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April 7, 2014

Genecand Announces Bid For FEI Presidency

It still remains to be seen whether members of the Fédération Equestre Internationale will vote to change the organization’s statutes to allow two-term incumbent president HRH Princess Haya to run for a third time, but no matter the outcome when they convene for an extraordinary general assembly on April 29 in Lausanne, Switzerland, Pierre Genecand says he’ll be running in the next election for FEI president. 

Genecand, a Swiss businessman who took over the reins as director of the organizing committee for the Geneva CHI in 1991 and served in that role for more than a decade, is the first person to publicly announce his candidacy for this election and commit to a possible challenge against Haya.

Although she’s made statements in the past explicitly denying that she’ll seek a third term, many believe Haya will be convinced to do so. This would be thanks in large part to the petition signed by representatives from 100 nations supporting a change of the federation’s statutes, which currently mandate a two-term limit on the presidency. In addition, several representatives from around the globe delivered impassioned statements in support of Haya at the last General Assembly, in November of 2013, including U.S. Equestrian Federation CEO John Long.

Regardless of whether the rules are changed and whether Haya decides to run again, the federation will hold its presidential vote at the FEI General Assembly in Dubai, slated for Dec. 11-14.

Horse Sport International has reported that Genecand speaks five languages and splits his time between homes in Switzerland and Argentina. He’s also a former member of the FEI World Cup Committee and the Alliance of Jumping Organizers and was a member of the 1998 FEI World Equestrian Games (Italy) organizing committee. 

“After eight successful years led by a remarkably visionary president, the time has now come for necessary change in order to keep the dynamic of the FEI alive and to stabilize what has been established,” Genecand told Horse Sport International