FEI Presidential Canadidate Sven Holmberg Proposes New Structure

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Sven Holmberg
Sven Holmberg


FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 11-Sven Holmberg, one of two Europeans seeking to unseat Princess Haya as president of the International Equestrian Federation has proposed a new governance structure based on “modernized” geographical representation to “ensure selection of those most fitted to administer our sport.”

Holmberg, the current 1st vice president of the FEI, has sent a 12-page booklet and a four-page action summary to all 133 national federations that make up the FEI and will vote for a new president at the General Assembly Chinese Taipei Nov. 1-6. A copy was provided to dressage-news at the Falsterbo Horse Show.

Henk Rottinghuis of The Netherlands and Holmberg of Sweden have announced their candidacies for the post of running the organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland and governs the international disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining and vaulting as well as para-equestrian. Haya has announced she is running for a second term.

Rottinghuis, whose web site is http://www.henkrottinghuis.org, said he will announce his program this week.

Holmberg, whose web site is http://www.svenholmberg.com, makes restructuring the FEI a major feature of his platform.

“Twice during the last five years attempts have been made to improve the structure,” he said.

“Both attempts have failed because they have been ‘top down’ designs instead of letting the organization grow into a new form from the grass roots up.

“To become sustainable, the FEI must have a constitution that is modern, effective and reflect its basic construction.”

His “ideal new structure” would be based on a combination of geography and technical issues “so as to ensure selection of those most fitted to administer our sport.”

Holmberg also spoke out on the issue of marketing of horse sports.

“We are at a critical point in the development of our sport.” he said.

“Like never before, we are competing with a multitude of different demands and interests. We must adapt ourselves to the 21st century, while at the same time preserving the great traditions of our sport.”

He proposed protecting and developing already existing “products” and partners  and building value for major events such as the annual World Cups, Nations Cups and FEI championships.

Investments should be made in integrated marketing communications programs aimed at “branding” the sport and not the organization.