We all know the pitfalls of hire purchase, don’t we darlings. There are booking fees, insurances and exorbitant interest rates.
Haya purchase, however, is a totally different proposition!
Avid readers of Horsetalk today will be aware that the FEI president, Princess Haya, stumped up with the readies to help with the purchase and refurbishment of the world body’s new premises.
The money – we’re talking more than $US30 million all up here – was a gift.
The building, which is to be completed around November, will have innovation at its core, with fab insulation and low energy use. Felicity is also picking dual-flush toilets, as well as a cutting-edge twin-head espresso coffee machine in the cafe.
Now, Felicity knows only too well that cynics will be tempted to take a swipe at the princess, especially with the pre-inauguration set down for October – only weeks before the General Assembly meets to vote in a president for the next term.
Two European candidates are standing against her.
But, putting it in perspective, the princess gifted the money in 2008 and, while she has undoubted power and influence – much like moi – I’m sure that doesn’t extend to the pace at which builders work.
The building is not scheduled to be completed until November. It’s possible the FEI might then be under the presidential spell of the Svengali-like Holmberg, or we could even be living under the reign of the House of Henk!
Felicity will give credit where credit is due. This was an extraordinary gift, one that will surely have spin-offs for national federations around the world in terms of how much they must contribute to keep the FEI running.
Felicity knows only too well the weight of responsibility that goes with giving. A good slice of her day is spent running the Felicity Foxhunter Philanthropic Fund. The causes are many, the millions available few.
For Royalty, it is often about legacies.
Yes, dear readers, I know Princess Haya has copped some flak during her presidency. Her handling of the anti-inflammatory drugs issue last year was unfortunate and some believe she could have done more to streamline the FEI.
That may be so, but even her critics must acknowledge that equestrian sport has a true friend in Princess Haya.
And Felicity Foxhunter.