(v1E – Subject to change without notice)

   The FEA Elite Mentorship Program (EMP) is being created to promote and support the training of future United States Equestrian Team members as individuals and team competitors, using our most valuable assets: the existing US Equestrian Team members and highly ranked FEI riders – our top athletes. By doing so, our best riders are participating in a common effort to leave a legacy for future generations. 


   Meetings with key individuals in the industry concluded that one of the best ways for FEA to fulfill its desire to support the equestrian sport at the highest level is to create and manage an effective mentorship program for riders showing uncommonly high potential. While our country continues to gain more and more respect on the international scene, there are still missing elements to maximize the potential in our young riders. Several programs have been initiated over the years – the Young Riders and the U25 initiatives are examples of success in that effort to ensure the highest possible quality of riders. 
   Now is the time to work on the next level: a formal, proficient program for our future elite. FEA believes that an elite-based mentorship program involving our top riders is needed, and our discussions with leaders in our sport have shown that the concept would be embraced by many. If structured properly, this could be a crucial, strategic program generating results that would ensure the highest level of riders representing our country around the world, for generations to come. 
   An EMP Evaluation Team will be gathered following recommendations from equestrian governing bodies and other experienced individuals, and will be key in setting criteria, selection & evaluation of both mentors and future prospects. 


  1. Matching the right mentors with the right riders so they become an asset to each other
  2. Accelerated training through full-time exposure to the highest level of expertise
  3. Riders to support mentors in their own training & competition schedule
  4. Mentors to create opportunities for riders to compete at high level


In order to be considered for the FEA Elite Mentorship Program (EMP), the following eligibility requirements shall be met:


  1. Be recommended by an FEI-rated rider, a highly recognized U.S. trainer or by the FEA
  2. Go through an interview with the FEA team
  3. Member in good standing with USEF and USHJA
  4. Proficient in horsemanship as determined through FEA’s Due Diligence process
  5. Demonstrate serious potential to develop into an international-level rider
  6. Willing to learn, attend training/clinics, and do the work dictated by their mentor
  7. Willing to do whatever is needed to attend the highest level of competition, including the practice of essential horse care and management skills
  8. Follow FEA Mentorship guidelines


  1. Recognized by the EMP Evaluation Team in collaboration with the USET and the two Chefs d’Equipe (Young Riders and US Show Jumping Team)
  2. Be a FEI-rated rider and/or meet EMP Evaluation Team’s criteria
  3. Willing to take on an apprentice without receiving a fee
  4. Follow FEA Mentorship guidelines
  5. Keep horsemanship as an integral part of the mentorship process


  1. Full Time: geared toward young talented riders (working student / apprentice)
  2. Interval: by phone or in person - focus on young professional riders with existing means & training team


As this Mentorship program is to promote the development of future U.S. team members, the program’s specifications have been set to clearly show the elements needed to make it successful:

  1. The EMP Evaluation Team will determine the final criteria, outline what is expected from each mentor and what each will get out of the program.
  2. The Evaluation Team will receive and review formal nominations, and will make recommendations to ensure the best possible process and outcome of each rider-mentor team.
  3. A rational rider-mentor match will be made and offered to both parties. FEA will respect the desire of a mentor wishing to work with a specific rider.
  4. FEA will help in the preparation of an Agreement of Understanding (AOU) made to the satisfaction of all parties, accepted and committed to in good faith, in a working student type of approach, and is to clarify the following: the inclusion or exclusion of training/lodging for rider’s own horse(s), living expenses, show-related expenses, as well as the purpose and objectives of the mentorship as it relates to the parties.
  5. A Non-disclosure Agreement is to be signed by rider, to protect mentor’s know-how, training and business methods, professional relationships, and other intellectual property. A Release of Liability / Hold Harmless Agreement will also be signed by both parties.
  6. An initial 2-week trial period will be set up.
  7. A 12-month mentorship period will be established, with monthly or quarterly evaluations to be filed with the EMP Evaluation Team for review and discussion with parties of interest (USET, Chef d’Equipe, etc.). Mentorships may be renewed for additional 12-month periods, if/when desired and appropriate.
  8. Riders must conform with mentor’s directions, instructions, and training needs.
  9. Arrangements for basic living expenses (lodging and food) are to be agreed upon and included in the AOU.
  10. Although no mentorship fee may be charged by mentor, mentor is not expected to incur out-of-pocket expenses related to rider’s own riding & competition activities, unless agreed upon between the parties.
  11. The AOU may be terminated at any time by either party with 14-day notice in normal circumstances, or without notice if judged necessary. A full report of the reason(s) of termination must be filed with FEA within 48 hours to avoid termination of FEA support of the party cancelling the Agreement.
  12. Budget: although FEA's involvement is to facilitate the mentorship process, it may provide financial assistance in special cases and/or other types of support to riders to help maximize their training and competition activities as part of their mentorship. Details will be discussed individually with each mentor and rider, and support will be provided on a need-basis in line with FEA and IRS guidelines.
  13. FEA is serving as a facilitator only and cannot be held responsible for unforeseen outcomes.
  14. Mentors may qualify for tax credits for directly incurred expenses as this program is being facilitated by an entity seeking 501(c)(3) status.

To recommend a RIDER or a MENTOR , or to get more information
please email us: Mentorship@myFEA.org