New FEI Awards Receive 900 Nominations With Week to Go

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Oct. 14–Almost 900 nominations have been received for the new International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Awards.

The FEI said that by the time the entries close on Oct. 17, the number is expected to reach 1,000.

The most popular category has been the Alltech Development Award — for a development project, individual or organization which has shown exceptional skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport. So far, 410 nominations have been received.

The Athlete of the Year — for a rider, driver or vaulter who has shown exceptional sportsmanship and ability — has gained 229 nominations so far.

The HSBC Rising Star Award — for a rider aged 14-21 who has not only demonstrated significant talent but also a love of the sport and great commitment — has also been popular, garnering 144 nominations.

Fifty-eight nominations have been made for Groom of the Year — for the often uncelebrated yet vitally important person who works behind the scenes.

And 29 nominations have come in so far for the Against All Odds — for a disabled rider of any age who has demonstrated that disability is no hindrance to sporting proficiency.

The awards have been designed to reward the fair play, team spirit, inspiration and prowess that equine competition espouses, as well as celebrating the outstanding achievements of athletes.

Nominations can be made on until Oct. 17.

When the voting closes, the FEI will formulate a short-list, which an international judging panel, chaired by FEI President Princess Haya will make the final decisions. Judges include eventing and show jumping Olympian and multiple medallist Mark Todd, Dominican Republic dressage rider and judge Diana Ramos, Italian show jumping organizer and International Jumping Riders Club director Eleonora Ottaviani and German vaulting champion Kai Vorberg along with representatives from FEI sponsors Alltech and HSBC.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Copenhagen on Nov. 19.