Morten Thomsen Appointed U.S. Team Trainer?
Ken Braddick of Dressage-News.com published the news that Danish Morten Thomsen has been appointed U.S. team trainer. Today Dressagedaily also announced the appointment of Anne Gribbons as U.S. chef d'equipe.
Thomsen is a Danish Olympic Grand Prix rider who represented Denmark at the 1988 Olympic Games with Diplomat and at the 2000 Olympic Games with Gay. He also was the official Danish young horse trainer from 2005 to 2007.
Thomsen trained horses such as Chablis, the European Young Riders Champion horse, Solos Carex, a Swedish WEG Team horse, and Bernstein Las Marismas, which won bronze at the Pan American Games. He is based with his training stable in Silkeborg, Denmark.
According to Braddick, "Morten was reported to have won over the top USA contenders for the 2010 WEG with a three-day clinic in California which included the top American riders with Gribbons agreeing to act as the chef d’equipe."
In the same article Braddick was quite critical about the selection procedures for the U.S team coach. One of the criteria was that the new team trainer would have to be a resident of the United States. "Some potential candidates said they did not apply because of the published criteria but they might have teamed up with partners to meet the residency requirements if they had known the criteria would be amended midway through the process," Braddick wrote. "These candidates believe that somewhere between the published criteria and the final selection, selectors determined that the choice of a single “national coach” was too restrictive and that expanded qualifications could be included."
No public disclosure of a change in the criteria could be found by Braddick.
Thomsen would be replacing Klaus Balkenhol as team training, who worked for the USEF from 2000 till 2008.
The news of Thomsen's appointment has not been confirmed by USEF
(Read subsequent story: Thomsen No Official USEF Role Granted Yet. Gribbons To be All in One Chef)
Source: Dressage News