FEI Awards Voting Open, Europe Dominates Nominations

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Semmieke Rothenberger and Dissertation. File photo. © Lily Forado

Sept. 25, 2019

Voting by the public for FEI–International Equestrian Federation–Awards opened Wednesday with Europeans dominating nominees.

Semmieke Rothenberger of Germany, the 20-year-old rider who swept the European Young Rider Championships on Dissertation in July, is among four athletes up for the “Rising Star” award.

Ann-Christin De Boer, groom for German Olympic and championship dressage rider Helen Langehanenberg, is one of four listed for “Best Groom.”

Ingrid Klimke of Germany, one of the most successful eventing riders but also active in high performance dressage, is among five candidates for “Best Athlete.”

Absent from the nominees was Isabell Werth of Germany, who won dressage team, individual and freestyle golds on Bella Rose at the European Championships and captured her third straight World Cup title on Weihegold OLD, a more successful championship record than any other rider in any discipline in 2019. She is ranked No. 1 in the world on Bella Rose and No. 2 on Weihegold.

The public has until Oct. 7 to vote for their candidates–at https://www.fei.org/awards. Public voting will count for 50% to decide recipients of the awards to be presented at a banquet in Moscow Nov. 19.


Best Athlete, for demonstrating exceptional skill and taken the sport to a new level over the past year:

–Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, jumping
–Martin Fuchs of Switzerland, jumping
–Ingrid Klimke of Germany, eventing
–Bram Chardon of the Netherlands, driving
–Sanne Voets of the Netherlands, para dressage

Best Groom, for the behind-the-scenes caregiver who ensures the horses they look after receive the best possible care:

–Tim Varlec of Slovenia, groom for Ireland para dressage athlete Tamsin Addison
–Madeleine Broek of the Netherlands, groom for Dutch jumping rider Marc Houtzager
–Yann Devanne of France, groom for French Olympic eventing team gold medallist Thibaut Vallette
–Ann-Christin De Boer of Germany, groom for Olympic dressage rider Helen Langehanenberg

Rising Star, for athlete aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment:

–Max Wachman, 16, of Ireland, jumping
–Juan Martin Clavijo, 19, of Colombia, vaulting
–Semmieke Rothenberger, 20, of Germany, dressage
–Costanza Laliscia, 20, endurance

Against All Odds, for an inspiring individual who pursued equestrian ambitions and overcome challenges and obstacles along the way:

–Marie Vonderheyden of the United States, para dressage
–Eric Lamaze of Canada, jumping
–Tobias Thorning Jørgensen of Denmark, para dressage
–Zhenqiang Li of China, jumping

Solidarity, for an individual or organization that used skill, dedication and energy to expand the sport:

–DSA LEAD Programme of South Africa
–Uno Yxklinten of Sweden, farrier training program in Zambia
–The Wheatland Farm Equestrian Center, Virginia, United States
–The Jack Dodd Foundation of Ireland
–The Urban Equestrian Academy of Great Britain