USEF Names Capt. Mark Phillips and Melanie Smith-Taylor 2007 Coaches of the Year
RELEASE: January 22, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Joanie Morris
Lexington, KY - Two important individuals made huge contributions to the success of the United States Equestrian Federation’s international riders in 2007. Capt. Mark Phillips and Melanie Smith-Taylor were instrumental in the achievements of the eventing and show jumping teams respectively.
Phillips, who has been awarded the 2007 USEF National Coach of the Year honor, drove an incredibly successful eventing campaign which was highlighted by a medal sweep at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Led by veteran athlete, Karen O’Connor (riding the mighty super pony Theodore O’Connor) the U.S. Team swept the individual medals as well as bringing home team gold.
The 2007 Developmental Coach of the Year, Smith-Taylor, spent most of the summer in Europe coaching the USEF Developing Young Rider Tour. The tour gives four American show jumping riders the chance to compete at some of the biggest shows on the continent.
Smith-Taylor’s riders picked up Nations Cup wins in Falsterboro, Sweden on July 20 and in Hamina, Finland on June 17. Under her guidance, these young riders gained valuable experience and performed beyond expectation among some very seasoned competitors. They supplemented their team success with individual wins and placings at a variety of shows across Europe.
As a result of this honor, Phillips and Smith-Taylor are the USEF’s nominees for the 2007 USOC Coach of the Year Award. This is an important part of the USOC’s Coaching Recognition Program which acknowledges coaches for their contributions to team’s successes throughout the year. The USOC will review nominees from all National Governing Bodies and select a winner in each category (National and Developmental).
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