FEI President stands unopposed for re-election and over 50 athletes target eight sport posts.
Ingmar De Vos, who was elected as President of equestrian sport’s global governing body, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) in 2014, is the sole candidate for this year’s Presidential election, which takes place at the FEI General Assembly in Bahrain’s capital Manama on 20 November.
A total of 52 athletes from 26 countries on five continents will also be standing for election as Athlete Representatives for the FEI’s eight Committees for the Olympic sports of Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Paralympic sport of Para-Dressage, Driving, Endurance, Reining and Vaulting.
“I am honoured to have the opportunity to stand for re-election”, Ingmar De Vos said. “While I would have expected other candidates, I take the fact that I am unopposed as recognition of all the important work that has been done by the FEI over the last four years.
“This could not have been achieved without the wonderful team at FEI Headquarters under the leadership of our Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, and the support of the National Federations and our community, for which I am extremely grateful.”
Shaping the future
Sabrina Ibáñez, who initiated the sports-specific Athlete Representative role four years ago in her previous role as Director of Governance, highlighted the significance of the massive athlete turnout for the upcoming Athlete Representative elections:
“We have a record number of athletes wanting to play a role in helping to shape the future direction of equestrian sport, and these include Olympic and Paralympic medalists and current world champions.
“Equestrian sport is unique in the fact that our athletes have such long competitive careers, and many also want to give back to the sport and forge the right future for the next generations of athletes. These are voluntary positions for our athletes, who already spend every waking moment in this sport, so we fully appreciate just how strong a message this is sending to our global community.”
More about FEI President & Athlete Elections
FEI President Ingmar de Vos, who was elected as an IOC Member in 2017, will stand unopposed following the expiry of the deadline for receipt of candidacies at midnight on 1 May 2018.
It is the first time since 2002 that there has been an uncontested election for the FEI’s top role. The FEI Presidential term is four years, with the possibility of re-election for up to three consecutive terms for a maximum term of 12 years in office.
The Athlete Representative online voting process will open on 29 July. Athletes over 18, who have competed in one of the last two senior FEI World Championships, Olympic Games or Paralympic Games can vote for an athlete in the same sport as themselves and have until the last day of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (23 September) to do so.
To be eligible as a candidate, athletes must have a clean anti-doping record since April 2010 when the new FEI anti-doping system came into effect. The elected Athlete Representatives will be announced on 24 September.
The Athlete Representatives, who are members of their own discipline-specific Technical Committee, also form the Athletes Committee. The Chair of the Athletes Committee, who is nominated by the President, automatically takes a seat on the FEI Executive Board.
About 2018 wider elections
On 15 June, the FEI will announce here the remaining 16 positions that will be elected and appointed during the FEI General Assembly 2018. These will include Members of the FEI Bureau - which is responsible for the general direction of the FEI - FEI Group and Committee Chairs, and Standing Committee Members.
For eventing the following candidates have applied for the position.
Ms. Patrizia Attinger SUI
Ms. Merel Blom NED
Ms. Susanna Bordone ITA
Mr. William Fox-Pitt GBR
Mr. Niklas Lindbäck SWE
Mr. Carlos Parro BRA
Mr. Ludwig Svennerstål SWE
Mr. Peter Thomsen GER
Mr. Sam Watson IRL
Mr. Nicolas Wettstein ECU
Oliver Townend (GBR) is eventing's new world number one, taking over from longtime leader Michael Jung (GER).
Jung, reigning Olympic champion, has held top spot since the middle of 2015, but he has now been replaced by 35-year-old Townend following his thrilling victory at the Lexington (USA) CCI4* last weekend.
Townend (35) was briefly world number one in 2009 - a stellar year for him when he won the Badminton (GBR) CCI4* and Burghley (GBR) CCI4* titles - and he now reclaims top spot.
And it comes on the eve of this year's Badminton, where a Townend victory would see him emulate Jung and Pippa Funnell (GBR) in winning the Rolex Grand Slam for consecutive victories at Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton.
"It's very good. I like the sound of that!" said Townend, following release of the latest FEI World Eventing Rankings.
"It has been a while. I only had a fleeting spell as number one once upon a time, and especially to knock someone off who has been there for so long is very, very good."
Jung, who was runner-up to Townend at Lexington, is now at number two, just one ranking point behind, with Tim Price (NZL) third, Gemma Tattersall (GBR) fourth and Ros Canter (GBR) fifth.
Townend started riding aged seven and came to prominence after making his international début for Team GB in 2005 at the FEI European Championships Eventing in Blenheim (UK).
Townend has also been part of the gold medal winning team for Great Britain at three FEI European Championships (2007, 2009, 2017).
Following his win in Kentucky at the weekend Oliver Townend is now in the running to win the Rolex Grand Slam in Badminton this weekend.
World Ranking 02MAY18.pdf
Great Britain’s Oliver Townend produced a precision round of show jumping in the final phase of the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event to secure his first Kentucky win and set him just one event away from winning the coveted Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize.
Townend took first place riding Cooley Master Class, with Michael Jung (GER) riding FischerRocana FST in second, and USA’s Marilyn Little on RF Scandalous in third place.
From the 46 horse and rider combinations who started the competition on day one, 32 horses made it through to start on the final day of competition, with an international field of world-class riders from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Poland and Germany. With just one fence separating the top four placed competitors in the show jumping, the enthusiastic patriotic spectators in the Rolex Stadium enjoyed a thrilling sporting display.
Oliver Townend was up against many of eventing’s finest riders, including world number one and reigning champion Michael Jung, who had returned to this year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in a bid to try to set a new record by winning the event for a historic fourth consecutive year, aboard his same horse, FischerRocana FST.
Speaking after his victory and looking ahead to the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing challenge, Townend said: “Today was incredible. I will just take it one event at a time, but I have two great horses next week at Badminton and it is all to play for now.”
Rolex long-term partnership
Rolex and the Kentucky Three-Day Event have a long and distinguished history, with Rolex as Title Sponsor for over three decades from 1981 to 2017 and proud to be continuing its long-term partnership as Official Timepiece. In 1998 Rolex Kentucky became the third annual CCI4* event in the world and remains the only four star competition on the American continent. Rolex’s established support has seen the event develop into one of the most prestigious in the world, with top riders from around the globe now vying to compete there.
Rolex Grand Slam
Since 2001, Rolex has actively supported excellence in the discipline of eventing through the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing – an award presented to any rider who consecutively wins at the three annual events of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA), the Mitsubishsi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (UK) and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (UK). To this day, the Grand Slam has only been won twice, in 2003 and more recently, in 2016.
All eyes will now be upon Townend to see if he can continue his current world-class form as the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, with two wins now complete and the final challenge of winning the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, which starts in just three days time, to be only the third rider in history to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize.
Test of Olympic format in the FEI Nations Cup™ at Strzegom!
FEI entry system for this year, sixteenth edition of the Strzegom Horse Trials is open. The competition will be held from 28th of June till 1st of July.
There will be run six international competitions: CICO-NC3*/CCI3 *, CIC/CCI2 *, CIC/CCI1 * and for the first time national competitions: CNC P, CNC L, CNC L18.
The FEI Nations Cup™ CICO3* will be running in the Olympic format.
Further to the change of competition format for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, two organisers will test the team format at the FEI Nations Cup Eventing in 2018 - Strzegom (POL) and Millstreet (IRL).
The organisers of Strzegom Horse Trisls 2018, third leg of the 2018 FEI Nations Cup™, will be the first to run a 3-star team competition based on the 2020 Olympic competition rules.
A closing date for definite entries is 28th of May!
U.S. Trust and Bank of America Merrill Lynch named official sponsors of Equestrian Sport Productions and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018
Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC (ESP) - producers of the world's largest and longest-running horse show - announced today its partnership with U.S. Trust, Bank of America's Private Wealth Management, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. These divisions of Bank of America have been named an "Official Sponsor of Tryon International Equestrian Center" (TIEC), an "Official Sponsor of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center" (PBIEC), and an "Official Sponsor of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018".
For Mark Bellissimo, ESP CEO and Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners that owns and operates PBIEC, and Tryon Equestrian Partners that owns and operates TIEC, this partnership is a significant opportunity for U.S. Trust and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to reach the equestrian community.
"We are pleased to welcome U.S. Trust and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as partners across our portfolio and see tremendous opportunity for them. The equestrian market is greatly untapped because of the various sports, disciplines and interest categories centered around the horse, making it hard to collectively reach. However, our organization is continuously delivering effective avenues for businesses to easily reach this population through our properties in Florida, North Carolina, Colorado and New York, and equestrian events like the WEG," said Bellissimo.
"At U.S. Trust, we help high-net-worth individuals and families match their wealth to their passions through a wide range of investment management, wealth structuring and banking capabilities. Partnering with an organization that provides a forum for so many to enjoy their equestrian passion is a natural fit," said U.S. Trust Market Executive Woodward Middleton.
"Bank of America Merrill Lynch strives to sponsor a diverse and interesting portfolio of events that will provide unique opportunities for visibility and make an impact on the communities we serve," said Fab Brumley, Business Banking Region Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "We look forward to working with ESP on interesting events throughout the year."
In 2018, TIEC will host the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, which is poised to be the largest sporting event in the United States this year and fourth largest in the world with participation from more than 70 nations and 1,000 athletes. The previous Games were held in Normandy, France in 2014 and attracted more than 575,000 attendees and generated an economic impact of more than $400 million to the regional economy.
ESP is the management entity for the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the world's largest and longest-running horse show, held at PBIEC. WEF's 12-week season attracts an average of 250,000 attendees and 6,000 athletes from all 50 states and 42 countries. The organization also produces more than 35 weeks of world-class equestrian competition at TIEC in Mill Spring, N.C. In 2017, TIEC attracted more than 2,300 riders from 45 states and 31 countries to the venue, and welcomed more than 500,000 visitors.
To learn more about the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, please visit www.tryon2018.com.
Germany's Michael Jung stormed into the lead on the opening day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Partnered with his champion horse, FischerRocana FST, Jung showed he is here to win, producing a stunning dressage test to land a score of 27.1. USA's Boyd Martin is hot on the German's heals securing 31.2 to finish the day in second position aboard his black gelding, Tsetserleg. Tamara Smith (USA) currently lies third on the leaderboard with Kevin Baumgardner’s Dutch Warmblood, Wembley, on a score of 32.1.
Michael Jung commented on his early lead; "I am very happy with FischerRocana today, she felt really nice and did a good test. I am looking forward to the cross-country on Saturday, we need to prepare well but the course looks nice and the ground is perfect."
Michael Jung currently sits in top position but with some of the world's best eventers still to complete their dressage tests tomorrow the competition remains wide open. US Event rider and runner-up in 2016, Lauren Kieffer, has two strong rides, Landmarks Monte Carlo and Vermiculus. Olympic Bronze Medallist, Phillip Dutton competes his second horse, I'm Sew Ready and Great Britain's Oliver Townend will be eyeing up the top prize to continue his Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing journey, following his victory at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials last September.
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