U.S. Equestrian is currently building a better pathway to help develop Athletes for Competition. The basic structure will involve three levels, not necessarily determined by discipline divisions.
Emerging Athletes - *This program is not yet initiated* Drivers who are learning about the sport of combined driving & working towards an interest in competition. This stage involves basic education of the sport, developing skills and training, learning the competition rules, and creating a training schedule / management plan for the horse(s)/ponies.
Developing Athletes - The Developing Athlete Program for Combined Driving (DAP) takes on committed athletes in the Preliminary level & above, who are seeking long term international goals for success in Combined Driving. The program will help athletes set training goals with the Driving Performance Manager, along with guidelines to meet those goals. Semi-annual evaluations will calculate the athlete's developement in the following areas: Performance & Training, Horse / Equipment management & Performance attitude. Regardless of the division level, these Developing Athletes will be training with an intent to improve their competition results.
Elite Athletes - Elite Athletes are defined by being competitive on the World stage, competing at an International (FEI) level with successful Results. Replacing the previous High Performance Program, the Elite Program will offer specific support to Athletes who remain continuously competitive at the top international level. This level will also require participation in goal-setting and stringent training. Athlete evaluations will follow a similar format, with higher expectations than the Developing Athlete program.
U.S. Equestrian is very excited about the progress that these structured programs will encourage.
Stay tuned as more information becomes available.