Anna Paprocka-Campanella of Italy – Candidate for Election as FEI Dressage Athlete

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Anna Paprocka-Campanella
Anna Paprocka-Campanella

Wednesday, Aril 23, 2014

Anna Paprocka-Campanella is one of two candidates for election as the FEI Athlete on the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Dressage Committee and the FEI Athlete Council. The successful Athlete will serve for four years.

Anna Paprocka-Campanella of Italy and Laura Tomlinson of Great Britain answered questions from dressage-news.com on why they are standing for the first direct election of Athletes in the 93-year history of the FEI.

Athlete details:

Age: 39. Born: Warsaw. Italian and Polish citizenship. Languages: Italian, Polish, German, English
Championship history:
2006 – World Equestrian Games, Aachen, Germany
2007 – European Championships, Turin, Italy
2008 – Qualified as individual for Olympic Games, Hong Kong
2009 – European Championships, Windsor, England
(FEI competition records available at: https://data.fei.org/Person/Performance.aspx?p=E522D03ED56F6099E98C4D9A3EA554BD)

Dressage-News.com: Why are you standing for the position?

Anna: I have applied for the FEI Athlete representative position as I have followed for many years how dressage has been developed by the FEI and what are our expectations as stakeholders. I have always been interested in the sport in general and dressage in particular in all its aspects and from different points of view. I consider this opportunity as a chance for all of us riders to have our voice in the FEI.

D-N: What strengths/experience would you bring to the position?

Anna: My experience is very wide from a business point of view, which is, in my opinion, very important, as it taught me how to negotiate and solve  problems, or to find BAT (best alternative to the negotiated agreement). I worked for some years as a Strategic Director in one of the biggest advertising agencies in the world with such a companies as Procter & Gamble, Nestlé and Pepsico, so I learned how to work with people from different countries as to use their know-how for winning solutions.

Of course, my experience as a rider is also very rich. I twice did the European Championships, once in the individual final for the World Equestrian Games, and I achieved an individual qualification for my country for the Olyimpic Games in Hong Kong. I have ridden at each level of CDI from Young Horses to the Grand Prix. I know the reality of the biggest shows like Aachen, Stuttgart or Amsterdam but also the smaller shows like, for example, Vierzon or Brno.

This offers me a very wide view about the challenges and expectetions on different levels.

I have succesfully trained many Juniors, Young Riders and Pony riders at European Championships. One of them is my daughter, Alice Campanella. Last year, she was in the individual final of the European Championships Pony (at 13 years of age).

This offers me an opportunity to be constantly in touch with dressage at all levels.

D-N:  What do you see as the major issues facing FEI athletes?

Anna: First of all, I would like to underline the fact that this position consists in representing all the riders and not promoting my own ideas.

I see dressage as a global and universal sport. All its parts should also agree on the transparency of the whole system.

We should also take an example from other sports with the judging system and to develop dressage in a modern way.

I would pay a special attention to all levels, not only Grand Prix, because they are our stars of the future: horses and riders.

D-N: How would you address these issues as a member of the FEI Dressage Committee?

Anna: The FEI has its own system and rules, and they have to be respected. I will eventually have a chance to have a voice on behalf of all the riders.

D-N: How much time and effort do you expect the position to require and do you have the time and ability to make the effort to properly meet the requirements?

Anna: One of the FEI requirments for this position was the ability to devote enough time to the position… I have my own, private stable where I train my own horses and students, but I decide by myself how to organize my work.

I am very proud the FEI has choosen me as a candidate, so for me it will be a priority to dedicate my time to this position.

I speak fluently four languages–English, German, Polish and Italian. I work every day with people all over the world, so I think it is a good background also for the FEI.

D-N: The FEI Dressage Committee is made up primarily of Europeans–Frank Kemperman (NED), Thomas Baur (GER), David Hunt (GBR), Hans-Christian Matthiesen (DEN) and Kyra Kyrklund (FIN). Maribel Alonso de Quinzaños (MEX) is the sole non-European representative. Do you think it is important to take into account the views of Athletes in other regions of the world and how to address issues facing those Athletes if they are different than European Athletes?

Anna: I know about the members of the FEI Commitee. I think it is essential to take into consideration points of view other than European. This would assure the global character of dressage.

I personally think that we should look especially at the USA, which is one of the leading countries in many important sports and has big traditions. USA is generally the country with the most innovative ideas in each field. It is also a country with one of the greatest number of dressage athletes in the world, so we have really to consider the expectations of the USA riders.

I believe that particular attention must also be paid  to other continents: Asia, Africa and South America, as there is big potential that needs to be properly developed. This is very important.

D-N: Anything else?

Anna: I would like to underline that my position would consist of representing riders. I will strive to be as balanced and neutral as possible and not pursue  personal agendas.

I will consider opinions and suggestions of many riders from each level because dressage is made of many people and has many  faces.

Next: Thursday, April 24 – Laura Tomlinson

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Election is via a secure online voting platform and voting is open until 2359 Central European time (2159 GMT) June 1  (click here to go to voting platform).