Marcie Quist and Her Role as Chef d’equipe For The US Four-In-Hand Drivers At Aachen
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Posted by Mary Phelps with Marcie Quist
Marcie Quist has been involved in the sport of Combined Driving for over 20 years. A competitor, competition official as a USEF Combined driving judge, American Driving Society T.D. and FEI Steward, Quist was was twice the Chef d’equipe for the USEF Para Driving Team at the Driving World Championships. In addition Quist, joined a selection of other American Driving Chef potentials, Chef d’equipe training at Live Oak International in March 2019 in a USEF clinic.
“While I felt experienced, nothing truly prepared me for the work and reward to come from Aachen. It was Aachen Awesome! What an opportunity to work with the best US drivers, their great horses, coaches, grooms and navigators and friends and supporters.”
An attorney who is based in Southern Pine, N.C., Quist moved to Germany in the fall of 2018 with a minimum of two years commitment to work for the American Army representing injured American Soldiers in the Army and Veterans Affairs disability process. She assists the Soldiers to get their benefits and future medical care.
She brought two American Hackney horses, Daphne White’s Lucy and Craig Kellogg’s Lizzy to train, drive, and compete while in Europe. While not working or driving, as an FEI Steward, Quist has been working or volunteering at driving shows in Europe, including the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Here Marcie Quist shares her experience and knowledge of the job of Chef d’equipe for Combined Driving.
Being a Chef d’equipe is a French term that means “team leader.” But it is far from being the “little boss" or "best friend." It is more like a secretary, social worker and technical expert in one job. As the secretary, the Chef attends meetings, provides documentation of the technical information, and capitalizes and collects information to share it with everyone in the team.
For example, it is the role of the Chef to deliver the daily competition schedules to include the order of go, previous results, course maps, times for inspections, prize giving and meetings to the drivers, their grooms and navigators, coaches and barn managers.
Further, the Chef is the only person allowed in the show office to handle routine issues like declarations, the purchase of straw and hay, payment for tickets or requests for maintenance. The accumulation and distribution of the schedules is paramount to the Chef role to make sure everyone knows the information.
The Chef is the only person designated to interact with the people at a competition to include the officials: judges, T.D. Course designer and Stewards; competitors and their grooms and coaches; and competition employees such as the barn manager, show office staff, and even the food vendors.
A Chef must have technical knowledge of the rules, schedules, and most importantly the people of the competition. A Chef uses their working knowledge of the rules to answer everyone’s questions and to make snap decisions of what rule applies to the situation. During the actual competitions, the Chef records the scores, monitors the other teams and their positions, assures compliance to the rules and reports changes. The Chef is likely the first person to see an issue and always the first person to contact for corrections and protests.
The Chef is responsible for getting others to get things done. Simple things like getting a stray vehicle moved to important duties to like getting the veterinarian or the doctor to the right location in the case of an emergency.
The Chef also acts as a social worker with the goal is to inspire the team to work as efficiently as possible. Sometimes that involves resolving conflicts and showing empathy among the team. At the end, this can also involve being the shoulder to cry on or a high five for a driver.
"To ride into the Aachen arena, with Chester Weber and Misdee Wrigley-Miller next to us, for the Prize Giving ceremonies was a lifetime experience I will never forget."