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.