Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian will begin its search for a new U.S. Dressage Technical Advisor following the decision of current Technical Advisor Debbie McDonald to step down from her role effective August 1, 2023. The U.S. Dressage Technical Advisor will work closely with the dressage staff on preparations and planning for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games next summer, as well as play an integral role in program oversight and leadership through the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
“After many discussions, it’s a difficult decision for me, but the right one, as I begin to slow down my teaching schedule to spend more time with my family, to step away from the Technical Advisor role in order to allow the program to find a successor that can ultimately help lead the program through Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028,” said McDonald. “It’s been an honor to work with the U.S. Dressage Program over the past 15-plus years, both as a coach and Technical Advisor. I wish nothing but success for the program and will still be involved with coaching on a limited basis. I look forward to seeing our athletes continue to succeed on the world stage.”
“We respect Debbie’s decision to step down as Technical Advisor and are reviewing the potential of her working as a featured clinician for some of our programs and pathway events in the future. We are setting our sights forward to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and will begin our search for a Technical Advisor with a goal to fill the role by December 1, 2023, with commitment through the LA 2028 Games,” said Hallye Griffin, Director of FEI Sport for US Equestrian.
U.S. Dressage thanks McDonald for her continued support of the program over the past four years in the role of Technical Advisor and the achievements the program secured under her leadership, including an Olympic team silver in Tokyo, Japan, in 2021, and a Pan American Games team silver in 2019 in Lima, Peru, as well as her dedication to the Development Program, where she served as U.S. Dressage Development Coach from 2009-2019.
Details on the search for a replacement will be available in the coming weeks. Additionally, US Equestrian will appoint an interim Chef d’Equipe to lead the team for the Pan American Games and provide support to athletes.
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.