Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) and the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) are pleased to announce the launch of the Discover Dressage™ USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program. Aimed at providing strategic guidance and educational opportunities to athletes under the age of 25, the USEF/USDF program will provide access to educational opportunities and competition planning for qualified athletes.
Discover Dressage, and their President Kimberly Van Kampen, has stepped forward as title sponsor for the Dressage Emerging Athlete Program for the next four years. With a mission to ‘inspire and encourage American youth to discover dressage,’ Discover Dressage’s partnership with the program is an exciting addition.
The program will launch with a High-Intensity Training Session (HITS) from Friday, October 13, through Sunday, October 15, in Gladstone, N.J. Following the scheduled Training and Evaluation Sessions led by USEF Dressage Youth Coach George Williams and USEF Dressage Assistant Youth Coach Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program will select athletes for membership who have the likelihood of developing into a future team athlete.
“I’m excited to see this new program launched,” says Williams. “I believe by establishing a clear pathway for our young athletes, we can help them to achieve even greater success.”
In order to participate in the Training and Evaluation Sessions, athletes must have competed at a minimum of three qualifying competitions for the USEF Dressage National Championships and FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) and/or CDI or CDIO-Y/J/P/Ch events over the course of six months. Wild card invitations will also be considered.
Athletes in the U25 division who are not qualified for the USEF Dressage Development Program are also eligible for support and membership to the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program, as well as Children and Pony riders looking for educational opportunities. The Emerging Athlete Program will also recognize and work with organizations, clubs, or individuals that provide educational events and opportunities to youth dressage athletes through the development of the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Partner Program list.
Additional benefits of program membership include opportunities to participate in training sessions and clinics, select one-on-one coaching, access to USEF human and equine sports science and medicine educational programs, score analysis, assistance in competition age bracket transitions, and possible financial assistance towards agreed upon training and competition targets.
Training and Evaluation Sessions will be conducted several times throughout the year, and athletes can apply online. Find out more about the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program online.