David O’Connor has stepped down from the position of U.S. Eventing Technical Advisor to focus on advancing safety and global risk management in eventing, US Equestrian has just announced.
David commented: “It was a very difficult decision for me to step away from this group of riders, owners, support personnel, and sponsors, but the structural changes made with the newly created technical advisor position don’t allow me to do what I felt has always been my mainstay. That is, helping to drive the necessary changes for eventing that are in the best interests of the athlete, horse, and owner.
“I have lived by these constructs through my time as a competitor, through to my current role as Technical Advisor and they will continue to guide me going forward. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served such a dedicated and focused group and will remain committed to assist all of the devoted stakeholders through this time of transition as our riders prepare for WEG 2018.”
Murray Kessler, president of US Equestrian, added: “Over many years, David has been a leader for US Equestrian as a whole and for eventing in particular. We reluctantly accept David’s resignation and support his desire to focus on chairing the Fédération Equestre International (FEI) Risk Management committee to help design programs that mitigate risk for the sport and promote horse welfare.
“It is reassuring to know that David will remain a leader in our sport, continue to provide input to our programs and that our mutual interests will remain intertwined. We thank him for everything he has done.”
David plans to continue working as a personal trainer to U.S. eventing riders and will continue to chair the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group.
US Equestrian confirmed that “detailed discussions will take place immediately” to find a replacement Chef d’Equipe for Team USA ahead of the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games.