FEI exceeds IOC’s gender equality targets – but that’s not enough

FEI President Ingmar De Vos led the FEI's first online General Assembly this week.
FEI President Ingmar De Vos led the FEI’s first online General Assembly this week. © FEI/Richard Juilliart

Horse sport’s world governing body has improved its gender equality balance, with the percentage of female members of the FEI Board now at 38%.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos noted the milestone during the board’s final meeting at the FEI Online General Assembly on Wednesday.

» Watch a replay of the 2020 General Assembly

“The recommendation from the IOC is 30% female representation,” De Vos said, “but even 38% is not enough and we will keep working on the gender balance.”

Recent elections and the promotion to full Board Member status of the Medical, Para-Equestrian, and Vaulting Committee Chairs, has resulted in an improved gender equality balance on the Board.

The inclusion of Amanda Bond (HKG), Chair of the Para Equestrian Committee as a full Board member brings additional diversity to the Board. Four new FEI Board member were also selected at the General Assembly: Brigitte Mathias(NAM), Chair of FEI Regional Group IX; Christian Lozano (FRA), Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee; Pavla Krauspe, Chair of the FEI Vaulting Committee; and Janice Shardlow (GBR), Chair of the FEI Audit and Compliance Committee.

Backstage during the FEI Online General Assembly 2020.
Backstage during the FEI Online General Assembly 2020. © FEI/Richard Juilliart

Outgoing Board members Mary Binks, former Chair of the Group IX and Brian Mangan, former Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee, have been appointed as Honorary FEI Board Members for their dedicated service to the FEI.

De Vos said that Binks has been a great ambassador for equestrian sport in Africa, and “has always clearly voiced her opinions in the Board and has never been afraid to ask the right questions”. He also paid tribute to Mangan, who has contributed to the FEI for more than a decade. “You should be extremely proud of all you have achieved and especially for the risk management of which today we collect the fruits.”

FEI Secretary-General Sabrina Ibáñez told the board that there were now 136 National Federations in the FEI family, with Brunei being excluded through non-payment of dues for the past two years, but Armenia (ARM), Azerbaijan (AZE), Georgia (GEO) and Turkmenistan (TKM) had been reinstated.

Christian Lozano (FRA) has been elected as the new FEI Endurance Committee Chair Christian Lozano, with Sarah Coombs (GBR); Daniel Fenaux (ESP); Sharon du Plessis (BOT); and Elizabeth van Schelle (BRA) appointed to the committee.

A replacement for the Endurance Athlete Representative will be appointed in the interim, with full rights, until new elections take place. Former Endurance Temporary Committee Chair Sarah Coombs has been appointed as an additional member of the Endurance Calendar Task Force.

Vice-Presidents Mark Samuel and Jack Huang have been re-elected as Chair of their respective Regional Group.

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