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British candidate joins race for FEI presidency

Britain’s John McEwen has come forward as a fourth candidate for FEI presidency.

The current vice president of the FEI declared his intention to run for president earlier this week (Tuesday 26 August).

Mr McEwen joins Pierre Durand of France, Ulf Helgstrand of Denmark and Pierre Genecand of Switzerland in the race to become Princess Haya’s successor.

Princess Haya announced she was not going to run for a third term as president earlier this month — despite winning a vote in April to allow her to do so.

Presidency was limited to two four-year terms, a rule which Princess Haya herself brought in.

However, she cited her humanitarian work and her young family as reasons she would not standing again.

Mr McEwen has been chairman of the FEI veterinary committee for the past eight years and was elected as first vice  president in 2000.

He has also been overseeing endurance since the discipline was handed to him earlier this year by Princess Haya to prevent a “conflict of interest” due to her husband Sheikh Mohammed’s involvement in the sport.

“I have been delighted to play my part in support of the FEI and of our current President, Princess Haya,” said Mr McEwen.

“I have no illusions about the challenges for this election and the work that needs to be undertaken in the future. I run because I know I have the confidence and support of my own Federation and because I am committed to the direction our current president has forged. There is clearly more work to do but we have good people in place and a sound executive team led well by its Secretary General, Ingmar De Vos.

“If elected, I will seek to run a steady course and a period of further evolution.”

BEF’s president and chairman, Keith Taylor, added: “We were geared to support Princess Haya in her campaign to run for another four years. Her withdrawal from the race a couple of weeks before nominations close has caused us to move quickly.

“But, we took no time in citing John McEwen for our nomination. He is hugely experienced and electable. He knows the FEI inside out and he knows what needs to be done to build on Princess Haya’s outstanding legacy. He is very well respected throughout the international community as a man of integrity.”

The election will be held at the FEI General Assembly in Baku, Azerbaijan on 14 December.

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