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Six Europeans seek FEI presidency

FEI-HQ-540Six European candidates will vie for the presidency of the FEI in December, in an election that will end a 60-year run of royal leadership of the world governing body for horse sport.

The FEI today released the final list of candidates, following the September 1 deadline for nominations.

They are, in order of the filing of their nominations: Pierre Genecand, of Switzerland; Ulf Helgstrand, of Denmark; John McEwen, of Britain; Javier Revuelta del Peral, of Spain; Pierre Durand, of France; and Ingmar De Vos, of Belgium.

Each candidate has been nominated by their respective national federations.

The election is set to take place on December 14 during the FEI General Assembly in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Princess Haya stands down in December after eight years as president of the FEI.

Princess Haya stands down in December after eight years as president of the FEI. © Paul Harding / Lewis Harding Images

The incumbent, Princess Haya, will stand down at the General Assembly after eight years in the role.

Genecand, 64, is a businessman, banker and insurance broker by profession. He served as president of the Geneva International Horse Show from 1989 to 2003. He has been a member of the board of the World Cup of Horsemanship, the Alliance of Jumping Organisers, and the Committee of Swiss Top Sports. He is the current president of the Polo Club Gstaad and the Hublot Polo Gold Club.

Helgstrand, 63, is a medical doctor and a professor of vascular surgery. He has served as president of the Danish Equestrian Federation since 2003. He was a board member and vice-president of the Danish Warmblood Association for 10 years and currently serves as vice-president and a charter member of the European Equestrian Federation. Helgstrand is a former dressage rider and has run a stud with several approved dressage stallions since 1991.

McEwen, 69, is a veterinary surgeon with wide international experience. He served as a veterinarian to the British show jumping and dressage teams until the London 2012 Olympic Games. He was vice-chairman of the FEI Veterinary Committee from 1999 to 2003 and has been its chairman since 2006. He currently chairs the FEI Prohibited Substances List and Laboratory Groups. McEwen has served on an advisory panel for World Horse Welfare for more than 15 years. He represents the FEI at the World Organisation for Animal Health, specialising in horse transport issues and on the International Sports Horse Federation. McEwen was appointed FEI 1st Vice-President in 2010.

Revuelta del Peral, 57, is a lawyer and attorney at law for the Spanish Government. He has held senior management positions at various Spanish and international companies in the telecommunications, media, food, financial, and renewable energy industries. He has competed nationally and internationally in eventing and jumping. He participated in the eventing competition in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, was a member of the Spanish eventing team at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 1994, and at the FEI European Championships the following year. Since 2005, he has served as the chairman of the Spanish Equestrian Federation and is a member of the Spanish Olympic Committee. He breeds and owns racehorses.

Durand, 59, holds a degree in business law, is a former professional rider and wine grower. He was Olympic Jumping champion at the 1988 Seoul Games with the 13-year old gelding Jappeloup. He also competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and became European Jumping champion in 1987. He won many other international and national titles. From 1993 to 1998 Durand was president of the French Equestrian Federation. He has held various executive positions in the media industry and is currently chairman of the board of directors of the French National Institute for Sport, Expertise, and Performance.

De Vos, 51, holds degrees in political science, business administration and international and European law and started his career as an adviser to the Belgian Senate. He joined the Belgian Equestrian Federation as managing director in 1990, and held the additional role of secretary general from 1997 to 2011. He was secretary general of the European Equestrian Federation from 2010, the year the organisation was formed, until 2011. During his time at the Belgian National Federation, De Vos was chef de mission for the Belgian equestrian team at all FEI World Equestrian Games from 1990 to 2010 and at several Olympic Games. De Vos has been FEI secretary general since May 2011.

Princess Haya surprised the equestrian world last month by announcing she would not be standing for a third four-year term. Her departure will result in her relinquishing her seat on the International Olympic Committee.

Horsetalk.co.nz

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