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Göran Akerström has been appointed as the FEI veterinary director.

He takes up the post on 1 September and comes from the Swedish Trotting Association, where he was chief veterinary officer for five years. He was also head of the equine welfare department for the past two years.

“Equestrian sport has been a major part of my life for 30 years,” Göran said.

“As with many people in the horse world, my passion for horses goes back to my childhood, and since then I have worked with horses directly, with organisations specialising in welfare and the growth of horse sport. I am now looking forward to helping the FEI move forward with its progressive work in horse movement, equine welfare and anti-doping.”

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Göran was a member of the Swedish Trotting Association management team, advisor to the regulatory committee and collaborated closely with the Swedish Equestrian Federation and the Swedish Jockey Club.

He was previously veterinary inspector for the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the Swedish Animal Welfare Agency, specialising in equine sports, welfare, disease control and horse transportation.

Göran has also specialised in equine neonatal medicine as a private practitioner, competed in showjumping and eventing, worked as a course-designer and show manager, and was platoon leader and instructor for the Regiment of Halsingland during a 10-year career with the Swedish army.

“Göran has unparalleled leadership, horsesport and horse welfare expertise,” FEI secretary general Sabrina Zeender said.

“We will be delighted to welcome him into the FEI and to the FEI family when he joins us at headquarters in September.”

In November it was announced that Graeme Cooke was to step down after more than five years in the role, citing “personal reasons” for the decision.

During his time at the FEI he was integral in improving the international movement of horses.

Graeme was instrumental in not only creating the High-Health High-Performance horse (HHP) concept, but also having it accepted by the World Organisation for Animal Health.