Equestrian Canada has announced that Dr. Rob Stevenson will become Chair of the Eventing High Performance Advisory Group heading into the next cycle of major games.
“I am thrilled that Rob has accepted this important position at a time where we need to focus on collaboration with the Eventing Committee, athletes and owners,” said Peter Gray, Eventing Committee Chair. “He is the perfect balance of experience, integrity and fairness, and comes to this position without bias or personal agendas.”
Dr. Stevenson, from Lakeside, New Brunswick, has worn many hats in the sport of eventing. As an athlete, he represented Canada at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where he finished 22nd individually riding Risky Business. Following his competitive career, he has participated in the sport as coach — he runs the performance-oriented training and boarding facility, Foshay South Eventing, with his wife Suzanne — parent, event organizer and team selector, serving on the Eventing High Performance Committee from 2001 to 2004 as c0-chair of selection.
In 2012 he was appointed FEI National Safety Officer for Canada and was recently invited to join the newly formed FEI Risk Management Steering Group, roles which uniquely play to his experiences as both eventer and cardiologist. His EN article from May 2016, “Is This Sport Safe Enough? Breaking Down the Latest Eventing Safety Statistics,” is a must-read for anyone seeking to better understand and contribute to the conversations taking place surrounding the issue of eventing safety.
Speaking to the restructuring within EC and his role going forward, Dr. Stevenson said, “My first responsibility will be to help define the roles and responsibilities — with respect to the EC High Performance program — of the Eventing Committee, the athletes and the owners, to unify the passion that we all share for this great sport.
“My involvement in a high performance sport has shaped the life that I live every day. I have had remarkable experiences in this sport as an athlete, coach, parent, organizer and sponsor. I am committed to sharing this experience with others in a way that changes their lives as well.”
Dr. Stevenson commended Committee members currently finishing their Olympic term on the Eventing Selection Panel: “Jenn Holling, Grit High, Juliet Graham and Kelli McMullen-Temple have dedicated years of their lives to the cause of developing and selecting the best teams possible for Canada. I will have much to learn from what they have achieved.”
He also recognized Clayton Fredericks, who completed his four-year contract as Eventing Team Coach in November 2016. “In this role, Clayton led Canada to team and individual medals at the 2015 Pan American Games, and top 10 placings at both the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games and 2016 Rio Olympics. Moreover, he has developed a number of young Canadian athletes who will be members of our team in future years.”
For more information on high performance eventing in Canada, visit the website here.