A touch of Hollywood is coming to the FEI’s prestigious annual awards, with actress and equestrian Bo Derek being named Chair of the Jury of judges.
Derek, star of the 1979 romantic comedy “10” and recently cast in the cult Sharknado series on US cable network SyFy, is a lifelong horse lover and riding enthusiast. She is the International Ambassador of the Lusitano Horse, a spokesperson for the Animal Welfare Institute and serves on the California Racing Board.
The FEI Awards 2015, in association with the FEI’s Top Partner Longines and with international fashion designer Reem Acra, celebrate the world’s exceptional equestrians, saluting excellence, courage, commitment and dedication.
Derek will be joined on the FEI Awards 2015 judging panel by FEI President Ingmar De Vos; Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice-President and Head of International Marketing of Longines; fashion designer Reem Acra; Carmen Barrera, Chair of FEI Regional Group V (South America); and Ulf Helgstrand, President of the Danish Equestrian Federation and Vice President of the European Equestrian Federation.
“The FEI Awards honour the deep contributions that our horses, riders and everyone in the equestrian community make to our society,” Derek said.
“I already know that judging these awards is not going to be easy, and we have just one month to the nomination deadline. I urge everyone to think of those who are working with and taking great care of our phenomenal horses, and those who are doing their upmost to achieve the best for horse sport, and for our society as a whole – they need your votes!”
Derek, who also lends her support to a number of animal, conservation and aid organisations, including Richard Branson’s Wild Aid and Yasuni-ITT rainforest preservation, and to wide-ranging initiatives dedicated to helping veterans find work after returning home from service, was honoured for her contribution to equestrian sport with a Longines Ladies Award in 2014.
Her autobiography, Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I learned from Horses, reflects her enduring love and understanding of equines and other animals, which she weaves into photography assignments for the likes of Vanity Fair magazine and her film projects.
“I am honored and excited to be working so closely on the FEI Awards 2015, and looking forward to seeing the nominations flow in,” Derek added.
More than 350 guests from the global equestrian community, including members of the FEI’s National Federations around the world, will also attend the gala to celebrate the award winners.
Nominations for the FEI Awards 2015 are open, with five categories:
- The Longines Rising Star Award is for equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.
- The Reem Acra Best Athlete Award celebrates athletes who, over the last 12 months, have demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and have taken equestrian sport to a new level.
- The Against All Odds Award rewards people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical issues or extremely difficult personal circumstances.
- The Best Groom Award is dedicated to the vital behind-the-scenes team members who work 24/7 to ensure that horses get the best possible care and attention.
- The FEI Solidarity Award will be presented to an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding equestrian sport.
Nominations for the FEI Awards 2015 close at midnight on August 28.