We are beyond excited and very proud to share the news that Jenni Autry — yes, OUR Jenni! — has been named to the position of USEF Managing Director of Eventing. (We are also alternately weeping and hyperventilating into paper bags at the thought of losing her, but MOSTLY we are beyond excited.)
As Managing Director, Jenni will provide overall administration for the sport of eventing including but not limited to overseeing the High Performance program.
“We are very excited to welcome Jenni to the eventing Managing Director role and very conscious of what a huge role she will be taking on,” says Will Connell, US Equestrian’s Director of Sport. “Jenni will thus need, and receive, a great deal of support as she establishes herself in this role. The process of identifying the Managing Director has included three rounds of interviews that have allowed a wide range of stakeholders to pose questions to applicants.”
Jenni is taking the reins from previous Managing Director Joanie Morris, who announced her resignation earlier this year after an incredible eight-year run in the position. Joanie left some big shoes to fill, but if anyone is up for the job we know it’s Jenni.
Since joining the Nation Media family in 2012, Jenni has grown Eventing Nation from a quirky blog into an internationally respected news source. She’s worked diligently to build community within our sport via a website that welcomes everyone from young riders and adult amateurs to top-level riders. On the High Performance front, she brings forth a unique perspective as a journalist, having observed and analyzed our performances at championships including two WEGs, the Olympics and the Pan American Games as well as numerous Nations Cup competitions. She’s covered more four-stars than we can count and possesses a thorough understanding of what U.S. eventing is up against on the international front. She’s also kept a close eye on the program in action domestically, from documenting training sessions to covering nearly every major event on American soil.
Will explains that Jenni’s new role expands far beyond High Performance duties: “Often wrongly perceived as being solely about the senior eventing team and Elite Program, the Managing Director has to lead in a wide plethora of areas, as well as develop effective working relationships with a large number of stakeholders within and outside the USEF. Jenni’s detailed knowledge of eventing and her success building Eventing Nation will stand her in good stead, but she will now need to look at the sport through very different lenses. As part of the process of helping Jenni establish herself in the role, we will closely examine roles, responsibilities, and management structures across the Programs and the Team. Jenni has all the professional and personal skills necessary to take this role on, and I look forward to working closely with her over the coming months.”
Jenni will begin transitioning into the role on July 15 and take over the role formally on August 10. Joanie will be handing over the reins immediately after the Pan American Games in Lima, where she will be the Eventing Team Leader.
Other big changes for our girl: She will be relocating from Kennett Square, PA, to Lexington, KY, and sadly for us we’ve seen her last byline here at EN. She will also immediately cease her freelance roles with other organizations and individuals.
“As I close the door on my journalism career, I am excited to become the USEF Managing Director of Eventing,” Jenni says. “Every day will be committed to continuing the work of implementing the Strategic Plan, ensuring the success of the Pathway Program, and creating sustainable success in U.S. Eventing for many years to come. This job reaches far beyond High Performance, and there are big shoes to fill. I am eager to hit the road to speak with key stakeholders who will play a critical role in growing the sport and ultimately getting the U.S. back on the podium.”
Jenni’s passion for the sport and belief in the U.S. Eventing Team shines through in everything she does. Please join EN in thanking Jenni for her years of service to the sport and raising a glass to her contributions to come.
“‘This is what it sounds like when doves, er, chinchillas cry.’ Jenni, it has been an absolute honor and joy to work alongside you all these years, and you’ll always be in the family. You made EN what it is; this site is a direct manifestation of your vision, hard work and team-building ability. A different team needs you now. Go forth! Make American Eventing Great Again! #MAEGA” — Leslie Wylie
“I am so, so, SO damn proud of and happy for you — you are going to make such an enormous difference to U.S. eventing (as you have done for years!) and even though we’ll all miss you desperately, you’ll always be part of the EN family. Love you lots.” — Tilly Berendt
“Can’t wait to see how big of an impact you make. I’m sure our program will soar!” — Maggie Deatrick
“I am sooo excited for you Jenni, and so excited for U.S. Eventing. They are very lucky to have you and I see only great things coming down the road. It’s been such an absolute pleasure to work alongside you. I can’t thank you enough for all the help you gave me, personally, toward my career in this sport.” — Shelby Allen
“This is so incredible and such an amazing opportunity for you AND for American eventing. Thank you for recognizing me and welcoming me into the EN team — you have no idea how much it’s meant to me to be a part of this team and be able to contribute to the sport in this was. I’m so grateful to have worked with you and will surely miss having you at EN but, gosh, what an exciting adventure for you. You’ve been a huge asset to the sport through EN and you’re only continuing that!” — Abby Powell
“Jenni, everything that has been said and then 100x more. You took over for me and made EN so much better. Gutted to lose you but thrilled to have been a part of your journey and so pumped to see where it goes from here. You’ll always be the #1 terminator in our hearts. #goeventing #goJenni #goterminator #MAEGA” — John Thier
Go Jenni. Go Eventing.