HRH Princess Haya of Jordan has been chosen as the new FEI President at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur (1 May). The General Assembly of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) elected the Princess after she received 30 more votes than fellow contender Freddy Serpieri from Greece. “I promise to do everything in my power and to work tirelessly to serve the institution and the people who have done me the honour of placing their trust and belief in me,” she said afterwards. “Our beautiful, noble sport is seeped in tradition, history and grace. I will do all I can to protect and advance it, in all its forms.”

The voting took place over two rounds with 123 National Federations (102 present and 21 represented by proxy) and 15 Bureau Members voting for Princess Haya, Serpieri or HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark in the first round. Princess Benedikte was eliminated at the end of round one, having received the least amount of votes. In the second round Princess Haya scored a total of 82 votes with Serpieri receiving 52.

Although neither candidate obtained the two-thirds majority required in the FEI election rules, Freddy Serpieri chose to withdraw and HRH Princess Haya was declared the winning candidate. Her four year term will last until 2010.

Princess Haya is an experienced horsewoman who has been riding internationally since she was 13-years-old. In 1992 she won the individual bronze medal in Jumping at the seventh Pan Arab Games and the following year she was elected Jordan’s athlete of the year. After years of intensive training in Ireland and Germany, she qualified for and took part in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, and the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games at Jerez de la Frontera. The Princess is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan and wife of HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

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