Charlotte Dujardin Named FEI “Solidarity Ambassador”

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Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Charlotte Dujardin, the top ranked rider in the world and double Olympic gold medalist for Great Britain, on Thursday was named one of eight ambassadors of the International Equestrian Federation’s FEI Solidarity program to develop global sport.

The FEI Solidarity Ambassadors are:
Charlotte Dujardin;
Jessica Springsteen, the 22-year-old American jumping star;
Ingrid Klimke, German Olympic Eventing gold medalist;
Laurentia Tan, Singapore’s top medal winning Paralympian;
Maria Alvarez Ponton of Spain who in 2010 became the first rider to hold concurrent World and European Endurance titles;
Tomas Eriksson, Sweden’s three-time winner of the FEI Top Driver Award;
Lior Raz of Israel who has been competing in reining since the age of 14, and
Bongani Mvumvu of South Africa who won the FEI World Dressage Challenge Vaulting Final for Children in Hagen, Germany in 2003.

The FEI Solidarity Ambassadors will help to raise awareness of FEI Solidarity program by attending media events and visiting equestrian development initiatives around the world.

FEI Solidarity, launched in 2011 and inspired by the Olympic Solidarity model, is focused on providing opportunities for the next generation of athletes, as well as all those working in equestrian communities to establish their own national structures for developing their sport.

The program has so far supported 18 projects with funds as well as technical and consultancy services. These include horse-assisted therapy for seriously disadvantaged teenagers in South Africa, sports classes for multiple sclerosis sufferers in Sardinia, training of coaches to improve national sport development, and farrier and harness-making training in Cambodia with international charity World Horse Welfare. A further 15 initiatives will receive support in 2013.

“This is the first time that equestrians from across our disciplines have come together for one cause, and the calibre of our FEI Solidarity Ambassadors is exceptional, highlighting the true global reach of our development program,” said FEI President Princess Haya.

“FEI Solidarity is changing lives, and this united front of extraordinary equestrian ambassadors will help us to build and nurture the future of equestrian sport, making it possible for many more development initiatives around the world to become a reality.”