First FEI Awards Presented

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Michelle Robson; Darlene Milord, Alex Hua Tin; Wendy Gidlow. © Klaus Sletting Jensen
Michelle Robson; Darlene Milord, Alex Hua Tin; Wendy Gidlow. © Klaus Sletting Jensen

COPENHAGEN, Nov. 19–The first FEI Awards were presented at a ceremony in Copenhagen Thursday night.

Best Rider

Show jumper Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum of Germany received the Best Rider accolade.

“It’s a great honour for me to win this award, particularly as it’s the first time it’s been awarded. It’s an accomplishment every rider would consider very important, and it’s so nice to have my achievements recognised.” said the 39-year-old German rider, who has won the last two Rolex FEI World Cup™ finals on Shutterfly. Meredith was not present in Copenhagen.

Best Groom

Michelle Robson, a 25-year-old Australian, won the Best Groom award. Michelle has worked for Olympic event rider Shane Rose for six years, caring for his competition horses and also working with young racehorses.

Against All Odds Award

Darlene Milord from Haiti was the recipient of the Against All Odds prize. A severely handicapped orphan, Darlene’s love for horses and determination to succeed has led her to perform in Special Olympics events.

HSBC Rising Star

Known as “one in 1.3 billion” in the Chinese media in the lead-up to last year’s Olympic Games, 19-year-old Alex Hua Tin is China’s first ever international event rider — and the winner of the HSBC Rising Star award.

Alltech Development Award

Wendy Gidlow, who owns and manages Heritage Equestrian in South Africa’s Transvaal, received the Alltech Development Award for her work with children from extremely underprivileged backgrounds, giving them opportunities to become involved with horses.

There were more than 1,200 nominations for the five awards — which have been designed to reward fair play, team spirit, inspiration and prowess that equine competition espouses, as well as celebrating the outstanding achievements.