Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the return of Debbie McDonald to the U.S. Dressage Program in the role of Technical Advisor to lead and oversee training preparation for Elite combinations through the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. McDonald served as Technical Advisor for the U.S. Dressage Program from 2019 through 2021, culminating with a historic silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. McDonald’s responsibilities will be designated specifically to training support and working collaboratively with personal coaches over the next 18 months in the lead up to team selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“The team’s achievement in Tokyo was such an incredible moment for our program, and over the last year I’ve felt a fire and drive to want to get our athletes back on the podium in Paris,” said McDonald. “I’m so passionate about the potential of our athletes and combinations, and it’s my intention to make sure we’re doing everything we can to produce the absolute best results possible in Paris. I’m very motivated and feel incredibly supported to help our athletes work towards that goal over the next year and half.”
McDonald has been instrumental in the U.S. dressage program’s development over the past several years and continues to personally coach a wide range of athletes and combinations, producing top international and national results. In the Technical Advisor role, McDonald will work closely with Managing Director of Dressage Hallye Griffin and High-Performance & Pathway Development Advisor George Williams on preparation, planning, and training, as well as provide on-the-ground training support through the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
McDonald has been an integral piece of the program’s success over the last decade, which has seen multiple podium finishes at the championship level, including at the Olympic Games, FEI World Championships, and Pan American Games. McDonald began working as the U.S. Dressage Development Coach and continued to support pathway development through her appointment as Technical Advisor in 2019. McDonald is an Olympian herself, earning team bronze at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and is a double gold medalist from the 1999 Pan American Games. She was the first American rider to win the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in 2003, aboard her incredible mare, Brentina.
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The USEF International High Performance Programs and the USEF High Performance Pathway Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, the philanthropic partner to USEF. High Performance Program support is also provided by the USOPC and USEF sponsors and members.