Professional Riders Organization Announces Formation to Represent Professional Event Riders Nationwide
RELEASE: March 5, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jaclyn Almeida
Acclaimed professional riders from the United States eventing community announced the formation of the Professional Riders Organization (PRO). PRO is the only organization that represents the interests of career riders competing at the highest levels of the sport of eventing.
“We are excited to announce the formation of the Professional Riders Organization,” said Craig R. Thompson, a distinguished event rider and PRO founder. “Until now, professional riders have had no unified voice. With the formation of PRO, professional riders now have an organization that understands their unique interests and concerns.”
PRO was formed by a group of leading professional riders, including Phillip Dutton, Laura Vandervliet, Allison Springer and Buck Davidson, who felt they had a special obligation to and interest in strengthening the sport of eventing. In addition to representing the goals and objectives of professional riders, PRO is also dedicated to elevating the level of competition, contributing to ongoing rider education, improving the standards of competition and promoting safety while working to attract new fans, sponsors and participants.
Among PRO's chief goals are:
—Providing a strong, unified voice for upper level, professional riders with direct influence over policy making within the sport.
—Encouraging the free exchange of ideas and consensus building to influence current governing organizations of the sport.
—Increasing professional riders' representation on boards and committees and providing clout to professional riders' voting power.
—Working with event venues and sponsors to establish and promote professional guidelines.
—Providing the means to increase awareness and accessibility of benefit and retirement programs for professional riders.
—Encouraging ongoing safety through education and advocacy.
Though formed with professional riders in mind, PRO plans to work with the eventing community to increase spectators’ involvement. As eventing grows in popularity, PRO will work with both current and prospective fans to raise its profile to that of more mainstream, high profile sports. Through partnership with sponsors and spectators, PRO will work to make eventing more exciting and dynamic as it continues to evolve.
“We are thrilled to launch PRO during such an exciting time in our sport’s evolution,” said Phillip Dutton, Olympic Gold medalist and PRO founder. “Professional riders are passionate about eventing, and we can’t wait to harness that passion to strengthen our sport.”