The Covid-19 pandemic presents an unparalleled challenge to horse sport and the wider industry, FEI president Ingmar De Vos says.
De Vos, writing in the FEI’s just-released 2019 annual report, says horse sport is in an unprecedented situation that could not have been envisaged 12 months ago.
“The community is suffering, and there is no doubt in my mind that this is the biggest challenge we have ever been confronted with as a sport and as an industry.
“But there is also no doubt in my mind – and especially as I review our collective efforts of previous years – that we have a great sport and a great community, and together we will secure our future and find a way to get back on track.”
De Vos described 2019 as a busy year, with an increase in the number of international events and registrations.
There were 4708 international events held and 811 FEI Championship medals distributed.
He said new partnerships and a boosted digital strategy generated extensive media coverage from key events, which helped lift interest in horse sport.
Development of horse sport is a team effort, he said. “Our strength is in our unity on the very big challenges we face.
“Together we can drive change and promote the very best of our sport.
“The camaraderie and diversity within the equestrian world is particularly inspiring and it is what makes our strength.
“I am humbled by the dedication and the determination of our community, and particularly at the time of writing, when we are facing a completely unprecedented situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, I am grateful for the strength and resolve of all equestrian people.”