Tag Archives: FEI Awards

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

FEI Awards 2015: Jeroen Dubbeldam Says Vote Now!

World Jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam, who just a few days ago won individual and team gold at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER), was the Reem Acra Best Athlete 2014. The Dutchman is urging everyone to “stand up and be counted” by placing their nominations for the FEI Awards 2015 before midnight on 28 August 2015. (FEI/Daniel Kaiser)

Lausanne (SUI), 26 August 2015 – The FEI Awards 2015, which celebrate the world’s exceptional equestrians, need your nominations – by Friday!

Nominations for these prestigious awards, which put the spotlight on excellence, courage, commitment and dedication in the equestrian world, are open until midnight CEST this coming Friday (28 August). Nominate your champions now at www.feiawards.org.

World Jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam, who just a few days ago won individual and team gold at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER), was the Reem Acra Best Athlete 2014. The Dutchman is urging everyone to cast their votes for the 2015 Awards:

“The FEI Awards are incredibly important to equestrian sport, and there is a category dedicated to every member of our community that makes this sport a reality,” he said. “We are all dependent on each other to get to the next level in equestrian sport – it is truly a team effort.

“Stand up and be counted, and vote for your favourite equestrians, be they riders, grooms or projects that are helping our equestrian community to be bigger and stronger.”

FEI Awards 2015 – five categories

The Longines Rising Star Award – won last year by Lambert Leclezio, the 17-year-old who became the first athlete to represent Mauritius at a World Championship when he competed 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, this 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. Last year this award was won by 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. She is aiming to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The Best Groom Award – dedicated to the vital behind-the-scenes team members, who work around the clock to make sure horses get the best care and attention, this award was won last year by Jackie Potts (GBR), who has spent over 20 years as groom and right-hand woman in the stables of the multiple Olympic, World and European Eventing medallist, William Fox-Pitt (GBR).

The FEI Solidarity Award – presented to equine therapy centre Equal Ark (SIN) last year, 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.

Glittering Gala

Hollywood actress Bo Derek, star of the romantic comedy “10” and recently cast in the cult Sharknado series on US cable network SyFy, is the Chair of the Jury of the prestigious FEI Awards 2015.

The winners of the awards will be flown to the glamorous FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan, where they will be presented with their awards by Bo Derek in front of over 350 guests from the global equestrian community.

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
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Bo Derek Puts Perfect “10” Equestrian Heroes in the Limelight

(Photo: Bo Derek)

Lausanne (SUI), 28 July 2015 – Hollywood actress Bo Derek, star of the romantic comedy “10” and recently cast in the cult Sharknado series on US cable network SyFy, has been announced as Chair of the Jury of the prestigious FEI Awards 2015, the annual awards launched by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of equestrian sport.

A lifelong horse lover and riding enthusiast, Derek is the International Ambassador of the Lusitano Horse, a spokesperson for the Animal Welfare Institute and serves on the California Racing Board.

The FEI Awards 2015, in association with the FEI’s Top Partner Longines and with international fashion designer Reem Acra, celebrate the world’s exceptional equestrians, saluting excellence, courage, commitment and dedication.

“The FEI Awards honour the deep contributions that our horses, riders and everyone in the equestrian community make to our society,” Bo Derek said.

“I already know that judging these awards is not going to be easy, and we have just one month to the nomination deadline. I urge everyone to think of those who are working with and taking great care of our phenomenal horses, and those who are doing their upmost to achieve the best for horse sport, and for our society as a whole – they need your votes!”

Bo Derek, who also lends her support to a number of animal, conservation and aid organisations, including Richard Branson’s Wild Aid and Yasuni-ITT rainforest preservation, and to wide-ranging initiatives dedicated to helping veterans find work after returning home from service, was honoured for her contribution to equestrian sport with a Longines Ladies Award in 2014.

Her autobiography, Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned from Horses, reflects her enduring love and understanding of equines and other animals, which she weaves into photography assignments for the likes of Vanity Fair magazine and her film projects.

“I am honored and excited to be working so closely on the FEI Awards 2015, and looking forward to seeing the nominations flow in,” Derek added.

Nominations for the FEI Awards 2015 are open at www.feiawards.org, with five hotly-contested categories:

The Longines Rising Star Award is for equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

The Reem Acra Best Athlete Award celebrates athletes 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 rewards 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 that horses get the best possible care and attention.

The FEI Solidarity 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.

Bo Derek will be joined on the FEI Awards 2015 judging panel by FEI President Ingmar De Vos; Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing of Longines; fashion designer Reem Acra; 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.

Glamorous Gala with Bo Derek

The FEI Awards 2015 winners will be flown to the glittering FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan on 13 November, where Bo Derek will present the awards.

Over 350 guests from the global equestrian community, including members of the FEI’s National Federations around the world, will also attend the gala to celebrate the award winners.

Nominations for the FEI Awards 2015 will close at midnight on 28 August.

Follow the awards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #feiawards.

About Bo Derek

Raised on the sun-drenched beaches of 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. 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

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