Ulla Salzgeber Resigns as Australian Dressage Training Adviser
Ulla Salzgeber has resigned from her post as Dressage Training Adviser (Team Coach) citing to the Equestrian Federation of Australia her increasing coaching commitments at home as a reason why she could not commit to forward planning of clinic dates in Australia.
To Eurodressage, Salzgeber provided a different reason for resignation. Eurodressage received a statement from Salzgeber directly in which said that "Salzgeber has decided to resign her position as the "Dressage Advisor" to the Equestrian Federation of Australia due to conflicting ideas for the future of Australia Dressage within the Federation, making it difficult for her to 'go on'. She remains a strong supporter of Australian dressage riders and will continue to conduct private clinics."
Albeit, EFA Chairman Geoff Sinclair paid tribute to Salzgeber’s involvement in the national dressage program in the lead up to the 2006 World Equestrian Games.
Sinclair said, “Under Salzgeber’s guidance, Australia in August achieved its best Dressage result at a World Equestrian Games, with two riders qualifying for the Grand Prix Special individual medal round for the first time.
The team of German-based Kristy Oatley, NSW riders Matthew Dowsley and Rachael Sanna and Queensland’s Kelly Lane finished 9th overall, bettering its previous-best 12th placing at the 2002 WEG in Spain”
“This was a great step forward for dressage in Australia and we will now build on that by expanding the Dressage High Performance Program,” Sinclair said.
The Equestrian Federation of Australia will review its High Performance Dressage Program following the departure of Salzgeber. This expansion of the High Performance Program is demonstrated by the number of developments over the coming months. These include:-
- The National Dressage High Performance Program review and this is expected to produce some exciting new opportunities
- The Selection of National squads, which are being selected now and will be announced early in the New Year. The squads will form the “shadow team” for Beijing
- Working with the Australian Olympic Committee in the development of a nomination policy for Beijing, which will be announced shortly
- Organisation of the first ever Asia-Pacific Dressage Olympic Qualifying Event, which will be held in Sydney this coming October
Sinclair said that he expected the review of the dressage program to be completed by the end of the year and new plans would be announced as soon as possible, most likely in late January or February.
“We intend to capitalize on the gains already made and we will be aiming to implement a program that gives us the best possible chance of doing even better in the 2008 Games than we did at WEG this year,” Sinclair said.
Photos copyrighted: Astrid Appels / Eurodressage