US Olympic rider Karen O’Connor is now coaching the Mexican eventing team.
Karen will be training the riders for major upcoming events, including the Pan American Games, which are held in Toronto this summer, and next year’s Rio Olympics.
Karen, who represented the US at five Olympics and four World Equestrian Games in her career as an eventer, said she accepted the role with “great pleasure”.
“There is tremendous support in Mexico for the implementation of a solid programme going forward to develop Mexico into a true competitive nation on the world stage,” she said.
“Wonderful sites in Mexico have been developed and are currently scheduled for CCI2* in February, and tentatively CCI3* in September. There is plenty of talent in Mexico. I look forward to working with all of the riders, and I am very confident in developing their National Programme so they can very soon become a competitive nation on the world stage.”
She added that the appointment comes “at a very good time” for her.
“I finally feel recovered from my back injury [which she broke in 2012] to take on this position. Since David’s [her husband’s] appointment as US chef d’equipe two years ago, I have had to stand down from all involvement to the USA’s High Performance committees to prevent any perceived conflicts of interest. I had served on all of the standing committees for over 25 years. Letting go of this, has been very frustrating for me. I have been forced therefore to consider other options including other nations.”
She also paid credit to other coaches that are training in different countries.
“Sue Ockenden has done tremendous work in developing eventing in Central and South America. Other American and Canadian riders are coaching teams from the Americas and Mark Todd is now coaching Brazil,” she added.
Karen also rode for the US at two Pan American Games and numerous four-star events around the world and in 1993 was the world’s number one lady rider.
She won team silver at the Atlanta Olympics, riding Biko, and team bronze in Sydney with Prince Panache. Karen was the highest placed American eventer at the 2012 London Olympics, riding Mr.Medicott (pictured). She was also the oldest female Olympian of all athletes and the oldest U.S. athlete, male or female, in London