10 Dec 2014
The 14th FEI President will be elected this Sunday 14 December by the FEI General Assembly which gets underway this week in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
The five Presidential candidates (listed in order of receipt of the candidacy files by the FEI) are Pierre Genecand (SUI), Ulf Helgstrand (DEN), John McEwen (GBR), Pierre Durand (FRA), and Ingmar De Vos (BEL). Javier Revuelta del Peral (ESP), who had also submitted a candidacy file, withdrew from the election process in November.
The five candidates will present their manifestos to the National Federations, stakeholders and international media during the Meet the Presidential Candidates session on Saturday 13 December at 14.15 AZT (local Azerbaijan time, GMT + 4 hours). The individual presentations by the candidates will be followed by a question and answer session at 16.15 AZT on 13 December.
The order of the candidates’ presentations will be determined by a draw overseen by the Independent Advisory Committee, which was set up by the FEI Bureau in September 2014 to preserve the integrity of the election process and avoid any potential conflict of interest. The draw will take place at 19.00 AZT on 12 December.
The General Assembly and the Meet the Presidential Candidates session will be broadcast live and free of charge on FEI TV, the FEI’s official online video platform.
A press kit containing detailed information on the FEI General Assembly 2014, the Presidential election, and the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines is attached. It is also available online here.
Brief biographical information on the Presidential candidates
Pierre Genecand (SUI)
Pierre Genecand, 64, is proposed by the Swiss Equestrian Federation. A businessman, banker and insurance broker by profession, Genecand served as president of the Geneva International Horse Show from 1989 to 2003. He has been a member of the board of the World Cup of Horsemanship, the Alliance of Jumping Organisers, and the Committee of Swiss Top Sports. He is the current president of the Polo Club Gstaad and the Hublot Polo Gold Club.
Ulf Helgstrand (DEN)
Ulf Helgstrand, 63, is proposed by the Danish Equestrian Federation. A medical doctor by profession, Helgstrand is a professor of vascular surgery. He has served as President of the Danish Equestrian Federation since 2003. He was board member and Vice President of the Danish Warmblood Association for 10 years and currently serves as Vice President and charter member of the European Equestrian Federation. Helgstrand is a former Dressage rider and has run a stud with several approved Dressage stallions since 1991.
John McEwen (GBR)
John McEwen, 69, is proposed by the British Equestrian Federation. A qualified veterinary surgeon with wide international experience, McEwen served as veterinary surgeon to the British Jumping and Dressage teams, working at eight Olympic Games up to and including London 2012, and at all editions of the FEI World Equestrian Games™. He was vice chairman of the FEI Veterinary Committee from 1999 to 2003 and has been the Committee’s chair since 2006. He also currently chairs the FEI Prohibited Substances List and Laboratory Groups. McEwen has served on an advisory panel for the charity World Horse Welfare for more than 15 years. He represents the FEI at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) specialising in horse transport issues and on the International Sports Horse Confederation (IHSC). McEwen was appointed FEI 1st Vice President in 2010.
Pierre Durand (FRA)
Pierre Durand, 59, is proposed by the French Equestrian Federation. Durand holds a degree in business law, is a former professional rider and wine grower. He won individual gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games with the 13-year old gelding Jappeloup. He also competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and, amongst numerous international and national titles, became European Jumping champion in 1987. Durand was President of the French Equestrian Federation from 1993 to 1998. He has held various executive positions in the media industry and is currently chairman of the board of directors of the French National Institute for Sport, Expertise, and Performance (INSEP).
Ingmar De Vos (BEL)
Ingmar De Vos, 51, is proposed by the Belgian Equestrian Federation. De Vos holds degrees in political science, business administration and international and European law and started his career as an advisor to the Belgian Senate. He joined the Belgian Equestrian Federation as managing director in 1990, and held the additional role of Secretary General from 1997 to 2011. He was Secretary General of the European Equestrian Federation from 2010, the year the organisation was formed, until 2011. During his time at the Belgian National Federation, De Vos was chef de mission for the Belgian Equestrian Team at all FEI World Equestrian Games™ from 1990 to 2010 and at several Olympic Games. De Vos has been FEI Secretary General since May 2011.
The election process for the FEI President is detailed under Article 24 of the FEI Statutes. The relevant articles are listed below:
24.2 The President shall be elected by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of votes cast. Abstentions are not counted as cast votes. In the event multiple Ballots are necessary under Article 24.4, a Simple Majority shall be sufficient for Election on the third Ballot, or on the second if only two (2) Candidates remain.
24.4 When there are multiple Candidates and none receives the necessary majority, the Candidate with the least number of votes received shall be removed from the list of Candidates and another Ballot shall be held. This procedure shall be repeated until a Candidate receives the necessary majority.
The FEI newly elected President will begin his term in office at the end of the General Assembly and will remain in office for a period of four years. The FEI President may not serve more than three consecutive full terms.
Independent Advisory Committee
The Independent Advisory Committee was established under Article 36.1 of the FEI Statutes and oversees the election process and all related matters. The temporary committee is composed of:
The FEI President, HRH Princess Haya (JOR)
The Chair of the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit, Lord Stevens (GBR)
The former Chair of the FEI Tribunal, Ken Lalo (ISR)
The Chair of the FEI Audit and Compliance Unit, Brian Mangan (IRL)
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