December 8, 2006
In order to ensure that the needs and concerns of the equestrian world's best athletes are addressed at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), the World Games 2010 Foundation, Inc., the organization in charge of putting on the Games, has formed an Athlete's Advisory Committee. This committee will provide input to Games organizers from some of the equestrian world's most experienced athletes.
"Every major sporting event professes to be an athlete's event and to provide the best atmosphere and infrastructure to ensure that competitors are able to focus on their event rather than other factors," said Jack Kelly, CEO of the World Games 2010 Foundation. "To try to ensure that we can do this at the highest level, we have asked a truly world-class group of athletes to provide their perspective on what we will need to do to meet world class standards."
The committee, comprised of nine equestrian athletes, chaired by the United States Equestrian Federation's President and 2000 Sydney Olympic Gold medalist David O'Connor, will work to provide ideas and critiques that will benefit the planning, organization and operation of the equestrian world's largest, multi-discipline competition. The 2010 Games will see eight international disciplines contest their World Championships.
The following athletes have agreed to share in their expertise:
David O'Connor (Chair) - On numerous occasions, O'Connor has represented his country at Olympic Games, Pan American Games and at the WEG, bringing home a list of medals and honors. He was a member of the Gold medal winning Team at the 2002 Jerez WEG, was an Individual Gold medalist and a Team Bronze medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and a Team Silver medalist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics to name only a few of his international awards. Today, he serves as President of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the National Governing Body for Equestrian Sports.
Hope Hand (Para-equestrian) - Hand was an alternate to the Atlanta Paralympic Team in 1996 and competed at the British Invitational in 1997, earning Gold and a Bronze. In 1998, she was one of the four disabled riders competing at the Bradshaw Challenge of Champions. The following year, as a member of Team USA competing at the 1999 World Dressage Championships she won a bronze medal. Hope also competed at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, Australia.
Beezie Madden (Show Jumping) - A two-time Silver medalist from the 2006 WEG in Aachen, Germany, Madden stands as one of the country's top show jumpers. She also earned a Team show jumping Silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, in addition to being one of only two Americans to win a Pulsar Crown event.
Devon Maitozo (Vaulting) - Maitozo is the country's most decorated male vaulter. He added to his honors at the 2006 WEG by leading the U.S. Team to a first on the world stage - a Team Silver medal. He has coached teams and individuals to 13 national championship titles, including 10 of his own.
Tom McCutcheon (Reining) - In 2002, McCutcheon was a member of the U.S. Team that won the Gold medal at the Jerez WEG, and he also brought home the Individual Silver medal. He has also been a finalist at every major National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) event.
Sue Phillips (Endurance) - A member of the AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) International Committee, the USEF Technical Committee and an International rated Endurance official, Phillips has ridden over 7,500 miles, all of which were ridden on Quarter Horses that she bred, raised and trained. In addition, Sue has won the American Quarter Horse Association award for endurance four times.
Guenter Seidel (Dressage) - Seidel has his share of international successes including an amazing three Bronze team medals from the 2004 Athens Olympics, the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Additionally, he earned a Team Bronze medal from the 2006 WEG and a Silver Team medal from the 2002 WEG in Jerez, Spain.
Amy Tryon (Eventing) - Tryon brought home the Individual Bronze medal from the 2006 WEG, and has also earned a Bronze Team Olympic medal for her country at the 2004 Athens Games. In addition, she was also on the U.S. Team that won the Bronze medal at the 2002 WEG in Jerez, Spain.
Chester Weber (Driving) - At the 2002 WEG in Spain, Weber played an important role in the U.S. Team securing a Team Silver medal. He is also the first American to win the German Fahrderby in Riesenbeck, Germany, and has won the U.S. Four-in-Hand National Championships for four consecutive years beginning in 2003.
The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park, are the world championships of the eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), and are held every four years. The eight disciplines are dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, para-equestrian, reining, show jumping and vaulting.