Tag Archives: FEI Awards

FEI Awards 2015: Quest for Global Equestrian Heroes Begins

(Left to right): Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), Melissa Tan (SIN) chairman of equine therapy centre Equal Ark, Jackie Potts (GBR), Lambert Leclezio (MRI) with (centre) Sydney Collier (USA) and her service dog Journey. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Lausanne (SUI), 3 July 2015 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), world governing body of equestrian sport, has today launched the FEI Awards 2015 to celebrate the world’s exceptional equestrians.

The annual salute to excellence, courage, commitment and dedication starts today with nominations open at www.feiawards.org.

“Our sport is unique and extraordinary,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “Our athletes and everyone working in the equestrian community have amazing track records of success, incredible personalities and fascinating back stories. Time and time again as spectators and on television we see sensational victories, but there is so much more to our sport than meets the eye.

“These awards honour everyone who makes our sport happen, highlighting the true value of horse sport and its contribution to our global society. HRH Princess Haya created these important awards and I am proud to continue this tradition, which is now part of our community.”

FEI Awards 2015 – five hotly-contested categories

The Longines Rising Star Award – won last year by Lambert Leclezio, who at just 17 became the first athlete to represent Mauritius at a World Championship when he stepped into the Vaulting arena at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 – is for equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

The Reem Acra Best Athlete – awarded to Dutch jumping legend Jeroen Dubbeldam, who scored individual and team gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian™ Games 2014 and helped the Netherlands clinch the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final just weeks later – 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. Last year this award went to Para-Equestrian Dressage athlete Sydney Collier (USA) with her service dog Journey. Collier, also named 2014 Junior Equestrian of the Year by the United States Equestrian Federation, has relentlessly pursued her dreams while dealing with the rare Wyburn Mason syndrome and is now aiming to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The Best Groom Award – won last year by Jackie Potts (GBR) who has spent over 20 years as groom and right-hand woman in the stables of world Eventing number one William Fox-Pitt (GBR) – 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 – which went to equine therapy centre Equal Ark (SIN) last year – 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 2015 will close at midnight on 28 August 2015.

Glamorous Gala

The winners of the awards will be flown to the glittering FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan, where over 350 guests from the global equestrian community, including representatives from the FEI’s National Federations around the world, will celebrate their triumphs.

Follow the FEI Awards 2015 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:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Equestrian Heroes Celebrated at FEI Awards Gala 2014

Equestrian heroes were celebrated tonight at the glittering FEI Awards 2014, the “Oscars of the equestrian world”, presented by Longines in Baku’s fabulous Buta Palace (left to right): HRH Princess Haya, Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), Melissa Tan (SIN) chairman of equine therapy centre Equal Ark, Jackie Potts (GBR), Lambert Leclezio (MRI) with (centre) Sydney Collier (USA) and her service dog Journey. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

FEI Awards 2014 Ceremony, Baku (AZE), 14 December 2014 – Equestrian heroes – and a very special dog – were celebrated tonight at the FEI Awards Gala 2014 presented by Longines.

The five winners of the “Oscars of the equestrian world” 2014 were presented with their awards by outgoing FEI President HRH Princess Haya on her final day as FEI President at a dazzling ceremony in Baku’s fabulous Buta Palace.

The winners, who have made outstanding contributions to the growth of equestrian sport in 2014, are:

  • Reem Acra Best Athlete Award: World Jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED)
  • Longines Rising Star Award: Vaulter Lambert Leclezio (MRI)
  • Best Groom Award: Jackie Potts (GBR), groom to Eventing world number one William Fox-Pitt (GBR)
  • FEI Solidarity: Equine therapy centre Equal Ark (SIN)
  • Against All Odds: Para-Equestrian Dressage athlete Sydney Collier (USA) with her service dog Journey

The equestrian heroes donned tuxedos and gowns for the gala dinner, which was attended by almost 350 guests from National Federations, partners, VIPs and international media.

Azerbaijani TV presenter Leyla Aliyeva and retiring FEI Endurance Director Ian Williams were Masters of Ceremony for the evening.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II also became the first recipient of the FEI Lifetime Achievement award last month as part of this prestigious FEI Awards scheme in recognition of her leading role as supporter of equestrian sport throughout her reign as British monarch. She was presented with the award at Buckingham Palace by HRH Princess Haya.

HRH Princess Haya was herself celebrated in a special presentation tonight in acknowledgement of her outstanding commitment to equestrian sport and to the FEI, during her eight year term in office as FEI President.

“It is a great honour for me to be here tonight on my first official duty as FEI President,” newly elected FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “There have been a number of awards tonight, but there is someone here, a very special person, who deserves to be recognised and celebrated. Your Royal Highness, it is now my turn to surprise you with your very own special award. I hope you will wear it with pride and think of your FEI Family,” as he presented her with a beautiful diamond brooch.

“You have had a lasting effect on every single person in this room, on the organisation, on the FEI Family and on the sport globally. You have led us to new frontiers. You had a vision and you took us on an incredible journey. Thank you once again for everything!”

HRH Princess Haya was joined on stage by her brother HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, FIFA Vice President: “There is one question she always asks when she meets someone that she looks up to, but it’s a question she has never actually asked me. She asks, ‘If there is someone in the past you would like to see something you have done, and they would be proud of you, who is it?’ I would say tonight that I would love our late father and late mother to come back and see you right now. They would be so proud of you.” Brother and sister joined hands as they watched a moving video of the key moments of Princess Haya’s family life, her sporting career and love of horses, and her eight years as FEI President.

FEI Awards 2014 winners – biographies and reactions:

Reem Acra Best Athlete Award: Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED)

With an impressive track record including individual gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games during a career spanning 25 years, Jeroen Dubbeldam has had an exceptional 2014, scoring individual and team gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian™ Games 2014 and helping the Netherlands clinch the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final just weeks later.

“I’m very honoured to receive the Reem Acra Best Athlete Award,” said Jeroen Dubbeldam. “I’m very proud of it! Looking back at 2014 I am full of pride for my horse, Zenith SFN, and the way he competed, as this was the first year at this top level, filling in the gap of my former horse, Utascha SFN that was sold.”

International fashion designer Reem Acra flew in specially for tonight’s gala dinner to present the Best Athlete Award to Jeroen Dubbeldam. “It is an honour to have again been asked to present the FEI’s Best Athlete Award,” she said. “Since I started participating in the FEI World Cup Dressage series, I have come to appreciate even more the incredible level of talent required to reach the top in equestrian sport. Every recipient of this award has spent countless hours creating the amazing harmony between humans and horse that is so beautiful to watch.”

Longines Rising Star Award: Lambert Leclezio (MRI)

At just 17 years of age, Lambert Leclezio became the first athlete to represent Mauritius at World Championship level when he stepped into the Vaulting arena at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA). An impressive sixth place finish in the individual category was the culmination of years of dedication to his sport. Coming from a country with limited training facilities and Vaulting horses, Lambert received support through the FEI’s global sport development programme, FEI Solidarity, to qualify for the 2014 Games by training and competing in Europe. Training on a former racehorse in Mauritius, Lambert continues to practice and compete throughout the year, both in his home country and Europe, while completing his studies in Mauritius.

“Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me,” Lambert Leclezio said. “It’s a great honour to receive the Longines Rising Star Award. I made lots of sacrifices to get here, and so did everyone who has been helping me. I would like to say a special thanks to the FEI for organising this beautiful ceremony for the equestrian family, and for the huge help from FEI Solidarity, which allowed me to compete at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy and made my dream come true. I’m very happy for all that has happened to me in 2014.”

“Supporting the up-and-coming athletes in the sports Longines is involved in has been a high priority for the brand for the past few years,” said Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice-President and Head of International Marketing.

“These young talents are the future of their discipline and will be part of the development and influence of the sport across the globe. To encourage these promising sportsmen and women to reach their full potential and fulfil their dreams is one of the most rewarding efforts a brand can make and we are very proud of that.”

Best Groom Award: Jackie Potts (GBR)

After spending the last 22 years as groom and right-hand woman in the stables of world eventing number one William Fox-Pitt (GBR), Jackie Potts is one of the most well respected grooms on the circuit. She has groomed at four Olympic Games, four FEI World Equestrian Games™ and eight European Championships, on top of countless three-day events around the world. Jackie is the consummate professional, managing all aspects of Fox-Pitt’s yard and horses from training to veterinary care. Her extensive knowledge of horse management and training means her advice is often sought by other grooms as well as Team GBR.

“It is so exciting and an absolute privilege to be here to receive this award tonight,” Jackie Potts said. “I feel like I am accepting this award on behalf of all other grooms, who are so hardworking and equally deserving.”

“It is a hugely deserved and very prestigious award,” William Fox-Pitt said by video message. “Jackie has a profound empathy with horses, and horses love her. She is fantastic at motivating her team, and is generous in the sharing of her knowledge and expertise.

“There are few grooms in the world that rival her experience, and her dedication is proven by her 22 years as my yard manager. After all she has achieved in her profession, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see her being rewarded tonight.”

Against All Odds: Sydney Collier (USA) with Journey

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sydney Collier was diagnosed with the rare Wyburn Mason syndrome at the age of seven. The disease has meant that she has been faced with significant obstacles, but these have not prevented her from reaching her goals. The 17-year-old has undergone a series of operations, including three brain surgeries, is blind in one eye, and a stroke at the age of 11 led to paralysis on her left side.

Despite these challenges, she has pursued her dreams relentlessly, and after competing at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 this summer, is determined to continue training and represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. In between training in New York, 10 hours away from her family and friends, she also volunteers once a week to speak, motivate and encourage young people of her age who do not have the same motivation and family support that she does.

Sydney Collier was also recently announced 2014 Junior Equestrian of the Year by the United States Equestrian Federation.

Journey, the star service dog in Baku

Sydney’s service dog, the white standard poodle Journey, who became famous during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy for being the first dog to get accreditation for a World Championship, created a buzz again tonight when he arrived on stage at the Buta Palace in Baku, complete with bow tie. After travelling over 9,000 kilometres from New York, Journey took to the stage to receive his own FEI Award, a personalised dog bowl.

“Winning the FEI Against All Odds Award means so much to me as an individual, and as an athlete,” Sydney Collier said. “Life has routinely thrown speed bumps and curves on my plans, but my passion for horses and their incredible spirit has repeatedly helped me find a way around obstacles that others might have seen as insurmountable.

“In winning this award I now have the incredible opportunity to share with so many others facing similar circumstances that their goals do not ever have to be put aside. The world out there is filled with wonderful opportunities as long as you are willing to push yourself to reach them. I would like to thank the FEI for creating this award to help continue to inspire every athlete, regardless of challenging circumstances, to strive to be their best every day in and out of the saddle. And to my family and my trainer Wes Dunham who have been beside me every step of the way. I wouldn’t be standing here today without each one of you supporting and cheering me on through thick and thin.

“It means even more to me to have my special service dog Journey by my side to accept this award. When Journey was granted his credentials at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games a world of opportunity and education was opened. Together Journey and I are now able to share with others the special working relationship and independence that service animals grant their handlers. The icing on the cake? Journey loves horses as much as I do!”

FEI Solidarity: Equal Ark (SIN)

Launched in 2011, the Singapore-based Equal Ark (Equine-Assisted Learning for At Risk Kids) is a programme of horsemanship lessons for children experiencing a range of difficulties at home and at school. The initiative has already helped 800 children who have failed or dropped out of school at an early age. Equal Ark provides children with a greater chance of success in their school, work and family lives while developing a love for horses. Equal Ark will enroll 400 students annually from 2015, and is aiming to double this from 2017.

“Recognition from a prestigious international organization now puts EQUAL and our island of Singapore firmly on the global equestrian map,” chairman of Equal Ark, Melissa Tan, said. “The FEI Award allows us to recognise and acknowledge our appreciation to the team of volunteers and staff who have contributed to its success.

“This award affirms and cements our dedication to reach out to even more children whose lives can be inspired by the beauty and magnificence of our treasured equine partners.”

FEI Awards 2014 hashtag: #FEIAwards

FEI Awards

The FEI Awards were launched in 2009 to reward excellence, commitment, dedication and courage. See www.feiawards.org.

The FEI Awards 2014 judging panel, chaired by outgoing FEI President HRH Princess Haya, included Mary Binks, FEI Bureau Member and Chairman of FEI Group IX; George Dimaras, Executive Board Member of the Hellenic Equestrian Federation; and Betty Wates, President of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica. See www.feiawards.org/judges.

FEI Media Contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Denise Devillaire
Manager Press Relations
Denise.devillaire@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 57

And the Nominees for the FEI Awards 2014 Are…

Lausanne (SUI), 21 November 2014 – Equestrian heroes will soon be ditching their breeches and boots to don tuxedos, ball gowns and high heels for a glittering competition of another kind. They will fly to Baku (AZE) to be whisked onto the red carpet of the FEI Awards on 14 December. The “Oscars of the equestrian world” have been organised by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of equestrian sport, since 2009.

Eighteen candidates have been shortlisted for this year’s awards, and one from each of five categories will be selected as the winners by a jury of international experts chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya.

The winners – individuals and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to the growth of equestrian sport in 2014 – will be announced at a gala evening in Baku’s stunning Buta Palace, where 350 guests representing the FEI’s 132 National Federations, enthusiasts and stakeholders will celebrate their achievements.

Longines Rising Star – Dedicated to equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent:
Irma Karlsson (SWE)
Lambert Leclezio (MRI)
David Ziegler (CAN)

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)
Daniel Deusser (GER)
Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED)
Joanne Eccles (GBR)

Best Groom – This award is reserved for those all-important, behind-the-scenes team members who work around the clock to ensure that horses get the best possible care and attention:
Alan Davies (GBR)
Jackie Potts (GBR)
Jessica Benbow (GBR)

Against All Odds – People who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances:
Roxanne Trunnell (USA)
Sofie Lexner (SWE)
Sudipti Hajela (IND)
Sydney Collier (USA)

FEI Solidarity – An equestrian development project, or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill and energy in expanding equestrian sport:
Andrjey Malcievsky (RUS)
Equal Ark (SIN)
Southern Hills Eventing Inc. (AUS)
Yuriy Chertkov (UKR)

“Supporting the up-and-coming athletes in the sports Longines is involved in has been a high priority for the brand for the past few years,” said Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice-President and Head of International Marketing. “These young talents are the future of their discipline and will be part of the development and influence of the sport across the globe.

“To encourage these promising sportsmen and women to reach their full potential and fulfill their dreams is one of the most rewarding efforts a brand can make and we are very proud of that. Along with the Longines Rising Star prize, which rewards the most promising athlete between 14 and 21 years in any FEI discipline, Longines organises a tennis tournament for children in the frame of the French Open at Roland-Garros and a race of young jockeys during the Prix de Diane Longines. In alpine skiing, we support young talents with the prize Longines Rising Ski Stars, as well as the Longines Future Ski Champions, a race held in the exact same conditions as the World Cup.”

“After another season of top level sport I am thrilled to announce the shortlist for the Reem Acra Best Athlete Award for 2014: Jeroen Dubbeldam (Jumping), Daniel Deusser (Jumping), Boyd Exell (Driving) and Joanne Eccles (Vaulting). The competition was intense but these riders have all risen above their peers. I cannot wait to see who will make the final jump to the number one position this year,” said international fashion designer Reem Acra, title sponsor of the Western European League and Final of the prestigious FEI World Cup™ Dressage series.

The FEI Awards were launched in 2009 to reward excellence, commitment, dedication and courage. The shortlist for the FEI Awards 2014 has been made following nominations from the public. For full information on the FEI Awards 2014 and past winners, visit: www.feiawards.org.

FEI Awards 2014 judging panel & process

The FEI Awards 2014 judging panel, chaired by FEI President Princess Haya, also includes Mary Binks, FEI Bureau Member and Chairman of FEI Group IX; George Dimaras, Executive Board Member of the Hellenic Equestrian Federation; and Betty Wates, President of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica. More information on the judging panel: www.feiawards.org/judges.

FEI Awards 2014 hashtag: #feiawards

FEI Awards 2013 images: available on Flikr.

FEI Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Denise Devillaire
Manager Press Relations
Denise.devillaire@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 57

Equestrian Heroes Shortlist for FEI Awards 2014 Announced

Charlotte Dujardin, the double Olympic gold medallist and world Dressage number one, is pictured at the FEI Awards 2013 ceremony in Lausanne (SUI), where she collected her Reem Acra Best Athlete award dressed in a stunning Reem Acra creation. (FEI/Anthony Demierre)

Lausanne (SUI), 17 November 2014 – The shortlist for the FEI Awards 2014, the Oscars of the equestrian world, will be revealed on Facebook and Twitter by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of equestrian sport, starting today.

The annual awards, launched in 2009, put the spotlight on the men, women, young people and organisations that make outstanding contributions to the growth of equestrian sport, rewarding excellence, commitment, dedication and courage.

Candidates for the Reem Acra Best Athlete category, for athletes who have demonstrated exceptional equestrian skills, and over the last 12 months have taken the sport to a new level, will be unveiled today.

Charlotte Dujardin (GBR), the double Olympic gold medallist and current world Dressage number one, collected this award last year dressed in a stunning creation by fashion designer Reem Acra, title sponsor of the Western European League and Final of the prestigious FEI World Cup™ Dressage series. She sent a special message to this year’s hopefuls:

“Winning the Reem Acra Best Athlete award was an absolute privilege, and the ceremony inspired all of us to celebrate equestrian sports with a global audience. I wish everyone nominated this year the very best of luck for these awards, which will continue to inspire young people for generations to come to take up equestrian sport.”

The shortlisted candidates for the remaining four FEI Awards 2014 categories will be revealed daily this week as follows:

Tuesday, 18 November: Against All Odds Award

Rewards people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.

Wednesday, 19 November: FEI Solidarity Award

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.

Thursday, 20 November: Best Groom Award

Reserved for those all-important, behind-the-scenes team members who work around the clock to ensure that their horses get the best possible care and attention.

Friday, 21 November: Longines Rising Star Award

The category is dedicated to equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent. This award counts past winners Reed Kessler (USA), the youngest equestrian athlete to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Alex Hua Tian, who was celebrated in Chinese media as the “one in 1.3 billion” in the lead-up the 2008 Olympic Games where he became China’s first Eventing athlete.

Full information on the equestrian heroes of 2014, which include athletes and key personalities, will also be available on www.feiawards.org.

The winners of the FEI Awards 2014 will be flown to a red-carpet gala evening in Baku, Azerbaijan in December, where over 350 guests representing National Federations, equestrian sport fans and the FEI’s partners around the world will celebrate their achievements.

FEI President HRH Princess Haya is the chair of the FEI Awards 2014 judging panel, which also includes Mary Binks, FEI Bureau Member and Chairman of FEI Group IX (Botswana, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe); George Dimaras, Executive Board Member of the Hellenic Equestrian Federation; and Betty Wates, President of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica.

FEI Awards 2014 hashtag: #feiawards

FEI Awards 2013 images: available on Flikr.

FEI Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Denise Devillaire
Manager Press Relations
Denise.devillaire@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 57

Nominate Tomorrow’s Heroes for FEI Awards 2014

The Longines Rising Star Award 2013 went to Reed Kessler (USA). Nominations for the FEI Awards 2014 are open until 9 September at www.feiawards.org (©FEI/Anthony Demierre)

Lausanne (SUI), 29 July 2014 – The hunt for heroes continues, with nominations for the FEI Awards 2014 – the Oscars of the equestrian world – open for another six weeks until 9 September.

Commitment, dedication and courage are just some of the qualities rewarded in the five categories in the FEI’s annual global search for excellence in equestrian sport.

The Longines Rising Star Award rolls out the red carpet for the stars of tomorrow. The category is dedicated to equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent.

Alex Hua Tian, China’s first Eventing rider to compete at Olympic level was the first Rising Star Award winner when the FEI Awards were launched in 2009. It’s a moment he remembers fondly.

“I was so proud and humbled to be awarded the inaugural Rising Star Award,” he said. “It inspired me to go professional, to continue to strive to improve both as a horseman and a trainer, and to promote this amazing sport to other young riders in China and UK, where I am based for training and competing.” The 24 yr. old, who recently became patron for World Horse Welfare, was described in the Chinese media as “one in 1.3 billion” in the lead-up the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

“I would encourage everyone to step forward and nominate a person or organisation that has really impressed them. I am sure that they would be thrilled to receive a nomination, and be spurred on by the global recognition of their efforts,” commented Hua Tian, who is currently preparing for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (23 August – 7 September) in France.

Last year, the Longines Rising Star Award went to Reed Kessler (USA), the youngest equestrian athlete to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The rider, who shared the 2012 USEF National Jumping title with the legendary Olympian Margie Engle, swapped her boots and jodhpurs for a pair of high heels and a stunning dress to receive her award at the glittering FEI Awards 2013 gala evening in Montreux, Switzerland.

“We are conscious that young athletes represent the future of sport and we wish to support them along this path,” said Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice-President and Head of International Marketing of Longines, who welcomed guests to the FEI Awards Gala 2013.

Nominations are also open for the other four categories in the FEI Awards 2014:

Reem Acra Best Athlete Award – Celebrates the human or equine athlete – or the combination – who over the last 12 months have demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and have taken equestrian sport to a new level.

Against All Odds Award – Rewards people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.

Best Groom Award – Reserved for those all-important behind-the-scenes team members who work around the clock to ensure that their horses get the best possible care and attention.

FEI Solidarity Award – 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 can be made until midnight on 9 September at www.feiawards.org. A jury of international experts chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya will select the award winners, who will be flown to Baku, Azerbaijan in December. The FEI Awards will be presented at a glamorous gala evening with over 350 guests, including representatives of the 132 National Federations from around the world.

Images of last year’s FEI Awards winners can be downloaded from Flikr.

The signature Twitter hashtag for the FEI Awards 2014 is #feiawards.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Denise Devillaire
Manager Press Relations
denise.devillaire@fei.org
+41 787 750 6157

FEI Awards 2014 Opens Search for Global Equestrian Heroes

Five equestrian heroes received honours at the FEI Awards 2013, presented by Longines (left to right): Carmen Thiemann (GER) – Best Groom; Colonel Nuñez (URU), director of the National Army Riding School “Grito de Asencio” – Development; Joann Formosa (AUS) – Against All Odds; Reed Kessler (USA) – Longines Rising Star; Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) – Reem Acra Best Athlete. (FEI/Edouard Curchod)

Lausanne (SUI), 17 June 2014 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of equestrian sport, has today launched the FEI Awards 2014, the annual global search to reward excellence, commitment, dedication and courage within the equestrian community.

Nominations are now open and submissions can be made until midnight on 9 September at www.feiawards.org for five categories.

The Longines Rising Star Award, won last year by Reed Kessler (USA), the youngest equestrian athlete to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is for equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

The Reem Acra Best Athlete, awarded to double Olympic gold medallist and current world Dressage number one Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) in 2013, celebrates the human or equine athlete – or the combination – who over the last 12 months have demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and have taken equestrian sport to a new level.

The Against All Odds award, which went to Australian gold medal winning London 2012 Paralympic athlete Joann Formosa last year, rewards people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.

The Best Groom award, won last year by Carmen Thiemann (GER) who manages Olympic Eventing team gold medallist Ingrid Klimke’s yard, is reserved for those all-important behind-the-scenes team members who work around the clock to ensure that their horses get the best possible care and attention.

The FEI Solidarity award completes the FEI Awards 2014 category line-up, and 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.

Red-carpet awards ceremony

The winners of the FEI Awards 2014 will be flown to a red-carpet gala evening in Baku, Azerbaijan in December, where over 350 guests representing National Federations, enthusiasts and stakeholders from around the world will celebrate their achievements.

“The FEI Awards are all about celebrating the heroes and inspirational figures behind the scenes that make our sport the wonderful community that it is,” explained FEI President HRH Princess Haya.

“Given the special year that we have before us, I urge all National Federations, athletes, fans of equestrianism and everyone working in the sport to take the time to nominate the individuals that have made an impression on them and deserve to be acknowledged far beyond the equestrian world.”

FEI President HRH Princess Haya will chair the FEI Awards 2014 judging panel, which also includes Mary Binks, FEI Bureau Member and Chairman of FEI Group IX (Botswana, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe); George Dimaras, Executive Board Member of the Hellenic Equestrian Federation; and Betty Wates, President of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica.

The signature Twitter hashtag for the FEI Awards 2014 is #feiawards.

Images of last year’s FEI Awards winners can be downloaded from Flikr.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

FEI Announces Distinguished Panel of Judges for FEI Awards 2013

Lausanne (SUI), 29 July 2013 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of equestrian sport, is pleased to announce the names of the judges of the FEI Awards 2013.

When nominations for the Longines Rising Star, Reem Acra Best Athlete, Development, Against All Odds and Best Groom Awards close on 31 July, the judging panel, chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya, will be composed of:

  • Dr Melanie Chew, President of the Equestrian Federation of Singapore
  • Chrystine Jones Tauber, President of the United States Equestrian Federation
  • Breido Graf zu Rantzau, President of the German Equestrian Federation

About the judges

Melanie Chew, President of the Equestrian Federation of Singapore

Dr Melanie Chew has led Singaporean equestrian sport through a period of rapid growth and restructuring. The Southeast Asian island city-state now counts more than a thousand horse enthusiasts, who are enrolled in the Olympic disciplines, as well as rehabilitation, development and vocational programmes based in the six-hectare National Equestrian Park. Singapore’s active Riders’ League is topped by a medal-winning Paralympic Team, captained by FEI Solidarity Ambassador and Paralympic medallist Laurentia Tan.

Dr Chew was Singapore’s first lady polo player, who took to the field in the Singapore Team against the present Sultan of Johore. She competed in Jumping, Dressage and Eventing as a Young Rider.  Now, she owns Jumping and Dressage horses and spends a lot of time travelling around the world to attend conferences, seminars and competitions to further her knowledge of horses. As President of the Singapore NF, Dr Chew leads Team Singapore to competitions in Korea, India, Australia, Europe and the Americas. She was a founding member of the FEI Solidarity Committee in 2011 and is an active member of the Asian Equestrian Federation. A noted author and historian, Dr Chew has more than 14 publications to her name.

Chrystine Jones Tauber, President of the United States Equestrian Federation

Chrystine Jones Tauber took on the role of President of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in January of this year, following her unanimous election in August 2012. She has been active in most aspects of horse sports, notably as a U.S. Jumping team rider, judge, trainer and course designer, as well as holding roles in marketing and management. Tauber rode on U.S. Jumping teams from 1965 to 1968, winning the Grand Prix of Cologne and the President’s Cup in Washington, D.C. and finishing in second place in the Grand Prix of Lucerne. She was a member numerous winning FEI Nations Cup teams.

Tauber served as Director of Show Jumping at the USET and managed all the Olympic Disciplines at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, the 1983 and 1987 Pan Am Games, as well as the FEI World Championships and European tours. Subsequent positions included Executive Director of the American Horse Shows Association and the National Horse Show in New York. More recently, she served as Secretary of the USEF and Vice-President of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association.

Breido Graf zu Rantzau, President of the German Equestrian Federation

Breido Graf zu Rantzau became President of the German National Federation in 2005. He has a strong connection to horse breeding and to equestrian sport. In 2005/2006, he volunteered as a member of the FEI Medication Task Force.

Graf zu Rantzau grew up with horses and successfully competed, first in Dressage and then in Jumping. As a young rider, he won the bronze medal in the German Juniors Dressage Championships and, in 1967, he was gold medallist in the European Juniors Jumping Championships. In 1985, he came fifth in the famous Hamburg Derby. He continued to regularly compete in Jumping classes until a few years ago.

The German NF President is a committed breeder of Holsteiner horses and chaired the Holsteiner studbook between 1986 and 2007. From 1989 to 2005, he was member of the German NF’s Breeding Board. From 1999 to 2005, he was also Vice-President and representative of the German studbooks at the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH).

Graf zu Rantzau runs his own yard in the north of Germany. Besides his commitment to breeding and competition sport, he strongly values the basic work carried out in local clubs.

The winners of the FEI Awards 2013 will be contacted in September. They will be invited to receive their Awards at a ceremony in Montreux (SUI), in the presence of representatives of the 132 Member Federations of the FEI.

For more information and to make nominations, please visit: www.feiawards.org.

Media contact:

Marianne Burkhardt
Corporate Communications Manager
Marianne.burkhardt@fei.org
+41 21 544 10 45
+41 78 750 61 50

FEI Awards Ceremony to Be Jazzed Up at Legendary Music Venue

Lausanne (SUI), 17 July 2013 – The equestrian world will follow in the footsteps of the world’s greatest musicians when it celebrates the winners of the FEI Awards at a new-format ceremony in Montreux, Switzerland on 7 November.

The Montreux Casino (now the Casino Barrière Montreux), the venue of the FEI Awards ceremony, hosted the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival from the late 1960s to 1993. It also housed Mountain Studios, the recording facility the British band Queen liked so much that they bought it and whose clientele included Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones.

The FEI, the world governing body of horse sport, set up its five-category awards in 2009 to reward outstanding individuals from the global equestrian community.

The winners of the FEI’s Longines Rising Star, Reem Acra Best Athlete, Development, Best Groom and Against All Odds awards will be photographed by Edouard Curchod, a local photographer who has immortalised most of the artists who have performed on the main stages of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Curchod’s photos grace DVDs of musicians as diverse as Miles Davis and Simply Red.

Rock band Deep Purple wrote “Smoke on the Water”, their biggest worldwide hit, about an incident that occurred at a Frank Zappa concert at the Montreux Casino in 1971. The song tells of how a fan fired a flare gun, which set the casino ceiling on fire, causing the show to stop, the hall to be evacuated and led to the destruction of the entire venue. The casino was rebuilt and opened its doors again in 1975.

The Montreux Jazz Festival began in 1967 as a three-day event to entertain international delegates of the Rose d’Or, the Golden Rose Festival of Television. It quickly morphed into a two-week event with a line-up of legends from all musical genres. Prince and Sting are among the many performers at this year’s festival, which ends on 20 July. The festival has since 1994 taken place at the Montreux Music & Convention Centre (2m2c), where the FEI General Assembly 2013 will be held.

Representatives of the FEI’s 132 Member Federations will be among the guests of the FEI Awards ceremony that will end the General Assembly.

Nominations for the FEI Awards 2013 close on 31 July. For further information and to make nominations, please visit www.feiawards.org.

Media contact:

Marianne Burkhardt
Corporate Communications Manager
Marianne.burkhardt@fei.org
+41 21 544 10 45
+41 78 750 61 50

FEI Awards Winners 2012 Celebrated in Istanbul

King-Dye Honored with Against All Odds Award

Courtney King-Dye at the FEI Awards 2012 (Photo courtesy FEI)

Istanbul, TUR – The equestrian world celebrated its heroes tonight at a glittering gala evening in Istanbul, Turkey.

HRH Princess Haya, President of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of horse sport, congratulated the winners of the FEI Awards 2012. Addressing an audience of more than 300 guests, including representatives of the FEI’s 132 member federations, FEI sponsors and Turkish VIPs, the FEI President said:

“The FEI Awards were launched in 2009 to show the world what extraordinary people there are in the equestrian community and to reward them with public recognition of their work. This year’s winners have demonstrated talent, commitment, generosity and courage and we are extremely proud of them.”

Continue reading FEI Awards Winners 2012 Celebrated in Istanbul

FEI Announces Judges of FEI Awards 2012 on Closing Day of Nominations

Lausanne (SUI), 31 July 2012 – On the last day of nominations for the FEI Awards 2012, the FEI is pleased to announce the names of the three National Federation representatives who will compose the judging panel of this year’s hunt for equestrian heroes.

Rosana Maria Roig, Director and Secretary General of the Puerto Rico Equestrian Federation, Ronald Gaerty, President of the Malta Equestrian Federation, and Zhichen Pan, President of the Chinese Equestrian Association, will decide the winners in the five FEI Awards categories. The judging panel will be chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya for the fourth consecutive year.

Rosana Maria Roig is an expert in communications, crisis management and public affairs and runs a public relations firm. She has four children and became involved in the equestrian world in 1990 when her son Francis started riding. Her interest in the local development of the sport led her to serve as Director and Secretary of the Puerto Rico Equestrian Center from 2002 to 2008. She became Director of the Puerto Rico Equestrian Federation in 2003 and since 2008 has served as both Director and Secretary General of the Federation.

Continue reading FEI Announces Judges of FEI Awards 2012 on Closing Day of Nominations