July 2, 2014–United States Equestrian Federation Chief Executive Officer Chris Welton announced today the culmination of an expansive search for the USEF Director of Sport Programs by naming Will Connell to the post.
From 2003 to present, Connell served as the British Equestrian Federation Performance Director with responsibility for the coordination and delivery of the UK Sport-funded World Class Program for disciplines of eventing, dressage, jumping, and para-equestrian dressage. With lifelong involvement in equestrian sport Connell brings a breadth of experience to the position. He served 17 years in the Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) and was Commanding Officer of the King’s Troop RHA. He was Chef d’Equipe for the British Young Rider Eventing team from 1997 to 2001; served as a British Eventing Steward; and was Deputy Equestrian Director of Olympia, The London International Horse Show.
“The addition of Will Connell to our team as Director of Sport should be seen as a clear indication of our intent to provide our athletes every possible opportunity to excel at all levels of our sport,” states Federation CEO Welton, “Will’s accomplishments in building and sustaining championship caliber teams are without parallel. His success arises from his ability to create and implement a plan for bringing together all of the elements required for success in equestrian sport – from riders and horses, to owners, coaches, and trainers. We are thrilled to have Will on board to lead our efforts to ensure that all of our athletes have the opportunity to perform and achieve to the best of their ability.”
In his new role with the U.S. Equestrian Federation, Connell will be responsible for the administration of all aspects of sport programming across the eight international disciplines, nine national disciplines, and eleven breeds recognized by the USEF.
Connell will collaborate with and lead the dedicated USEF Discipline Directors and their staff who work diligently to support these programs with a focus and commitment to meeting competitive objectives that foster excellence in equestrian sport at all levels, both at home and abroad.
In addition to serving as the Chef de Mission at the FEI World Equestrian Games, Pan American Games, and Olympic Games, Connell will also be responsible for oversight of the USEF coaching programs.
Referencing his new role with the Federation Will Connell remarked, “My eleven years with the British Equestrian Federation’s and Team GBR’s World Class Programme has been challenging and rewarding. Equestrian Team GBR has enjoyed a number of successes over the last few years which have provided me with fantastic memories. I now look forward to working with the USEF, riders, owners, staff, and all involved in equestrian sport in the U.S. I have a great deal to learn and look forward to tapping into the vast array of equestrian knowledge and experience that exists within the United States. It will be an exciting challenge.”
“With our sights firmly set on the potential of our great athletes and horses, I believe Will Connell will be an excellent addition to the Federation’s senior staff,” remarks USEF President Chrystine Tauber. “He possesses both the experience and the proven track record to align the resources necessary to deliver on that potential. It is my pleasure to welcome Will to the USEF.”
Connell will see his commitment to the British Equestrian Federation through this summer’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy and will join the USEF full-time in October.