Tag Archives: FEI Awards

World Jumping Champion Simone Blum Takes Fosun Best Athlete at FEI Awards 2018

FEI Awards winners (L to R): Philip Wong (CHN), Lee McKeever (USA), Simone Blum (GER), Alex Hua Tian (CHN), FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibanez (SUI), Victor Levecque (FRA), FEI President Ingmar De Vos (BEL), Leila Malki (PLE), Juan Carlos Capelli Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Natasha Baker (GBR), Juan Matute Guimon (ESP). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Manama (BRN), 20 November 2018 — Germany’s golden girl Simone Blum (29) has undoubtedly had the best year of her career to date, and she added another accolade to the list, taking home the Fosun Best Athlete Award at the FEI Awards 2018 presented by Longines in Manama (BRN).

Crowned individual world champion and winner of a team bronze medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (USA) in September, she became the first woman in the 28-year history of the Games and only the second female athlete in 65 years of the World Jumping championship to win individual gold.

“I am very proud to be the Fosun best athlete. I think it’s a dream of every rider,” Simone Blum said. “A lot of really good riders got it before and to the people I want to say thank you a lot; it was a pleasure for me and I have the best fans and supporters. Thank you.”

Hosts for the gala evening were five-time Paralympic gold medallist and multi world and European title holder, Natasha Baker (GBR), and Spain’s rising star, Juan Matute Guimon, FEI Dressage European Junior champion in 2015 and at 20, one of the youngest Dressage athletes at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.

Presenting the winners of the five categories, in front of more than 300 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, equestrian fans, National Federations, FEI partners and stakeholders, these awards celebrate outstanding achievements within the equestrian community, tapping into the sporting excellence and celebrating the champions, the unsung heroes and the incredible individuals and organisations backstage making it all happen.

Groom to four-time Olympian McLain Ward, the USA’s Lee McKeever, took the award for FEI Best Groom. After 30 years working with McLain, he is still as dedicated about his work as when he started, going above and beyond to ensure the best possible care for his horses, and always willing to help others in the sport working tirelessly behind the scenes. McLain and Lee’s shared victories include the recent FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 team gold medal with Clinta, the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title with HH Azur in Omaha (USA), individual gold medal with Rothchild at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto (CAN), and team gold medals at the Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games with Sapphire.

French Eventing athlete Victor Levecque was presented with the Longines Rising Star Award by Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Juan-Carlos Capelli. This award highlights the achievements of athletes between the ages of 14 and 21 who demonstrate outstanding equestrian sporting talent. At the age of 20, Victor is already multiple winner, with 10 European medals, including two gold medals and five French national champion titles to his name.

“For a second consecutive year the online public vote has become very popular and a peer to peer recognition is one of the most powerful,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The influence of one’s peers and the recognition of talent and hard work is a testament to the strengths and development of the growth of the sport.

“Development, like youth, is key to our future and has been a strong focus throughout 2018 as we can see here tonight in the results of the youth of our sport shining through. With our top partner Longines, and their ever-increasing support, their commitment to these awards and equestrian sport globally, and for the first time to celebrate the Fosun Best Athlete award, we are delighted to be here in Bahrain to reward these fantastic achievements.”

Alex Hua Tian and Philip Wong of China accepted the FEI Solidarity award for the Horsemanship charity programme in China. Ten years ago, Alex won the Rising Star Award and he was here as part of the team working to communicate the core value of “Equestrianism as Horsemanship” to the world’s fastest growing equestrian market.

Leila Malki from Palestine was presented with the Against All Odds award. Her dedication to equestrian sport and her passion have made her a role model for young women in Palestine through her encouragement of girls and women to become involved in equestrian sport in her country.

“As FEI’s Top Partner, Longines is very proud to take part in the 2018 FEI Awards Ceremony in Manama,” Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, said.

“Our connection with the equestrian world dates back 150 years, and we attach great importance to supporting events that are aligned with our core values of tradition, elegance and performance. We are particularly delighted to present the Longines Rising Star award, acknowledging our commitment in supporting new generations of athletes in each sport that we are involved in.”

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Vote Today for Your Equestrian Heroes in the FEI Awards 2018

The public vote for the FEI Awards 2018 is now open! For a second consecutive year the public gets to vote and celebrate its equestrian heroes following publication of the shortlisted nominees.

A record of outstanding achievements on the field of play, horsemanship, commitment and behind-the-scenes dedication are just some of the qualities of the 20 nominees selected across the five categories.

The shortlisted nominees for the FEI Awards 2018 are:

Longines Rising Star – for the young stars aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

  • Felix Koller (AUT), Jumping
  • Esmee Donkers (NED), Dressage
  • Victor Levecque (FRA), Eventing
  • Bunty Howard (ZAM), Jumping

Best Athlete – paying tribute to some incredible performances during the year, notably at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and the Asian Games, which took the sport to a new level.

  • Simone Blum (GER), Jumping
  • Yoshiaki Oiwa (JPN), Eventing
  • Lambert Leclezio (FRA), Vaulting
  • Stinna Kaastrup (DEN), Para Dressage

Best Groom – for the behind-the-scenes hero who ensures the horses he or she looks after are given the best possible care.

  • Lucy Miles (NZL), Eventing, groom for Jonelle and Tim Price
  • Alex Tyler-Morris (GBR), Jumping, groom for Harrie Smolders
  • Lee McKeever (USA), Jumping, groom for McLain Ward
  • Steffi Wiegard (GER), Dressage, head groom for Isabell Werth

Against All Odds – for an inspiring individual who has pursued their equestrian ambitions and overcome challenges and obstacles along the way.

  • Sammie Fritz (USA), Dressage
  • Leila Malki (PLE), Jumping
  • Sara Morganti (ITA), Para Dressage
  • Kate Shoemaker (USA), Para Dressage

FEI Solidarity – for an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport.

  • Julie Battams and Equine Pathways (AUS)
  • The Horsemanship charity programme (CHN)
  • Riders of Hope (BIH)
  • Mercedes Campdera (MEX)

Make sure you have your say and vote here!

The online public vote will be open from 5 to 15 October and will count for 50%, with a panel of expert judges deciding the remaining 50%.

The winners will be announced at the FEI Awards 2018 Gala presented by Longines in Manama, Bahrain on 20 November. Presenters on the night of this prestigious ceremony will be five-time Paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker (GBR) and young Dressage star Juan Matute Guimón (ESP). “I am beyond excited and honoured to have been asked to host the awards with Juan!” Natasha Baker said. “I can’t wait to meet all of the deserving award winners and hear their stories and celebrate our fantastic sport.”

Vote for your equestrian heroes and stay tuned to learn everything about the FEI Awards 2018 on fei.org.

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations and Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Unstoppable Isabell Werth Crowned 2017 Best Athlete at FEI Awards

Photo: Harry Allen (IRE), winner of the Longines Rising Star Award (centre), pictured with FEI President Ingmar de Vos (left) and Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli (right) at the FEI Awards ceremony in Montevideo, Uruguay. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Montevideo (URU), 21 November 2017 – Isabell Werth (GER), one of equestrian sports most decorated champions, has once again stolen the show, receiving the Best Athlete Award at the ninth edition of the FEI Awards Gala 2017 presented by Longines at the KIBON Avanza in Montevideo (URU).

The German superstar (48) was unable to attend the ceremony but spoke to guests via video message, and Soenke Lauterbach, Secretary General of the German Federation, received the award on her behalf.

“To receive the best athlete award is really fantastic it makes me really proud, really happy to get this support from so many people and that they’re really behind me and they respect what we have done in the last months,” Isabell Werth said.

“2017 was just amazing; it was a really great year. It was all horses, I have to say! Of course the highlight was Omaha with the World Cup final with Weihe; it was a fantastic freestyle!”

To the delight of the Montevideo audience, the festivities were opened by Swedish pop artists Matilda Frommegård and Martin Cederlöf, performing the world premiere of their “Two Hearts” song.

Joint-Masters of Ceremonies, TV news anchor Victoria Rodriguez (URU) together with author and entertainer Guillermo Lockhart (URU), host of Voces Anonimas, went on to present the winners of the five categories, in front of more than 270 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, equestrian fans, FEI partners and stakeholders representing the member Federations.

Harry Allen (IRL), double gold medallist at the FEI European Pony Championships in Kaposvar (HUN) last August, was recognised for his numerous outstanding performances throughout the year, winning the Longines Rising Star Award. Presented by the FEI’s top partner Longines, this award celebrates youth, talent, determination and the stars of the tomorrow. The talented Irish athlete (16) was also presented with a Longines Conquest Classic Chronograph watch by Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli.

Alan Davies (GBR), recognised for his tireless effort behind the scenes for Dressage stars Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester, was presented with the FEI Best Groom Award.  Praising the unsung heroes of the sport, Alan (48) was visibly moved by the public support for his dedication, commitment and hard work, saying, “Words can’t describe how I feel; it’s just amazing!”

The former Vice President of the Indian Equestrian Federation, Manoj Jalan, accepted the FEI Solidarity Award for the inaugural Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) project in Assam (IND).

Emma Booth (AUS) was commended for her strength, resilience, determination and drive as she was presented with the Against All Odds Award. Emma (26) was left paralysed after a road traffic accident in April 2013, yet nothing stops her passion for equestrian sport and is already planning her campaign around the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“We received over 100,000 votes and were overwhelmed with the response to this year’s Awards,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “We have incredible athletes, with remarkable stories, and this year we had the highest number of nominations from more countries than ever before, which clearly shows the universality of our sport.

“The public involvement in the voting process was phenomenal and was an essential part of the judging process for these prestigious awards. It is outstanding to see the tremendous support for our athletes, who deserve the recognition, not just from within our community but of the wider sports industry and fans globally.”

Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli, said: “It is my great pleasure to be here in Montevideo and to be a part of the FEI Awards Ceremony to reward remarkable people for their outstanding dedication to equestrian sports. As we have seen here tonight, all winners have shown what hard work and passion are all about.

“On behalf of Longines, I would like to address my warmest congratulations to all winners of the 2017 FEI Awards, and in particular our Longines Rising Star, the 16-year-old talented jumping rider, Harry Allen. It’s very exciting to see all these incredible people pursue their dreams and continue to be great ambassadors for their sport.”

Media contacts:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

FEI Awards 2017 Shortlist Announced – Public Voting Now Open

Photo: Taiko traditional Japanese Drummers perform at the FEI Awards 2016 ceremony in Tokyo (JPN)

Lausanne (SUI), 20 September 2017 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has opened the public voting for all the shortlisted nominees of the FEI awards 2017.

For the first time since the creation of the awards in 2009, the public can cast a vote for their heroes and impact who they think deserves to win. A billing packed with champions and those who go above and beyond, the twenty nominees have been shortlisted across five categories for their outstanding contributions and dedication to the sport, showcasing some of the most successful achievements and talent within the Equestrian community.

We received hundreds of nominations from around the globe over the twelve week nomination period. The calibre of entries for this year’s awards was exceptional. Now it’s over to the public to choose their favourites from the final shortlist of candidates for Best Athlete, Longines Rising Star, Best Groom, Against All Odds and FEI Solidarity by registering through this link from now until 1 October 2017. The public vote determines 50% of the total vote whilst the other 50% will be decided by a star studded expert judging panel.

The winner of each of the five categories will be announced at the FEI Awards 2017 gala presented by Longines in Montevideo (URU) on 21 November 2017, in front of more than 350 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, equestrian fans, FEI partners and stakeholders representing the 134 National Equestrian Federations. The awards will be broadcast live on FEI platforms, providing a valuable opportunity to celebrate the best of the best of Equestrian worldwide.

Follow along with all of the festivities of the FEI Awards 2017 on the FEI social media channels. More information on the nominees will also become available in the upcoming days on fei.org.

Who will walk away with one of these prestigious titles at this year’s ‘Equestrian Oscars’? Get voting for your favourites now!

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Rio Olympic Champion Nick Skelton Takes Top FEI Award

(Left to right): Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing, Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA), FEI Honorary President, HRH Princess Haya, FEI President Ingmar De Vos, Sönke Rothenberger (GER), Moroccan Secretary General, Badr Fakir accompanied by traditional Japanese Taiko drummers. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Tokyo (JPN), 22 November 2016 – Rio 2016 Olympic Jumping champion Nick Skelton (GBR) added another major accolade to his collection when he was declared the winner of the top prize at the prestigious 2016 FEI Awards gala dinner in Tokyo (JPN), in the presence of guest of honour, FEI Honorary President, HRH Princess Haya.

Nick Skelton won the coveted FEI Best Athlete honour at the “Oscars of the equestrian world” presented in association with the FEI’s top partner Longines, at the Park Tower Hotel. The FEI Awards celebrate the excellence, commitment, dedication and courage of those in equestrian sport, and the glittering ceremony also saw Nick’s groom Mark Beever (GBR) declared winner of the FEI Best Groom award.

In recognition of outstanding efforts in what has been another exceptional sporting year, the ceremony kick-started with the presentation of the Longines Rising Star award going to Sönke Rothenberger (GER), an award honouring the pursuit of excellence and rising talent for a person aged 14 to 21. Along with his FEI award, Sönke Rothenberger was also presented with a Longines Conquest Classic watch.

Brazil’s Rodolpho Riskalla took home the Against All Odds award, while the FEI Solidarity award went to the Morocco National Federation/SA Charif Moulay Abdellah Alaoui, President of the Royal Moroccan Federation for Equestrian Sports.  This award was accepted on behalf of the Federation by the Moroccan Secretary General, Badr Fakir.

Hosted by joint Master of Ceremonies Liz Price (GBR) and the Athens 2004 Olympic hammer champion Koji Murofushi (JPN), now Sports Director for Tokyo 2020, the FEI Awards gala ceremony was watched by more than 300 distinguished guests, National Federation representatives, FEI partners, VIPs and international media.

“The FEI Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding work of those who deserve the recognition, not just of our community but of the wider sports industry, and we’ve had five fantastic award winners tonight,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “These talented and dedicated athletes and individuals constantly inspire future generations of athletes, and not just equestrian athletes, and can literally change lives and communities. The FEI is very proud to honour and acknowledge these achievements.”

Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli, who presented the Longines Rising Star award during the ceremony, said: “It is my great pleasure to be here this evening and to be a part of the FEI Awards’ celebration of these great equestrian heroes. As we have seen here tonight, all of the winners have shown what hard work and dedication are all about. They are champions that we can be very proud of.

“On behalf of Longines, I extend my warmest congratulations to tonight’s winners, and in particular our Longines Rising Star, Sönke Rothenberger. It’s very exciting to see all these incredible people pursue their dreams and continue to be great ambassadors for their sport.”

The five categories in the FEI Awards 2016 attracted a record number of nominations from the public, giving the judging panel an extremely hard task to select the final winners. Chaired by Japanese Olympic Committee President and FEI Honorary Vice-President Tsunekazu Takeda, the judging panel also included the FEI President Ingmar de Vos (BEL), Longines Vice President, Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli (SUI), last year’s best athlete Boyd Exell (AUS), President of the Swaziland National Federation Glenda Warburton (SWZ), FEI Awards Against All Odds winner in 2010 Angelika Trabert (GER) and British television presenter Liz Price.

The evening’s celebrations had opened with a presentation made by Juan-Carlos Capelli to the FEI President Ingmar De Vos of a limited series timepiece from the Longines equestrian collection, the Longines Equestrian Pocket Watch Horses Trio 1911. This special presentation was made on behalf of the Swiss watchmaker to celebrate their 105-year commitment to the discipline of Jumping. The exclusive 18 carat rose gold timepiece will be permanently showcased in the state-of-the-art interactive gallery at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).

Find out more about the five FEI Award winners below:

LONGINES RISING STAR – Sönke Rothenberger (GER)

Sönke Rothenberger and his mount Cosmo were the youngest combination competing in the Olympic Dressage at Rio 2016, with a combined age of just 30, but they claimed team gold for Germany on their Olympic debut! Rothenberger’s other major achievements include: member of the winning German team at CDIO5* Aachen 2016, German Young Riders champion 2014, European Young Riders team gold and individual bronze 2014, European Ponies team gold and individual silver 2009, European Ponies double gold 2008 in Avenches, European Ponies team gold and individual bronze 2007.

“To receive this award is a great honour for me,” he said. “There are so many other people who would deserve this, but to be the one who receives it – well it’s just amazing and the icing on the cake for everything we have experienced this year. I am really surprised and thankful and never expected that the FEI would honour me with this prize. Thank you again very much.”

BEST ATHLETE – Nick Skelton (GBR)

Individual Olympic Jumping gold medallist at Rio 2016 with the great horse Big Star, Nick Skelton began riding at the age of 18 months. In 1975 he took team silver and individual gold at the FEI European Jumping Championships for Juniors. At senior European level, he has won three gold, three silver and three bronze medals with the British team over a 26-year time period. In 1980 he competed in the Alternative Olympics in Rotterdam (NED) where he was a member of the British silver medal team. At the age of 54, Skelton was part of Britain’s gold medal team at the London 2012 Olympic Games and finally claimed individual gold in Rio, at his seventh Olympic Games.

Skelton broke his neck in September 2000 which could have ended his career, but after retiring in 2001 he recovered and began competing again in 2002. He has also had a hip replacement and two knee operations.

“I would like to thank the FEI for this most fabulous award,” he said. “I’ve had an incredible year and this award makes it even better. I would like to thank the team that is behind me and Big Star for all their hard work and patience.”

BEST GROOM – Mark Beever (GBR)

Nick Skelton’s loyal groom Mark Beever received multiple nominations (the most in this category) from other grooms, riders and the larger equestrian community. His loyalty and dedication to his boss is clearly evident as he’s worked for him for 31 years! Beever has groomed at numerous Championships and Olympic Games, and knows how to keep both horse and rider relaxed. His skill, knowledge and incredible work ethic means his horses always look outstanding, and he was instrumental in ensuring Big Star was fit and in prime condition for the Olympic Games in Rio. Beever is very well respected by his peers and his dedication to Big Star is beyond question, as he caters to his every need, ensuring the horse is happy and settled down before he looks after himself. Most importantly, Skelton has full confidence in Beever’s ability to care for his horses.

“I would just like to say thanks to everybody that voted for me,” he said. “It’s not just all about me. It’s a big team, a lot of hard work, but it all paid off in the end. Thank you to everybody and the FEI for doing this for me.”

FEI SOLIDARITY – Moroccan National Federation / SA Charif Moulay Abdellah Alaoui, President of the Royal Moroccan Federation for Equestrian Sports

The Moroccan Equestrian Federation were popular nominees in this category and even received full endorsement from the FEI Solidarity team at FEI Headquarters complimenting them on their proactive stance on development and their successes in 2016. They represent a concrete example of development in equestrian sport with all the necessary ingredients – development of the National Federation structures, Coach education, Athletes training, values, and particularly horse welfare. They have developed a state-of-the-art national training and competition centre – the Institut National du Cheval. They were hosts of the FEI World Jumping Challenge Final 2016, which was a tremendous success, and hailed as the best-ever Challenge Final, from both an organisational and sporting standpoint. This year they had their first-ever participation of a Moroccan athlete at the equestrian events of the Olympic Games when Abdelkebir Ouaddar competed at Rio 2016. The Federation has created solid foundations for the development of the sport and related employment in the sport in Morocco, as well as increasing awareness and promotion of the sport nationally and regionally. Education and knowledge transfer, and assistance to local breeders is also a priority.

“My Federation is very honoured to have received the FEI Solidarity award this evening,” Prince Moulay Abdellah Alaoui said. “Thank you very much; we are very touched and very humbled by the award we are receiving today.”

AGAINST ALL ODDS – Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA)

Multiple nominations were received for Rodolpho Riskalla, winner of the Against All Odds award. The 31-year-old competed for his home country of Brazil in Rio 2016, but in the Para-Equestrian Dressage events at the Paralympic Games and not in the Olympic Dressage events, which was his original plan. Riskalla contracted meningitis in 2015 which resulted in the loss of both his feet and most of his fingers. Nevertheless, barely out of hospital following life-saving amputations, he was back in the saddle with his sights set firmly on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with less than a year to achieve his new goal! He had to learn how to ride again using prosthetic legs and few fingers, and his determination, passion, resilience and dedication have made him a national hero. Riskalla pursued his dream of representing his country at his home Games despite what life threw at him and had to work tremendously hard to overcome adversity.

“To win the FEI Awards, it’s like the Oscars; it’s like being a superstar,” he said. “But also, to win Against All Odds represents exactly what happened to me this last year. Before this I never believed a human being could be so strong and adapt so quickly; it’s something that’s come from inside; it’s like the Olympic spirit. It’s something that is inside you and I am really proud to be a para dressage rider, a Paralympian and to be a representative of our discipline.”

FEI Awards 2016 hashtag:  #FEIAwards

FEI Media Contacts:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

FEI Equestrian Heroes of 2016 Shortlist Unveiled

Lausanne (SUI), 15 November 2016 – The shortlist for the FEI Awards 2016, the Oscars of the equestrian world, will be unveiled on Facebook and Twitter by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of equestrian sport, this week.

The FEI Awards, launched in 2009, put the spotlight on the men, women, young people and organisations that are making outstanding contributions to the development of equestrian sport. As we celebrate the elite performers and honour the excellence, commitment, dedication and courage of our athletes and their connections, stay tuned on the FEI social channels daily to check out the outstanding list of contenders.

Nominated hopefuls for the Longines™ Rising Star award, for a person aged between 14 and 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment, can already be seen here.

Follow closely as the remaining four FEI Awards 2016 categories are announced over rest of the week:

Best Groom – for that vital behind-the-scenes person who and ensures the horses they look after are given the best possible care.

FEI Solidarity – for an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, an individual or organisation that has shown skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport.

Against All Odds – for a person who has pursued his or her equestrian ambitions despite a physical impairment or extremely difficult personal circumstances.

Best Athlete – for the athlete that, over the past year, has demonstrated exceptional skill on the field of play and taken the sport to a new level.

The FEI Awards Gala 2016, presented by Longines, will be held at the Prince Park Tower Hotel in Tokyo (JPN). Joint-MCs for the evening’s celebrations will be Liz Price (GBR) and the Athens 2004 Olympic hammer champion Koji Murofushi (JPN), who is now Sports Director for Tokyo 2020. Over 350 guests representing National Federations, equestrian sport fans and the FEI’s partners from around the world will join in the party atmosphere as they celebrate the achievements of the 2016 FEI Awards winners.

FEI Awards 2016 hashtag: #feiawards

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

FEI Awards 2016: Last Chance to Nominate, Entries Close Sunday

2014 Longines Rising Star Award winner Lambert Leclezio from Mauritius, receiving his award from Juan Carlos Capellli, Longines Vice President, Head of International Marketing. Lambert was recently crowned 2016 senior male FEI World Vaulting Champion, in Le Mans, France (FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 14 September 2016 – With nominations for the FEI Awards 2016 closing on Sunday 18 September, there are just five days left for the global equestrian community to nominate their favourites for the categories of Rising Star, Best Athlete, Against All Odds, Best Groom and the Solidarity Award.

Everyone can nominate their heroes via the online platform at www.feiawards.org.

Award winners will be flown to the glittering FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Tokyo (JPN), in November, where their achievements will be celebrated by over 350 guests from the global equestrian community, representatives from the Tokyo 2020 and the FEI’s National Federations around the world.

“We’ve had a huge response to the Awards already this year showing how much equestrian has captured the imagination of fans across the globe, but keep those nominations coming in!” says FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez.

“Heroes, heroines, inspirational figures that never give up and make us think ‘wow’ are what the awards are here to celebrate, so get in touch and share with us who you deem should be recognised this year.”

There are five categories to vote in the FEI Awards 2016:

  • The Longines Rising Star Award is for a person aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment.
  • The Best Athlete Award celebrates the athlete who over the last 12 months has demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and has taken equestrian sport to a new level.
  • The Against All Odds Award acknowledges people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical issues or extremely difficult personal circumstances.
  • The Best Groom Award is dedicated to the vital behind-the-scenes team members who work 24/7 to ensure their horses get the best possible care and attention.
  • The FEI Solidarity Award is for an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, and individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport.

Nominations for the FEI Awards 2016 will close on Sunday 18 September.

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

FEI Awards 2016: Global Quest for Equestrian Heroes Begins

FEI Awards 2015 winners from left to right: Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli, Hollywood actress Bo Derek, Reem Acra Best Athlete Boyd Exell (AUS), Longines Rising Star Jessica Mendoza (GBR), Against All Odds Oriana Ricca Marmissolle (URU), Best Groom Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna (USA), FEI Solidarity Anne-Rose Schoen Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies (Horses that heal wounds) (HAI) and FEI President Ingmar de Vos. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Lausanne (SUI), 21 July 2016 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), world governing body of equestrian sport, has today launched the FEI Awards 2016. This officially marks the beginning of the 8 week nomination phase that will result in the winners being announced at the FEI Awards Gala Ceremony presented by Longines in Tokyo (JPN) on 22 November 2016.

Launched in 2009, the FEI Awards are an annual salute to excellence, determination, resolve, courage and dedication. In order to recognise and celebrate the exceptional individuals and organisations that make the equestrian community so unique, the FEI calls upon the public every year to nominate their heroes via the online platform at www.feiawards.org.

“We are a global sport but we are also a way of life and a community with a very strong set of values,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The FEI Awards honour everyone who make our sport happen and this has been shown time and time again in the thousands of nominations we have received since the FEI Awards were launched in 2009.

“This being an Olympic/Paralympic year, I am sure the performances and the dedication of so many individuals will add to the conversations around the heroes both in and out of the arena and I really look forward to discovering more inspirational stories that make our sport so unique. I encourage everyone to go to the website and nominate their heroes so that they can be recognised and celebrated by the global community.”

FEI Awards 2016 – five hotly-contested categories

The Longines Rising Star Award is for a person aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment. Jessica Mendoza (GBR), who won this award in 2015, has recently been announced as reserve rider for the British Jumping team heading to the Rio2016 Olympic Games! Former winners of this category also competing in Rio, include China’s Alex Hua Tian, described in the Chinese press as “one in a billion” following the 2008 Olympic Games.

Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing, noted: “For a number of years we have been strongly supporting young sportswomen and men active in the disciplines we are associated with, such as equestrian sports, alpine skiing and tennis. As we conceive our partnerships on a long term basis, we are keen to contribute to further to the development and outreach of the sports we are involved in. The Longines Rising Star award will be presented for the fourth time to a young talented equestrian athlete between 14 and 21 years. The recipient will succeed to the previous outstanding laureates: American rider Reed Kessler, Mauritian vaulter Lambert Leclezio and British rider Jessica Mendoza.”

The Best Athlete Award celebrates the athlete who over the last 12 months has demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and has taken equestrian sport to a new level. It was awarded to Australia’s Boyd Exell in 2015 for his unmatched track record in the sport of Driving, including Six World Championship titles alongside numerous FEI World Cup™ titles. Previous winners of this category heading to Rio2016 seeking to add more Olympic gold medals to their collection include defending champions Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Michael Jung (GER), and Dutch jumping legend Jeroen Dubbeldam, gold medallist from Sydney 2000.

The Against All Odds Award acknowledges people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical issues or extremely difficult personal circumstances. Last year this award went to Endurance athlete Oriana Ricca Marmissolle (URU) who following diagnosis and treatment for Phase III Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at just 17 years of age was back in the saddle within days of finishing chemotherapy treatment competing at events in Uruguay, France, Brazil and Chile. Former winners of this category include USA’s Sydney Collier and Germany’s highly experienced and multi medalled Angelika Trabert, both selected to compete at the Rio2016 Paralympic Games.

The Best Groom Award is dedicated to the vital behind-the-scenes team members who work 24/7 to ensure their horses get the best possible care and attention. Last year, Mexico’s Eddie Garcia Luna was celebrated for his dedication and commitment to Olympic rider Steffen Peters horses.

The FEI Solidarity Award – which in 2015 went to a tailor-made project in Haiti called “Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies” (Horses that heal wounds) providing therapeutic riding for over 250 children affected by the 2010 earthquake and in particular amputees.  The top athletes were then given the opportunity to train in Para-Equestrian sport. This award will be presented to an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding equestrian sport.

Nominations for the FEI Awards 2016 will close at midnight on 18 September 2016.

Glamorous Gala

The winners of the awards will be flown to the glittering FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Tokyo (JPN), where over 350 guests from the global equestrian community, including representatives from the Tokyo 2020 and the FEI’s National Federations around the world, will celebrate their triumphs.

Follow the FEI Awards 2016 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #feiawards

The FEI Awards, created by FEI Honorary President HRH Princess Haya, were launched in 2009. Full details on past winners are available here.

FEI Media Contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Glitz, Glamour and Greatness! Honouring Our Equestrian Heroes…

FEI Awards 2015 winners from left to right: Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli, Hollywood actress Bo Derek, Reem Acra Best Athlete Boyd Exell (AUS), Longines Rising Star Jessica Mendoza (GBR), Against All Odds Oriana Ricca Marmissolle (URU), Best Groom Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna (USA), FEI Solidarity Anne-Rose Schoen Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies (Horses that heal wounds) (HAI) and FEI President Ingmar de Vos. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

San Juan (PUR), 13 November 2015 – The five winners of the FEI Awards 2015, the “Oscars of the equestrian world,” were tonight presented with their awards by Hollywood actress Bo Derek, at a Longines sponsored glittering gala dinner in the Puerto Rican capital city of San Juan.

Saluting the heroes of today and tomorrow for their outstanding contribution to equestrian sport, the FEI Awards 2015 – in association with the FEI’s Top Partner Longines and international fashion designer Reem Acra – applauded what has been an amazing 2015 sporting year, honouring the pursuit of excellence and rising talent.

The five winners, recognised for their significant achievements and willingness to demonstrate their passion for developing equestrian sport, are:

Longines Rising Star – Jessica Mendoza (GBR)

Reem Acra Best Athlete – Boyd Exell (AUS)

Best Groom – Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna (USA)

Against All Odds – Oriana Ricca Marmissolle (URU)

FEI Solidarity – Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies (Horses that heal wounds) (HAI)

The equestrian stars flew in from around the globe for a spectacular evening of glitz and glamour in the presence of over 350 distinguished guests, including National Federation representatives, FEI partners, VIPs and international media. On stage with Bo Derek and no stranger to success himself, was Puerto Rican actor and celebrated radio host Braulio Castillo Jr who served as master of ceremonies.

“We are here tonight to honour and acknowledge the dedication, commitment and passion of our athletes and other equestrian heroes,” FEI President Ingmar de Vos said. “The FEI Awards recognise talent and excellence in all aspects of equestrian sport across the globe. We know that all tonight’s winners will continue to achieve distinction, whatever their involvement in our sport, and it is humbling to meet such incredible individuals, and celebrate their achievements.”

“It is a real honour to work so closely with the FEI Awards and to present these awards to such talented individuals, highlighting their contributions to the world of equestrian sport,” Chair of the Jury for the FEI Awards 2015 Bo Derek said. “I am really excited to share in celebrations endorsing the commitment, dedication and hard work of these incredible people and this amazing sport, developing well-rounded and confident individuals. We hope that tonight will raise the profile of the sport even higher and motivate others to strive to achieve their goals.”

“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the recipients of these prestigious awards, and particularly to Jessica Mendoza, winner of the Longines Rising Star Award,” Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli said. “Longines is proud to recognise the achievements of these up and coming athletes on the global stage, for their dedication and willingness to achieve. They are a true inspiration to the sport.”

“There is an abundance of talent across the many equestrian disciplines and certain athletes who stand out for their performance, longevity and continuous achievement. I am very proud to be associated with this prestigious award for Best Athlete,” FEI Partner Reem Acra said.

Find out more on the five winners:

Longines Rising Star – Jessica Mendoza

2015 heralded a meteoric rise for the 19 year old Jumping athlete from Great Britain. She has produced consistently strong international performances, with more 10 wins in the past year and represented Great Britain at the 2015 European Championships, making her the youngest British senior championship team member for nearly 40 years. She played a key role in Britain securing Olympic qualification at the Championships in Aachen (GER), where they finish fourth overall, narrowly missing a team medal.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone, I really wasn’t expecting this,” she said. “I’m so proud to be here tonight and receive the Longines Rising Star award. I am honoured to be amongst such great sporting talent. Thank you to the FEI for organising this awards ceremony and to Longines for the encouragement and acknowledgement of our hard work and efforts throughout the year.”

Reem Acra Best Athlete – Boyd Exell

Boyd Exell has been at the top of his game for many years. Four times World Driving Champion, he has also been crowned FEI World Cup™ Champion no fewer than six times: in 2008/2009, 2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2013/2014 and is the current FEI World Cup™ Driving Champion after winning in Bordeaux (FRA) this year. In the new 2015/2016 season, he has won seven out of nine competitions, finishing second in the other two, and is currently world number one in the FEI Driving Rankings.

In addition to being the most successful four-in-hand driver over such a long stretch of time, he was also a dedicated member on the FEI Driving Committee for four years as a member for two years (2010-2012) and Deputy Chair from 2012-2014.

Best Groom – Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna

Eddie Garcia Luna has been a vital part of US Dressage for almost a decade. Groom for Olympic rider Steffen Peters, he has become a mentor and sounding board for other staff and grooms. ‘Above and beyond’ is automatic for Eddie because he expects it from himself every day, 365 days a year. Well respected by his peers, his employers, Federation staff and officials on the field, he embodies all the qualities of a superb groom and is also a great representative of our sport.

“Eddie has been working for us for 10 years,” Steffen Peters said. “Since Eddie and I are huge football fans, we always make comparisons to a touchdown when his horses win a major international competition. Tonight Eddie has won the Superbowl of the FEI Grooms award. The best part is, everybody loves Eddie! My sincere congratulations my friend.”

Against All Odds – Oriana Ricca Marmissolle

Endurance athlete Oriana Ricca Marmissolle was diagnosed with Phase III Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, aged 17 and began extensive chemotherapy treatment in December 2013. Just eight days after her last chemotherapy session in May 2014 she was back competing. Not only has she gone on to compete in 11 Endurance events in Uruguay, France, Brazil and Chile, she continued her studies throughout her treatment and graduated from high school.   Now, aged 19, she is in her first year of university studying veterinary science.

“All things that happen to us teach us something,” Oriana wrote in March 2014. “Now I found its real sense. We all have feelings but sometimes we don’t know how to express them. I can say that the disease I suffered didn’t come to kill me but to teach me. Cancer taught me that I am the same person, with another understanding of life. We should speak less and say more.

“Because of cancer I began to take time to speak seriously, to say the truth, ask for forgiveness whenever I am wrong. The battle was not only mine, but of all those who motivated me by giving the best of themselves unselfishly like my family, my friends, trainers, riders and Officials. I can say that with support, with humbleness, compromise and respect one can reach the most important achievements.”

FEI Solidarity – Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies (Horses that heal wounds)

“From therapeutic riding to Para-equestrian” is the goal of Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies or Horses that heal wounds. This incredible initiative is aimed at children affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and in particular, amputees. The project, which is run in cooperation with the Department of Psychology at the University of Haiti, has over 250 participants, and the top 10 athletes will continue to train and compete in Para-equestrian sport. This award-winning project combines social and humanitarian efforts with a sporting goal.

FEI Awards 2015 hashtag: #FEIAwards

FEI Awards Judging Panel

Chaired by Bo Derek, the FEI Awards 2015 judging panel also included FEI President Ingmar De Vos; Carmen Barrera, Chair of FEI Regional Group V (South America); and Ulf Helgstrand, President of the Danish Equestrian Federation and Vice President of the European Equestrian Federation.

About Bo Derek

Raised in Southern California, Bo Derek took her first modelling job at the age of 15 with the hope of buying a new surfboard. She first entered the public consciousness with her breakout role in the hit film “10,” when her natural beauty and cornrow hairstyle started a global fashion craze. Bo Derek continues to work in film and television and supports several animal, conservation and aid organisations. See a full biography of Bo Derek here.

About FEI Awards

The FEI Awards, created by FEI Honorary President HRH Princess Haya, were launched in 2009. Full details on past winners are available here.

FEI Media Contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 787 506 145

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Shortlist Nominees Announced for FEI Awards 2015

Lausanne (SUI), 6 November 2015 – A total of 29 candidates have been shortlisted for the 2015 FEI Awards 2015, with the winners to be announced at a glittering gala dinner on the island of Puerto Rico on 13 November. The winners in five hotly contested categories will be presented with their awards by Hollywood actress Bo Derek, Chair of the Jury for this year’s FEI Awards.

The Puerto Rican capital, San Juan, will roll out the red carpet next week for the “Oscars of the Equestrian world”, when the FEI family will gather to honour the commitment, dedication and development of equestrian sport in 2015 at the grand finale to the FEI General Assembly.

Equestrian heroes, arriving from all corners of the globe, will attend the equestrian world’s biggest night of glitz and glamour when our stars will get the chance to shine in a different light at the FEI Awards 2015, sponsored by Longines. Over 350 guests, including National Federation representatives, equestrian sport fans and FEI partners will celebrate the achievements of the winners.

Nominees shortlisted for the five categories of the FEI Awards 2015 are:

Longines Rising Star – Dedicated to equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent:

Juan Matute Jr (ESP)
Bertram Allen (IRE)
Kelsey Russell (USA)
Phoebe Peters (GBR)
Jessica Mendoza (GBR)
Gina Schumacher (GER)

Reem Acra Best Athlete – Athletes who have demonstrated exceptional equestrian skills and have taken the sport to a new level over the last 12 months:

Boyd Exell (AUS)
Jaques Ferrari (FRA)
William Fox Pitt (GBR)
Ingrid Klimke (GER)
Charlotte Dujardin (GBR)
Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED)

Best Groom – This award is reserved for those all-important, behind-the-scenes team members who work around the clock to ensure that our equine athletes get the best possible care and attention:

Alan Davies (GBR)
Jennifer Arnsten (USA)
Marlen Schannwell (IRE)
Zoltan Herczeg (GER)
Imogen Mercer (GBR)
Jose Eduardo Garcia Luna (“Eddie”) (USA)

Against All Odds – For those who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances:

Gerado Tazzer (MEX)
Oriana Ricci Mannisille (URU)
Pepo Puch (AUT)
Ben Hobday (GBR)
Celine van Till (SUI)
Rixt van der Horst (NED)

FEI Solidarity – An equestrian development project, an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill and energy in expanding equestrian sport:

Ready, Set, Trot (AUS)
First ever pilot course for Grooms (HAI)
Les Chevaux qui pensent les plaies (HAI)
Youth Summer Camp (BUL)

FEI Awards 2015 hashtag: #FEIAwards

About Bo Derek

Raised in Southern California, Bo Derek took her first modeling job at the age of 15 with the hope of buying a new surfboard. She first entered the public consciousness with her breakout role in the hit film “10”, when her natural beauty and cornrow hairstyle started a global fashion craze. Bo Derek continues to work in film and television and supports several animal, conservation and aid organisations – full biography: http://officialboderek.com.

About FEI Awards

The FEI Awards, created by FEI Honorary President HRH Princess Haya, were launched in 2009 to reward excellence, commitment, dedication and courage. The shortlist for the FEI Awards 2015 has been made following nominations from the public. Full information on the FEI Awards 2015 and past winners are available here.

About FEI Awards 2015 judging panel & process

The FEI Awards 2015 judging panel, chaired by Bo Derek, also includes FEI President Ingmar De Vos; Carmen Barrera, Chair of FEI Regional Group V (South America); and Ulf Helgstrand, President of the Danish Equestrian Federation and Vice President of the European Equestrian Federation. More information on the judging panel: www.feiawards.org/judges.

FEI Media Contacts:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 787 506 145