Robert Ridland recently was named as the Show Jumping Chef d' Equipe to succeed Mr. George Morris after the 2012 London Olympic Games. Mr. Ridland has several decades of international experience including two appearances in the Olympic Games during his riding career as a member of the United States Equestrian Team (USET). He has been extensively involved in the governance of equestrian sport, including several terms as a board member of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the USET. Currently, he is the North American delegate on the FEI Jumping Committee. He has vast experience as an international course designer. In addition, as a television commentator, he worked for many years as the color analyst for ESPN and CBS, as well as two stints for NBC at the Barcelona and Athens Olympic Games.
Mr. Ridland is president of Blenheim EquiSports, a California-based special events management company that produces about 40 equestrian show jumping competitions annually. Past events include the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Olympic Equestrian Show Jumping Trials, 2000 and 2004, the Oaks Blenheim International CSI 4* (2001-2003) and the USET Show Jumping Trials for the World Equestrian Games (2002).
He has also served as show jumping manager for the past five World Cup Finals held in Las Vegas (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009).
Mr. Ridland holds two FEI designations: FEI Course Designer and FEI International Technical Delegate. He designed show jumping courses for international events including the U.S. Olympic Trials (1992, 1996), Paris CSI, Hampton Classic Horse Show, Central American Games (San Juan, Puerto Rico). He twice won the Course Designer of the Year Award while constructing the courses for the U.S. Olympic Trials as well as numerous international competitions.
As an international official, he is the only American to have served as the FEI Technical Delegate for five World Cup Finals (Gothenburg 1995, Helsinki 1998, Milan 2004, Kuala Lumpur 2006 and Gothenburg 2008).
Mr. Ridland twice represented the U.S. as a member of the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team (Munich 1972, Montreal 1976). He had career grand prix wins on four different continents, including the American Invitational Grand Prix (Tampa, Florida), the Grand Prix of the United States (Madison Square Garden, New York) and the Grand Prix of Switzerland (Lucerne)
Broadcasting and Media
Mr. Ridland has served as television color commentator for equestrian sport for top national cable and broadcasting companies: ESPN, CBS for the World Championships (1986) and NBC for the Olympic Games in Barcelona (1992) and Athens (2004).
Mr. Ridland is a current member of the U.S. Equestrian Federation and U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Boards of Directors and is a former member of the American Horse Shows Association and U.S. Equestrian Team Board of Directors. He is a former member and deputy chairman of the FEI Jumping Committee.