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British vet John McEwen has been elected first vice president of the International Equestrian Federation.

John, the director of sports science for the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), was today unanimously voted in to support president Princess Haya in running the governing body of horse sport.

I was reluctant at first because it is a very real commitment,” said John, adding that he already holds an advisory role to Princess Haya through his chairmanship of the FEI veterinary committee.

BEF chief executive Andrew Finding described Mr McEwen’s appointment as “very good for Great Britain”.

“It’s good that we can make a contribution to the work of the FEI,” he said.

Pablo Mayorga from Argentina was elected second vice president, replacing Chris Hodson who stated clearly last month that he would not stay on if Princess Haya was re-elected.

John McEwen was today also re-elected as chairman of the veterinary committee. Joining the committee for the first time is another British vet, Jenny Hall.

• To read more about the election and reaction among the equestrian nations, see next Thursday’s issue of Horse & Hound (11 November).