Wellington, FL – March 29, 2016 – Hallye Griffin, USEF Managing Director of Dressage, announced during a Tuesday gathering at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival that The Dutta Corporation has signed on as the official sponsor for the United States Dressage Team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“We are very lucky to have The Dutta Corp. as the U.S. Team sponsor,” Griffin said. “Tim has been a generous sponsor for many years and is part of the U.S. Dressage Team family.”
After the announcement, Will Connell, USEF Director of Sport Programs, led the “Rio Taking Shape” meeting at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Connell had recently returned from an eight-day trip to Rio and had updates on the venue that is preparing for the Olympic Games in only a few months.
“We need to assume positive intent,” Connell laughed. “As of four weeks ago, the venue did not have a lot of progress, but the stables, which will have rubber mats, are going up and it looked like they were working hard. I feel confident that the venue will be ready.”
The meeting was targeted to help the owners of the dressage horses who qualify for the Olympic Games with logistics.
The dressage team will compete, train, and prepare in Europe, and on Aug. 1, horses will fly from Europe to Rio. Most of the grooms will fly ahead of the horses so when the horses arrive by 11 p.m., they will be there to settle the horses into the venue by 3 a.m.
The importation of vital items have proved to be difficult, though more plans are beginning to form. Rio will not allow any wood to be brought in, but the U.S. Team is allowed to bring their own bagged grain that is properly sealed. Officials are also reconsidering the importation of hay as they do not have quality forage available, but the final arrangements for hay are still up in the air.
Some riders and owners expressed concern about the current security situation in Europe for their pre-Olympics training.
“There is no doubt that the security situation is pretty grave and what has happened in Europe is tragic,” Connell said. “To change our plans based on that would be wrong. I don’t think you face any greater threat there than you do here in the United States, but be aware of your surroundings.”
U.S. Dressage Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover ended the meeting with praise for the Dressage Owners Task Force for their dedication in educating the owners of top performance horses.
“The task force is meeting monthly, and their mission is to make sure our youngest kids through to our elite riders are on the very best horses in the world,” Dover said. “It’s proven to have an impact that I am positive will multiply in how it achieves future medals. Go Team USA!”