Jun 01, 2021
The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has begun year-long celebrations for their centenary. They have called the equestrian community to come together and show its commitment to “Shaping the future of equestrian sports together”.
FEI has created a video that highlights the achievements, successes and milestones of the organization. Capturing a historic century in the equestrian world with iconic moving and stills images, it pays tribute to the diversity within the community.
Olympic individual and team silver medallist and former European Jumping Champion Peder Fredericson, from Sweden, narrates the story that brings together members of the equine community.
The COVID-19 pandemic and EHV-1 outbreak has shifted FEI’s competitions since 2020 and has affected the centenary plans FEI had in mind. They will now extend through to the end of May 2022.
FEI has created a dedicated 100 Years Hub on their website. This features stories, interviews, online competitions and other fan engagement activities so people can share their experience and memories over the following year.
“The FEI’s 100 year celebration is about bringing together each and every individual who connects with the horse at any level,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos.
A key initiative FEI is taking in the pursuit of greater inclusivity in the community is to formalise the international status of Grooms. Moreover, they plan on formally acknowledging the vital role they play ensuring their wellbeing while they safeguard the wellbeing of the horses in their care.
With the assistance of representatives from national associations and the global community, the FEI will be addressing the global status of Grooms on the 2nd of June during the online FEI Sports Forum.
Also, there will be a session to explore concrete measures to raise the profile of Grooms internationally. This together with a discussion for a more structured framework of cooperation between the FEI and the Grooms community will ensure their inclusivity in the equestrian world.
“Equestrian sport is rich in diversity and the one key factor that binds everyone together is our shared connection with and passion for the horse. For equestrian sport to continue to grow and flourish we need to make sure that together we cherish all members of our community and that everyone contributes to the key values at the heart of the sport."
The FEI was created in 1921 to oversee the Olympic disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. At first only eight members were part of the FEI: Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America.
Now, FEI also governs the non-Olympic disciplines of Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining as well as Para Equestrian disciplines of Dressage and Driving. 136 affiliated National Federations have joined this international federation.
Equestrian sports have exponentially grown over the last decade. More than 4,600 international events run under FEI rules annually. In 2009, there were 27,000 athletes registered to compete in international equestrian events. This number had grown in 2019 to 43,000.
The FEI has been governed by 13 Presidents throughout its 100 year history. This includes three successive female Presidents: during 27 years The Princess Royal GCVO (GBR), HRH The Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón (ESP) and HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein (JOR) were at the presidency.
This is how FEI has earned the reputation for being one of the international equestrian federations that leads in gender equality, both in horse sports and administration. Horse riding competitions are gender neutral and both male and female participants compete on equal terms.
The longest serving President of the federation was the late Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh who passed away earlier this year.
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Images from FEI