The aim of the Elite Program is to deliver sustained success at the World and Olympic levels, which is defined as:
- Qualification for Olympic Games (World Championships primary target, Pan Am Games and Nations Cup Series secondary)
- Medal Zone performances trending towards winning medal(s) at Olympic and World level
- Meeting mutually agreed on USOPC targets and KPIs
Vision for Elite Program
The vision of the Eventing Elite Program is to identify and support combinations with demonstrated medal winning potential at the next World Championships or Olympic Games, and provide them with the best possible preparation to represent the U.S.
Criteria for Elite Program
Combinations will automatically be enrolled in the Elite Program upon achievement of one or more of the following qualification criteria:
- ELO score of 710. One time selection only per horse; as at post Kentucky CCI5* and post Maryland CCI5*
- Competition Results:
- Finish Top 5 at Badminton and/or Burghley CCI5*
- Finish Top 3 at Kentucky and/or Maryland CCI5*
- Finish Top 3 at Pau and/or Luhmulen CCI5*
- Win with a Finishing score lee than 30 at a CCI4*-L
- Finishing score of 33 or less at 5*
- Individual Medal at Olympic Games/ World Championships OR counting score for Team Medal
- Individual Medal at an Olympic Games or World Championships.
- Contributing score to a Team Medal at an Olympic Games or World Championships.
The criteria is as outlined in the Eventing Elite Program Task Force (EEPTF) recommendations. View the approved recommendations, here.
Criteria for Membership Retention to the Program
Retention in the Elite Program is automatic for one calendar year from the achievement of the qualification criteria*. The Athlete must remain in good standing with US Equestrian. Elite Program Membership will expire if the Athlete does not retain the ride on the Horse.
- US Equestrian Announces 2023 Eventing Pathway Pre-Elite and Development Program Members
- US Equestrian Announces 2023 Eventing Pathway Elite Program Members
- US Equestrian Announces the Appointment of Robert Costello as Eventing Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe
Criteria for Pre-Elite Program
Athlete/horse combinations must meet TWO of the following criteria:
- Finish on a score ≤ 40 at a CCI5*-L (including World Championships and Olympic Games)
- Finish on a score ≤ 36 at a CCI4*-L
- Finish on a score ≤ 33 at a CCI4*-S
- EquiRatings HPR Score:
- HPR Score ≥ 86 at a CCI5*-L (including World Championships and Olympic Games)
- HPR Score ≥ 89 at a CCI4*-L
- HPR Score ≥ 91 at a CCI4*-S
EquiRatings HPR (High Performance Rating): The HPR accounts for course difficulty, scoring conditions, and the quality of opposition
Criteria for Membership Retention:
Retention in the Pre-Elite Program is automatic for one calendar year from the achievement of the qualification criteria. The Athlete must remain in good standing with US Equestrian. Pre-Elite Program Membership will expire if the Athlete does not retain the ride on the Horse.
*For the 2023 rollout, Pre-Elite Program Membership begins at the time of notification. The expiration date will be December 1, 2023. Membership is reviewed twice annually, and combinations may be added on a rolling basis based upon the criteria specific to each program. The updated Pre-Elite Program List will be published mid-year.
Archived High Performance Training Lists
USEF Eventing Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe Robert Costello
Hometown: Southern Pines, NC
Birthdate: July 26,1965
Role: USEF Eventing Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe
Robert “Bobby” Costello grew up in Hamilton, Massachusetts showing ponies, fox hunting with the Myopia Hounds and getting his first taste of Eventing. He attended the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and graduated with a degree in Communications with a minor in Piano Performance. Robert was a member of the US Eventing squad for many years, finishing 8th at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. In 2003 he was a member of the Pan American Games gold-medal winning team, and successfully competed at many of the biggest 5* events in the world. Owner and operator of ROC Equestrian, LLC Robert has lived, trained and coached from his base in Southern Pines, NC for over 30 years.
Robert has been a volunteer in the sport of Eventing for decades, chairing the working groups for both Active Athletes and High Performance. He also served as Chair of the Selectors Working Group from 2013 through 2021. In 2022 Robert was chosen to fill role of Interim Chef d’Equipe, leading the team to a silver medal at the Eventing World Championships in Pratoni, Italy. At the close of 2022, Robert was hired to stay on as Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe for the USEF Land Rover Eventing Team with all eyes on the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile and the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.