Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Equestrian sports leaders reflect on past year, look to future at 2018 FEI General Assembly - Full Article

Grand Prix
November 20 2018

Discussion, debate, elections and awards. This week, the 2018 General Assembly of the Fédération Équestre Internationale – the world governing body for Olympic equestrian sports – has been taking place in the Persian Gulf island nation of Bahrain. The event wraps up this evening as the organisation charts the future of show jumping, eventing, dressage, and diverse equestrian-related topics.

The Swiss-based FEI, which was founded in 1921 and has in the past been led by both HRH Prince Philip and HRH Anne, Princess Royal, is today headed by its President Ingmar De Vos of Belgium, who this week was officially re-elected for a new four-year term in the role. He is accompanied at the top of the organisation by FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, who presides over many of the assembly sessions. Indeed, she noted that 116 national federations have been in attendance either directly or indirectly from November 16–20 in Bahrain, a country whose name means “two seas”.

In his acceptance speech following his re-election, De Vos highlighted some of the major issues the FEI is currently dealing with, including testing its new competition formats ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, implementing a new commercial strategy and looking for new partners, adopting new technologies, graphics and applications for equestrian sports fans, and finding a solution for the problem-plagued long-distance discipline of Endurance, “with a clear emphasis on Endurance riding not Endurance racing...”

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