The U.S. Equestrian Federation has named Chris Welton as chief executive officer. Welton will replace John Long, who announced his decision to retire from the Lexington, Kentucky-based position a year ago.

Welton has a broad background in sports development and management. He most recently served as CEO of Helios Partners, whose primary businesses included corporate sports consulting, sports property, and media consulting and representation of cities and countries bidding for the opportunity to host major sporting events. Before that, he founded Meridian Management, which became the exclusive marketing representative of the International Olympic Committee, responsible for managing all sponsorship and marketing activities for the IOC, including the IOC’s TOP Program. He also served as vice-president for corporate partnerships and sponsorship for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, managing the event’s domestic sponsorship program.

“This is an exciting time for the federation,” said USEF President Chrystine Tauber. “The stage is set perfectly for Chris’ extraordinary strategic leadership skills. He is a proven leader who has consistently demonstrated the ability to build consensus, develop and implement innovative programs, and utilize his deep connections throughout the international sports movement.”

John Long said, “I am pleased to have such an accomplished individual as Chris Welton step into the role I have served for the past 10 years. It has been a source of great pride to have played a role supporting the bold and innovative actions by Federation leadership as the vision for the future success of the USEF has been charted. The federation is well positioned for the new leadership to move the organization forward.”