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David O' Connor Signs On as Course Designer at Colorado Horse Park
Parker, CO, USA
Photo: Arnd Brockhorst Photography

RedBayGroup.com
David O'Connor
The Colorado Horse Park has announced that Olympic Gold Medalist and President of the United States Equestrian Federation David O' Connor has signed on as course designer for the park's three day events and horse trials. O'Connor brings a lifetime of knowledge of eventing and horsemanship to this position. In addition, his persona as the head of national governing body of equestrian sports adds luster to his skills and talents.

"We are extremely fortunate to have David O'Connor join the Colorado Horse Park team," said General Manager, Rob Janson.  "So many people, including our Eventing Committee, have worked very hard to make these events successful. Having David on board will take these events to a whole new level."

For O' Connor it was the opportunity to make a difference in a critical region of the country. "I was drawn to the project because it's a chance to work at a fantastic facility in that part of the West where the eventing presence at the international level is sorely needed. The Colorado Horse Park events are vitally important to eventing in the western United States, " he said.

O'Connor will design courses for all levels of competition from beginner novice through the two-star international level. He explained, "The lower levels of eventing are the future of the sport. Eventing is like a pyramid—the larger and stronger the base, the greater the opportunity to produce international stars at the top.  The lower levels are also extremely important because they give all horse enthusiasts the chance to enjoy competing."

The Colorado Horse Park events typically draw competitors from around the country. Olympians and beginners alike have tackled the courses and will now get to enjoy obstacles designed by one of the sport's luminaries.  Colorado Horse Park Eventing Committee member Tom Angle represents the enthusiasm that has greeted this announcement.  "David is an extremely knowledgeable horseman," he said. "He has proven his ability to design courses that are appropriate, fair and very user friendly. I have ridden his courses and I really like riding them.  I think that they make a better horse after going around."

Joining O'Connor on the new team is course builder Greg Schlappi. Well known internationally as a builder at events such as Ram Tap, Herron Park and Foxhall, Schlappi will bring O'Connor's designs to life.

Three-day events and horse trials are the triathlon of horse sports as horses and riders compete in dressage, cross-country jumping and show jumping to determine the overall winner.  The Colorado Horse Park has hosted an FEI two-star event since the 1990s as well as numerous horse trials. The Park was also the home to the North American Young Riders Championships in 1998 and 2000. Thousands of spectators have witnessed the thrills and spills associated with equestrian's most exciting discipline. "I believe the Colorado Horse Park can be the future of top-class international competitions, both for Young Riders and adults. Everybody involved wants the Colorado Horse Park to turn into something really great, with its own unique flavor. I think it can be done," O' Connor said.

O'Connor will visit the Colorado Horse Park in May to begin the process that will include designing new tracks and obstacles on the 275 acres south of Bayou Gulch Road. Fundraising is currently underway to make the Colorado Horse Park events among the premiere events in the country. For more information visit www.coloradohorsepark.org.


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