FEI President Princess Haya has been presented with the Prize of the City of Aachen in recognition of her long-standing commitment to equestrian sport.
She received the award at a special ceremony in the main arena at the Aachen CHIO in Germany on Sunday.
Presented by the Major of the City of Aachen Marcel Philipp, the award has been given annually since 1995 to personalities who have rendered outstanding service to the CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival, which hosts upwards of 360,000 spectators.
“This award means a great deal to me both personally and in my role as FEI President,” Princess Haya said at the presentation ceremony.
“In receiving it I must emphasise that I have achieved nothing alone. Every step forward in equestrian sport made since I became president is the result of teamwork. And the team is very big: it is not only the staff at FEI Headquarters, it is also the FEI Bureau, the discipline committees, the National Federations, the sponsors and event organisers.
“If our sport is continuing to grow in popularity it is because our top athletes are playing a huge role by inspiring young people to become involved in it. But this could not happen without events such as Aachen.”
Aachen hosted the fifth FEI World Equestrian Games in 2006, the year Princess Haya became president of the FEI. In 2015, Aachen will host the FEI European Championships in dressage, jumping, vaulting, driving and reining, the first time five European Championships have taken place at the same venue.
“Princess Haya has always asserted herself for the CHIO Aachen. This prize serves as a symbol of the City of Aachen’s gratitude to her,” Philipp said.
Carl Meulenbergh, President of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennvereins e.V., also honoured the FEI President’s commitment to and close bond with the CHIO Aachen. “I recall well the years when she entered the stadium here in Aachen as a showjumper, her moving closing speech at the World Equestrian Games 2006 and now I look forward to her Opening Speech at the FEI European Championships 2015,” he said.
The first winner of the Prize of the City of Aachen was Helmut Werner, the then Chairman of Daimler-Benz AG, who was presented with the award in 1995.
Princess Haya, as well as being President of the FEI, is also member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). She became a UN Messenger of Peace at the request of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007. In June 2010, she became a Global Patron for the World Academy of Sport.
At age 13, Princess Haya was the first female to represent Jordan internationally in equestrian sport in jumping. She won an individual bronze medal in the Pan-Arab Equestrian Games in 1992, and is the only female ever to have won a Pan-Arab medal in equestrian sport.
In 2000, Princess Haya fulfilled a lifelong dream by competing at the Sydney Olympic Games in jumping and, two years later, competed for Jordan in the FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, making her the first Arab woman to qualify for and compete in equestrian sport at Olympic, world and continental championship level.