BAKU, December 15, 2014 - Ingmar De Vos (Belgia) was elected as President of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) by an overwhelming majority in the first round of voting, earning 98 votes out of a possible 131. De Vos, 51, Secretary General of the FEI since May 2011, was elected to take charge of the world governing body of equestrian sport during this morning’s session of the FEI General Assembly in Baku (Azerbaijan).
The result was announced by HRH Princess Haya, the outgoing President, with the simple words, “I am pleased to announce we have a new FEI President, Ingmar De Vos”. Her words were met with prolonged applause from close to 350 delegates representing 91 National Federations, stakeholders, sponsors and international media. The other candidates standing for election were Pierre Durand (FRA) – 21 votes, Pierre Genecand (SUI) – 6 votes, John McEwen (GBR) – 6 votes.
“I’m really very honoured and overwhelmed by this enormous support,” a clearly emotional De Vos said, “and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your confidence. Baku will be in my memory forever… Elections are always difficult, as it splits a little bit the family, but I guarantee that I will be the president of all of you, I will serve all the members of our community and I will work very hard to keep this unity.”
Shortly after his election, De Vos received a letter of congratulations from IOC President Thomas Bach. “Please accept my congratulations on your election as President of the International Equestrian Federation. The IOC enjoys a long-standing relationship with FEI, its elected members and administration. We are sure that FEI will continue its growth under your leadership. Your previous experience in different positions of the Equestrian sports will be invaluable for you in this new office. On behalf of the IOC and the entire Olympic Movement, I wish you every success in the new role you are undertaking.”
De Vos takes over the reins as FEI President at the conclusion of today’s FEI General Assembly for a four-year term, and is eligible for re-election for up to three consecutive terms. He has stated that he will resign as Secretary General as soon as he takes over the Presidency this afternoon and will appoint an interim Secretary General to take over the role until a permanent replacement is found.
Ingmar De Vos (51) 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. 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. He was also Secretary General of the European Equestrian Federation from 2010, the year the organisation was formed, until 2011, when he joined the FEI.
The FEI, founded in 1921, is the world governing body for Jumping, Dressage & Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving & Para-Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining, in which last year alone 3,557 events were held around the world representing over 150% growth since 2003. The FEI, which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), celebrated 100 years of equestrian sport in the Olympic movement at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The FEI also became one of the first International Federations to govern and regulate international para sport, alongside its seven able-bodied disciplines, when Para-Equestrian Dressage joined its ranks in 2006. The FEI now governs all international competitions for Para-Equestrian Dressage, which has been a regular fixture at the Paralympic Games since 1996 and joined the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in 2010, and Para-Driving.
Equestrian heroes celebrated at FEI Awards Gala 2014 presented by Longines
Equestrian heroes - and a very special dog -
were celebrated at the FEI Awards Gala 2014 presented by Longines. The
five winners of the “Oscars of the equestrian world” 2014 were presented with
their awards by outgoing FEI President HRH Princess Haya on her final day as
FEI President at a dazzling ceremony in Baku’s fabulous Buta Palace.
The winners, who have made outstanding contributions to the growth of equestrian sport in 2014, are:
Reem Acra Best Athlete Award:
World Jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED)
Longines Rising Star Award: Vaulter Lambert Leclezio (MRI)
Best Groom Award: Jackie Potts (GBR), groom to Eventing world number one William Fox-Pitt (GBR)
FEI Solidarity: Equine therapy centre Equal Ark (SIN)
Against All Odds: Para-Equestrian Dressage athlete Sydney Collier (USA) with her service dog Journey
The equestrian heroes donned tuxedos and gowns for the gala dinner, which was attended by almost 350 guests from National Federations, partners, VIPs and international media. Azerbaijani TV presenter Leyla Aliyeva and retiring FEI Endurance Director Ian Williams were Masters of Ceremony for the evening.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II also became the first recipient of the FEI Lifetime Achievement award last month as part of this prestigious FEI Awards scheme in recognition of her leading role as supporter of equestrian sport throughout her reign as British monarch. She was presented with the award at Buckingham Palace by HRH Princess Haya.
HRH Princess Haya was herself celebrated in a special presentation tonight in acknowledgement of her outstanding commitment to equestrian sport and to the FEI, during her eight year term in office as FEI President.