FEI presidency race: who are the candidates?

  • A new president will be elected at the FEI general assembly this Sunday (14 December) taking over from Princess Haya in overseeing horse sport globally.

    Earlier this year Princess Haya confirmed she would not be standing for a third consecutive four-year term, despite winning a vote in April allowing her to do so. She cited humanitarian work in Gaza as her reason for not running.

    Five candidates will now go head-to-head in the race for presidency — Pierre Genecand, Ulf Helgstrand, Pierre Durand, current FEI vice president John McEwen and current FEI secretary general Ingmar de Vos.

    Spain’s Javier Revuelta took himself out of contention last month, blaming a “flawed” process that fails to “meet the minimum democratic principles of independency, transparency and equal opportunity to all candidates”.

    Mr Revuelta, a former Olympic event rider and now president of the Spanish Equestrian Federation, has complained “numerous” times about the intention of Ingmar de Vos to run for president while retaining his current job

    Mr de Vos put forward a proposal that, if elected on 14 December, he would resign as secretary general and call an Extraordinary General Assembly to vote on a statute change enabling future presidents to be paid.

    The election will take place on Sunday (14 December) at the FEI General Assembly in Azerbaijan.

    Continued below…

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    But who will win the vote? H&H helps remind you of the five candidates:

    Pierre Genecand

    swiss-candidate The 64-year-old businessman, banker and insurance broker has been proposed by the Swiss Equestrian Federation.

    He served as president of the Geneva International Horse Show from 1989 to 2003 and is the current president of the Polo Club Gstaad and the Hublot Polo Gold Club.

    Mr Genecand has also been a member of the board of the World Cup of Horsemanship, the Alliance of Jumping Organisers, and the Committee of Swiss Top Sports.

    Ulf Helgstrand

    Ulf HelgstrandThe 64-year-old doctor and former dressage rider has been president of the Danish Equestrian Federation since 2003.
    He was board member and vice president of the Danish Warmblood Association for 10 years and is currently vice president and charter member of the European Equestrian Federation.

    John McEwen

    The British candidate is the current first vice president of the FEI.

    The 69-year-old was British team vet for the showjumping and dressage teams until London 2012.
    He was vice chairman of the FEI Veterinary Committee from 1999 to 2003 and has been the Committee’s chair since 2006.

    JohnMcEHe currently chairs the FEI Prohibited Substances List and Laboratory Groups and has served on an advisory panel for World Horse Welfare for more than 15 years.

    He represents the FEI at the World Organisation for Animal Health specialising in horse transport issues and on the International Sports Horse Federation.

    Pierre Durand

    French Olympian Pierre Durand, who is now 57, was showjumping champion at the 1988 Seoul Games with the 13-year old gelding Jappeloup.

    Pierre DurandHe also competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and became European Jumping champion in 1987.

    From 1993 to 1998 Mr Durand was President of the French Equestrian Federation. He is currently chairman of the board of directors of the French National Institute for Sport, Expertise, and Performance.

    Ingmar De Vos

    Currently secretary general of the FEI, the 51-year-old has been put forward by the Belgian Equestrian Federation, which he joined as managing director in 1990. He was secretary general of the organisation from 1997-2011.

    Ingmar De VosMr De Vos was secretary general of the European Equestrian Federation from 2010-2011.
    During his time at the Belgian National Federation, he was chef de mission for the Belgian Equestrian Team at all FEI World Equestrian Games.

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