WWU Equestrian Professor Achieves Career Dream

William Woods University professor of Equestrian Science, Jean Kraus, recently was promoted to the status of Chief Steward in Dressage with the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for equestrian sports.

This is the highest level that can be reached in officiating as an equine sports steward. This level of steward operates at FEI-level competitions within the United States, in foreign countries and at the Olympics.

“It’s the summit of the mountain,” said Kraus. “Officiating at this level is an entirely different experience where you are working with international-level horses and riders. FEI competitions are usually team based with different foreign countries sending teams of horses and riders. These riders and horses are the top ranked equestrians in the world.”

Kraus has held the highest levels of stewardship that can be reached on a national level within the United States Equestrian Federation for 25 years. After being “recommended” to the FEI apprentice steward program, she has been working towards the international license for more than two years now.

During the process she worked with current FEI Chief Stewards at FEI-level competitions within the Unites States. During her apprenticeship and at the FEI Chief Stewards Forum, which was held in Wellington, Fla., she was tested on her knowledge and understanding of international-level competition, the organization and management of this level of event and the rules.

“All of the people and show managements that you work with must give you positive recommendations before you are presented to the USEF Licensed Officials Committee for their approval. If they approve you, your credentials are submitted to the FEI for their consideration,” said Kraus.

“I was happiness personified when I received notification that I had been approved by the FEI. There are only 14 other FEI Chief Stewards in Dressage in the United States and to reach this summit is a career dream.”

Now that she has become a steward, Kraus hopes to work her way up the ranks from being the newest U.S. FEI Chief Steward, to officiating at FEI competitions that are held in foreign countries, the 2007 FEI World Cup in Las Vegas and the 2010 World Equestrian Games that will be held in Lexington, Ky.