Erik Duvander speaking to attendees at the USEA Convention. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
With an emphasis on identifying, selecting, and supporting U.S. combinations, the US Equestrian (USEF) Eventing High Performance Program has recently undergone revisions and changes that emphasize strategic development for the immediate and future goals of U.S. eventing athletes and team success.
USEF announced Erik Duvander as the newly hired Eventing Performance Director in October 2017. Duvander brings with him 30 years of strategic planning and program development at the high-performance level and introduced his plans for the High Performance Program at the United States Eventing Association Annual Meeting in December.
“The immediate focus of the Eventing High Performance Program is qualification, preparation, and execution of a successful World Equestrian Games (WEG),” says Duvander. “In preparation for the WEG, the majority of our horses will target a spring CCI4*, and we look forward to a strong showing at the Land Rover Kentucky CCI4*, in addition to some horses representing the U.S. at Badminton and Luhmühlen and spring CCI3*s. We will then utilize the FEI Nations Cups™ at Great Meadow and our hope is to secure an invitation to Aachen to practice and prepare in a team environment twice in July.”
Athletes with multiple horses will divide them between the spring CCIs in order to have time to focus on each individual horse at the major competitions in preparation for the WEG.
“We will train and prepare every day to select and field a team with a serious chance of winning a medal,” said Duvander. “However, if strategic decisions have to be made on the field of play, we will take into consideration that our USOC-approved target is Olympic qualification.”
In 2018, the program will be administered with the overarching concept of developing realistic and individualized performance plans that provide…