David O’Connor has stepped down from his role with US Equestrian.

The Olympic eventing gold medallist served as president of the governing body from 2004-2012 before taking on his current role as eventing team technical advisor.

He is resigning to free up more time to focus on safety initiatives within the sport.

“It was a very difficult decision for me to step away from this group of riders, owners, support personnel, and sponsors,” said David.

“But the structural changes made with the newly created technical advisor position don’t allow me to do what I felt has always been my mainstay.

“That is, helping to drive the necessary changes for eventing that are in the best interests of the athlete, horse, and owner.

“I have lived by these constructs through my time as a competitor, through to my current role as technical advisor and they will continue to guide me going forward.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to have served such a dedicated and focused group and will remain committed to assist all of the devoted stakeholders through this time of transition as our riders prepare for WEG 2018.”

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US Equestrian president Murray Kessler said David has been a leader for the federation and eventing in particular for many years.

We reluctantly accept David’s resignation and support his desire to focus on chairing the FEI risk management committee, said Mr Kessler.

“It is reassuring to know that David will remain a leader in our sport, continue to provide input to our programs and that our mutual interests will remain intertwined.

“We thank him for everything he has done.”

David plans to expand the amount of training he offers and will continue working with some of the country’s leading event riders in a capacity as their personal trainer.

A statement from US Equestrian said “detailed discussions will take place immediately” to ensure a replacement is found to support riders in the run-up to the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games.

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