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US Equestrian Announces Updates to the Combined Driving Athlete Pathway Program

by US Equestrian Communications Dept. | Oct 25, 2023, 2:00 PM

Lexington, Ky. – The US Equestrian Driving Sport Committee has approved updates to the Combined Driving Development Pathway Program. The Pathway is designed to prepare U.S. driving athletes and equines for future success at the elite level in international competition and to raise the quality of driving in the U.S.

The Pathway Program document describes the purpose of the four levels of the program—Emerging, Developing, Pre-Elite, and Elite—and outlines the eligibility requirements for each of the levels.

View the Combined Driving Athlete Pathway Program document here.

In accordance with the updated Pathway requirements, the following athletes have been named to the US Equestrian Combined Driving Athlete Pathway Program:

The following athletes have been promoted from the Developing Athlete Program to the Pre-Elite Athlete Program:

  • Chrissy Aitken, 2023 FEI Para Driving World Championship for Singles
  • Anna Koopman, 2023 FEI Driving World Championship for Combined Ponies
  • Hilary Mroz-Blythe, 2023 FEI Driving World Championship for Combined Ponies

The following athletes have been promoted to the Elite Athlete Program based on a podium finish in an FEI World Championship:

  • Leslie Berndl, 2022 FEI Driving World Championship for Young Horses
  • Tracy Bowman, 2023 FEI Para Driving World Championship for Singles
  • Bob Giles, 2023 FEI Para Driving World Championship for Singles
  • Diane Kastama, 2023 FEI Para Driving World Championship for Singles

The new Developing Athlete Program has a maximum of four years admittance for athlete/equine combinations. Current Developing Athlete Program members upon revised pathway release are subject to the following graduation cycle to accommodate the maximum of four-year admittance change:

  • For drivers who have been members prior to 2020: November 2024 Graduation
  • 2021: November 2025 Graduation
  • 2022: November 2026 Graduation
  • 2023: November 2027 Graduation

Learn more about the Combined Driving Athelte Pathway Programs here.

Questions? Contact Anna Brooks Thomas, US Equestrian Director of Driving, at [email protected].

Connect with US Equestrian

Stay up to date US Equestrian driving news by following USA Driving on Facebook and US Equestrian on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok. Use #USADriving.

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.