Edited Press Release
US Equestrian has announced two new consultant roles developed to support the combined driving programs and initiatives.
Amber Lester is an Athlete Advisor to the Developing Athlete Program for Combined Driving, which is a new role established to provide support to athletes by helping them identify and develop achievable goals, outline educational opportunities, and direct athletes through the challenges they face on their pathway to success.
Lester’s competition experience began as a junior in California where she competed in equitation and jumper classes before moving to the East Coast, where her focus changed to ridden dressage during college. Then, she found herself immersed in the world of combined driving. She learned how to drive singles and pairs while working as a groom or barn manager for top driving professionals such as Jim Fairclough (Top Brass Farm), Michael Freund (Cedar Lane Farm), Shady Oaks Combined Driving, Chester Weber (Live Oak Combined Driving), Jennifer Matheson (Katydid Farm), and most recently James and Misdee Miller (Hillcroft Farm). Her contributions to the Hillcroft Farm team were pivotal in the U.S. Driving Team’s gold medal at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. She has a unique combination of experience and education in ridden dressage training, training program development, and rehabilitation therapies.
EllenMarie Ettenger will act as an Organizer and Licensed Officials Mentorship Coordinator, focusing on identifying and supporting new organizers and licensed officials to sustain the future of the sport. This role will liaise between competitions and developing organizers or officials to outline more opportunities for growth as well as take on projects to improve the organizer experience.
Ettenger has had the pleasure of working with some of the best driving officials from around the world over the past 30+ years, having served as an official and organizing combined driving events for several decades. She has held a Technical Delegate’s license with the ADS, USEF, and the FEI for many years, officiating at many national and international events both in the U.S. and abroad. As a Driving Sport Committee member for several terms, she has served on many different working groups and task forces to develop new initiatives and further the sport.