his wife Evie, Dutton operates their business out of True Prospect Farm in West Grove, PA and Red Oak Farm in Aiken, SC.
Costello, 45, of Southern Pines, NC finished 8th individually at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and won team gold at the 2003 Pan American Games. During two decades of competing at the highest level of the sport, he has earned top placings at the Rolex Kentucky, Burghley and Fair Hill International three-day events and coached both team and individual gold medalists at the North American Young Rider Championships.
Costello was chairman of the USEF Active Athletes Committee from 2001-2008 and currently chairs the USEF Eventing High Performance Committee and contributes to PRO’s Athletes Advisory Committee. He formerly sat on the USOC Athletes Advisory Coucil and USEA Board of Governers, and is currently a USEF Board of Director. He recently resigned from the USEF Technical Advisor/Chef d’Equipe Search Committee to pursue the position of Chef d/Equipe.
In addition to competing internationally, Costello is also focused on his successful teaching, training and sales operation based out of Tanglewood Farm in Southern Pines. Like Dutton, Costello has also stated that he would retire from competition should he become the next Chef d’Equipe.
In a joint statement, Costello and Dutton said, “We are very excited about this partnership and are currently hard at work putting the finishing touches on our comprehensive, ‘From the ground up’ performance plan that is to be presented to the USEF Search Committee. Our personalities and individual strengths compliment each other well. This will be an ambitious, energized and multi-faceted proposal that will require the passion and expertise of two people, accompanied by a committed backup team, coming together with a singular mission: winning medals for the United States”.
Photo Credit: Left to Right Phillip Dutton, William Fox Pitt and Becky Holder at WEG. Diana DeRosa
Robert Costello, Tanglewood Farms site