Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the creation of the USEF Elite Training Center Designation Program. The program will, initially, allow venue owners, who have hosted at least one USEF sanctioned team, developing rider or horse training session within the last year, in one of the nine disciplines that the USEF runs programs for developing and preparing teams to compete internationally, to apply for their venue for Elite Training Center status. Venues will need to meet certain criteria in terms of facilities offered and the quality of those facilities in order to be granted Elite Training Center status.
Chosen venues will be showcased as facilities instrumental in providing USEF high performance training sessions.
"We are extremely grateful to and reliant on, facilities that are developed and maintained to the necessary high standards required for the training of our Teams and athletes that will represent the U.S. on the international stage. We want to recognize the contribution these facilities, which are often privately owned, make to the development and success of the Equestrian Teams. Without facilities of the very highest standard no team in any sport can train and prepare for major competitions; we are lucky within Equestrian Sport to have a number of such facilities across the United States and we will be recognizing these with this designation," said Will Connell, USEF Director of Sport.
In an effort to highlight Elite Training Center venues, the USEF will provide marketing incentives to the facilities. Venues will have the right to refer themselves as USEF Elite Training Centers, use the USEF logo, list their facilities' information on USEF.org, and display a USEF Elite Training Center plaque at their facilities and on their websites.
The following venues have officially been designated as USEF Elite Training Centers. You can find additional information on these USEF Elite Training Centers by visiting USEF.org:
- Hillcroft Farm owned by Misdee and James Miller, Paris, Kentucky
- Havensafe Farm South owned by Betsy Juliano, Wellington, Florida
- Epona Farms owned by Michael Fowler, Thousand Oaks, California
- Riveredge owned by Scott and Susanne Hassler, Chesapeake City, Maryland
- Cascade Stables owned by Barbe Smith, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Global Dressage Festival Show Grounds owned by Wellington Equestrian Partners, Wellington, Florida
- Shannondale Farm owned by David and Julie Shannon, Alpharetta, Georgia
- Stonehall Farm, The Plains, Virginia and Meredyth South Farm, Ocala, Florida owned by Jacquie Mars
- The Grand Oaks Resort and Museum owned by B. Thomas Golisano, Lady Lake, Florida
- USET Foundation, Hamilton Farm, Gladstone, New Jersey
- Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky