The U.S. Equestrian Federation announces the appointment of long-term US Equestrian employee Hallye Griffin as Director of FEI Sport. Griffin will assume the duties of former Director of FEI/High-Performance Sport, Graeme Thom, who has chosen to step away from his role to attend to personal matters.
“Over recent months, I have encountered some evolving personal obligations that are limiting my ability to commit the necessary time in my role as Director of FEI and High-Performance Sport,” stated Thom. “It is out of great respect to the United States Equestrian Federation, the Sport Department, and most importantly, to the athletes that I am stepping aside.”
Griffin, who will also serve as Chef de Mission at the Olympic, Paralympic, and Pan American Games as well as the FEI World Championships, will have plenty of support from Thom, who will be staying on in a consulting role to ensure a smooth transition and to remain a resource as needed.
“I welcome and look forward to staying on over the next few months to assist in special projects with a particular focus on Major Games preparedness,” said Thom.
Griffin enters the role with extensive experience and deep sport knowledge. The native Kentuckian joined USEF as the Director of National Dressage Programs in 2011, following her role as the Competition Department assistant for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. She was promoted to Managing Director for Dressage in 2015, overseeing both the national and the FEI side of the discipline, which allowed her to hone her management and leadership skills.
Griffin managed U.S. Team efforts at two Olympic Games (Rio and Tokyo), which yielded a team bronze and team silver medal, respectively. Additionally, she has served as Dressage Team Leader through two World Championships, several Nations Cup events, finals, and National Championships, providing leadership, oversight, and support for teams that garnered multiple medals. Griffin’s experience extends beyond dressage, having served as Team Leader for the U.S. Para Dressage and Vaulting teams at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“I am thrilled that Hallye Griffin has agreed to step into my position. Hallye brings a proven track record from her experience as Managing Director of Dressage and has the respect of all who have worked with her. I am confident that Hallye will do an excellent job and represent the Federation and its athletes admirably,” Thom added.
Griffin will report to and work closely with USEF Chief of Sport David O’Connor, and she assumes her duties as of March 22.
“I am very enthusiastic about Hallye coming on as the Federation’s Director of FEI Sport,” stated O’Connor. “Hallye’s experience with the Olympic successes that dressage has achieved in these past eight years is a testament to her leadership qualities. Coming up the ladder from within the USEF family places Hallye in a position that will allow for a seamless transition and keep USEF athletes focused on the path toward the 2023 Pan American Games in October and the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer. We are fortunate to have someone with these qualities step into this important role.”
Key to ensuring that smooth transition will be having a trusted member of Griffin’s team fill the position she is vacating. Effective immediately, Laura Roberts will be stepping up to Managing Director of Dressage. Formerly, Roberts served as Dressage Performance and Event Support Director. Roberts has worked under Griffin’s guidance for five years and is well-prepared for the transition.
Griffin is excited about the future and is thankful for the knowledge and experience she has accumulated as she prepares for her new role.
“I have been fortunate to work with a great team at US Equestrian over the last 10-plus years, and I am grateful for the knowledge and experience that has been shared with me,” she stated. “We have busy months ahead readying for the many events on the calendar for the FEI disciplines. We have a strong staff at the US Equestrian office, and we will be working closely on not only the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games but also focusing on the home Olympics and Paralympics – Los Angeles 2028 – which are on the quickly approaching horizon.”
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
After not running in 2020 and 2021, the MARS Bromont CCI Three-Day Event returned to the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Center in Quebec, Canada, in 2022. America's Jennie Saville (née Brannigan) and Twilightslastgleam won the CCI4*-L, as the chestnut Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem x Royal Child) bred and owned by Nina Gardner moved up from eighth after dressage into the lead after cross-country with the fastest round on wet ground over the tracks designed by Derek di Grazia. Canada's Lindsay Traisnel and Bacyrouge, a bay Selle Français gelding (Mylord Carthago x Lelia) owned by Patricia Pearce, finished second, and they are among four from the top-10 in the CCI4*-L in 2022 that return in 2023.
Hannah Sue Hollberg of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, was on a winning streak at the Essex Horse Trials on Sunday, claiming victory in both the $10,000 Open Intermediate and Open Preliminary divisions with two horses that are fairly new to her. Some difficulty on cross-country did not stop her mount Hachi from claiming victory in the Open Intermediate with a score of 101.6, while Open Preliminary partner Rockster finished on his dressage score of 27.3.
The great football coach Vince Lombardi said, “We win our games in practice.” With the goal of having the most effective practices possible for horses, their riders, and their coaches, Cathy Wieschhoff explains some signs that can indicate when horse and rider should repeat an exercise, switch it up, or be done with that activity. Wieschhoff brings perspective as a five-star rider that has competed at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and Burghley Horse Trials, a USEF “R” Course Designer for eventing cross-country and show jumping, a former Area VIII chair and member of the USEA Board of Governors, and a Level V USEA ECP Certified Coach based out of Carriage Station Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.