Ingmar De Vos was re-elected unopposed as President of the FEI at the General Assembly in Manama in Bahrain last week, where he pledged to build on the success of his first term in office.
The Belgian native received unanimous support for a second four-year term from delegates representing the FEI’s 133 National Federations.
It is the first time since 2002 that there has been an uncontested election for the FEI’s top role. De Vos is the 13th FEI President since the Federation was founded in 1921, and only the fourth to become an IOC Member.
“I believe in our sport, in our community and in our potential,” De Vos said in his acceptance speech after an extended standing ovation from the delegates. “These are exciting times for equestrian. We are growing, our fan base is diversifying and we have seven amazing and unique disciplines to promote – the sky really is the limit!
“Together – and this is the key word – together we can and we will continue to develop our sport and to attract new athletes, new fans and new sponsors. And we will do this by ensuring great sport, cutting-edge formats and great products globally to showcase the unique attributes of our disciplines and our sport.
“One of my biggest priorities is to keep our community together and ensure we stand united, because this is how we can continue to drive the sport to new heights. We are all on this journey together. It is not the mission of one man but of a community and I am grateful to everyone in this room for all that we have achieved and all that we will go on to achieve.”
He gave a heartfelt vote of thanks to his wife Sabine and the couple’s four children for their unfailing support, before going on to thank his predecessor Princess Haya al Hussein for her visionary leadership and his mentor, the late Jacky Buchmann, former President of the Belgian Equestrian Federation.
Under his leadership, the FEI has seen greater youth engagement and universality, continued improvements in governance within the FEI and its member Federations, and a major evolution in the Federation’s broadcast and digital media strategy.
In his Presidential Programme for 2018-2022, A Roadmap for the Future, Ingmar De Vos pledged to continue working within the five pillars on which he structured his first term, each with their own set of key commitments. The five pillars are Serving our Community; Sport: Our Core Business; Equestrian Sport in the Olympics; Solidarity: The Engine of Development; and Horses as our Partners.
Under the FEI’s constitution, a president can serve up to three four-year terms. De Vos was first elected in 2014 at the FEI General Assembly in Baku, Azerbaijan, after three years as FEI Secretary General at the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
De Vos, 55, who was elected as an IOC Member in September 2017, is also a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) governance taskforce, a member of two IOC Commissions (Legal Affairs and Digital & Technology), and is on the board of the Belgian National Olympic Committee. Earlier this month he was appointed to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) Council and as the GAISF representative on the 12-member World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee, replacing the late Patrick Baumann in both roles. He will take up the WADA post on January 1, 2019.
Final decisions from the FEI Board in-person meeting
FEI Olympic Group qualification events
The FEI Board (formerly Bureau) agreed that allocation of the Group C Jumping and Dressage qualifiers would be postponed due to transport issues for horses to access the proposed locations in Budapest (HUN) and Moscow (RUS).
The proposal is for a decision to be taken during the Board teleconference on December 19 following further evaluation on the health requirements from the Olympic Group C nations and recommendations based on a thorough review of both venues by the FEI Veterinary Director and the relevant Discipline Directors.
The Jumping qualifier for Group F was allocated to Rabat (MAR) in October 2019. The Group G Jumping qualifier will be in Valkenswaard (NED), following a proposal from the regional group.
The Dressage Committee will identify an event in Europe that can host a Dressage qualifier for Group F. There is no requirement for a Group G qualifier following Australia’s qualification at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon 2018.
The Eventing qualifier for Group C will be held in Baborowko (POL) from 23-26 May 2019. As all Group F and G Eventing teams are based in Europe a qualifier will be identified to host a CCI 3* next spring in Europe. This will also be allocated on December 19.
The FEI Board approved modifications to the rules for the EEM Speed Challenge series and FEI Jumping World Challenge 2019. The Board also approved the rules for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup 2019, with the exception of Article 5.2 which requires further consideration.
Calendars for the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Youth 2019 and the FEI Eventing Nations Cup 2019 were approved by the Board. These will be published on the FEI website in due course.
FEI Dressage Judging Working Group
The report of the FEI Dressage Judging Working Group also received FEI Board approval. This will shortly be available on the FEI website.