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May 15, 2007

CW's director of coach and livestock elected to second term as chairman of FEI Driving Technical Committee

Richard Nicoll, Colonial Williamsburg’s Bill and Jean Lane Director of Coach and Livestock, has been re-elected chairman of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) Driving Technical Committee. Delegates from 84 countries elected him unanimously to the second term at the FEI General Assembly meeting in April in Portugal.

"I feel very privileged to be re-elected as chairman of the Driving Technical Committee,” Nicoll said. “I work with a very good committee with representatives from Argentina, Scotland, Germany and the Netherlands. I also have the invaluable support of FEI’s home office in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Ian Williams, director of the Driving, Endurance and Para Equestrian Department.”

He will serve his second four-year term through 2011. During his tenure, Nicoll will be course designing for driving at the future site in the World Equestrian Games in 2010 in Lexington, Ky. He also will serve as technical delegate for the World Pair Horse Driving Championships in Warka, Poland, this summer. Nicoll is an active FEI O status course designer and technical delegate. The O status is the highest FEI status awarded.

During his first term, the number of international driving events increased from 121 to 145.

Nicoll has been working with carriages since 1970. From the 1970s through the 1980s, he competed with pairs and singles. In 1976 he began designing and building courses for the sport of combined driving; in the late 1970s he began officiating as a technical delegate and judge. In the early 1980s, Nicoll became a course designer and technical delegate for FEI. He has designed courses–including three world championship courses–in several countries, including England, Austria, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Ireland, Sweden and the United States.

At Colonial Williamsburg, Nicoll oversees the coach and livestock program, which has added horse-drawn carriages and domestic animals to the Historic Area landscape. On Thursday, May 3, Nicoll drove the landau carrying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, down Duke of Gloucester Street to the Williamsburg Inn. The Queen was visiting Williamsburg to commemorate America’s 400th Anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.

Colonial Williamsburg’s coach and livestock program began in 1937 and now includes more than 100 animals, including Leicester Longwool sheep, American Cream Draft and Canadian horses, Milking Red Devon and Shorthorn cattle, as well as several 18th-century poultry breeds. The coach and livestock program has become a leader in efforts to preserve rare breeds and works closely with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Founded in 1921, FEI is the international body governing equestrian sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee. It is based on the principle of equality and mutual respect between all 135 affiliated national federations, without prejudice to race, religion or internal politics. The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, Reining and Para-Equestrian. It establishes the regulations and approves the equestrian programs at championships, continental and regional games, as well as the Olympic Games.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121