US Equestrian (USEF) announces the appointment of David O’Connor to the newly created position of Chief of Sport beginning October 3, 2022.
O’Connor, a decorated Olympian, is no stranger to US Equestrian, having earned individual gold and team bronze medals in Eventing at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics and a team silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Additionally, David served as the USEF President from 2004 to 2012 and currently serves on the FEI Board of Directors. In 2021, he was presented with the USOPC’s General Douglas MacArthur Exemplary Service Award in recognition of his continued service and commitment to equestrian sports within the Olympic and Paralympic movements.
O’Connor’s responsibilities will be primarily strategically focused. He will be responsible for working with the Executive Team regarding overall international and national sport support of the USEF Strategic Plan and its initiatives, sport integrity, education, and equine and human safety and welfare. Additionally, he will provide oversight of the international and national sport operations, ensuring that the Sport Department’s short-term and long-term strategic plans align with USEF’s priorities, and he will focus on strengthening relationships with stakeholder groups such as the USOPC, FEI and USEF's Recognized Affiliates.
“I very much look forward to the opportunities afforded by this new role within the USEF,” stated O’Connor. “The chance to perform a 365-degree view of equestrian sport from a national and a global perspective and share strategies to ensure safety, welfare, and enjoyment while growing the sport across all breeds and disciplines will be an exciting prospect. My passion has always been horses and promoting equestrian sport both within and outside of our equine community is a very important mission, both personally and for the USEF as a whole.”
“We are pleased to welcome David to USEF to serve in this new role,” said Bill Moroney, USEF CEO. “As a key member of the executive leadership team, David will provide thought leadership, innovative problem-solving, and share diverse ideas to guide strategic actions and important business decisions, drive priorities, and lead change for the organization’s success.”
US Equestrian President Tom O’Mara added, “David’s extensive equestrian and governance experience will be instrumental in the continued implementation of the USEF Strategic Plan and the growth of equestrian sport nationally and internationally."
This announcement came in conjunction with the appointment of Graeme Thom as Director of FEI/High-Performance Sport Programs.
When super groom Max Corcoran mentioned in 2005 that it would be fun to participate in a USEA Classic Series event, her employer and eventing legend Karen O’Connor took that to heart. “I did a lot of grooming for the classic format when Kentucky and all those other competitions were proper long format,” Corcoran shared. “When Gretchen [Butts] started offering the Classic Series at Waredaca [Gaithersburg, Maryland,] she asked if I would come up and do some lectures to help people understand what the 10-minute box was and how to pack for it. I did that a few times and said to Karen, ‘Man, it would be so fun to do one of these.’ And so Karen's like, 'You want to do one? Yeah, you're gonna do one next year.'”
Has this horse quality? The answer is definitely yes. This first impression is so important. As a selector for the Goresbridge Go for Gold Event horse sale, I have an abbreviation ‘GPO’ which stands for "Good Pull Out." It means that the first look prompts the potential client the need to bring the horse out of his box for a further look.
It was a beautiful but chilly weekend in the pines at the Setters' Run Farm Carolina International. After a record-setting 19.4 in the CCI4*-S dressage, Will Coleman became the first three-time winner in the event's history when he led from start to finish on Hyperion Stud's Chin Tonic HS.
West Coast eventers experienced tremendous success in 2022. Tamie Smith recorded top-10 finishes at Badminton in England, at the FEI World Championships at Pratoni in Italy, and at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. Helen Alliston won the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final, and Tommy Greengard captured the USEA Intermediate Championship at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. James Alliston returned to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event for the first time since 2017 and finished third in the CCI4*-S.