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European Equestrian Federation reps meet in London

October 6, 2011

The newly formed European Equestrian Federation met in London last week for its annual Sport Conference and General Assembly.

More than 70 delegates and associate members from 33 National Federations attended the EEF conference, hosted by the British Equestrian Federation from September 26 to 29.

The EEF was established in early 2010 with a group of 27 equestrian nations aimed at representing the interests of European horse sport within the FEI.

In attendance at the conference was FEI President Princess Haya and Secretary General Ingmar de Vos, and Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP.

EEF President Hanfried Haring, opened the Conference along with Robertson, and Chairman of the British Equestrian Federation, Keith Taylor.

The Sport Conference, which ran over two days, discussed a wide range of topics including challenges faced in equestrian sport in Europe and preparations and progress ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which take place in Greenwich Park next year.

Competition Manager for LOCOG, Tim Hadaway, addressed delegates on the first day of the conference, before providing a tour of the venue. Director of the National Maritime Museum, Dr Kevin Fewster and Assistant Chief Executive to the Borough of Greenwich, Katrina Delaney joined delegates on the final day of the conference, sharing their organisations updates with less than a year to go to the Games.

The EEF General Assembly was held alongside the Sport Conference and this year saw the second election and appointments to the board. Chief Executive of the BEF, Andrew Finding, was re-elected to the board, along with Michal Wrøblewski (Poland) and Armağan Özgörkey (Turkey). Manuel Bandeira de Mello, who steps down from the board this year to take over as EEF Secretary General, was succeeded by Theo Ploegmakers (Netherlands).

Haring said the conference had been a great success, and that the communication between upcoming and leading nations to solve common problems has started to become successful. "Reasons for this have been not least the excellent organisation of the British Federation and the spirit of the location. Everybody left with the clear impression that the competitions at the historic site of Greenwich will put equestrian sport in the limelight of the Olympic Games as nearly never before," he said.

Andrew Finding said after the General Assembly that the feedback from attending federations had been excellent, and the feeling was that Greenwich would host "a truly spectacular event" next year.

"The view from our friends and colleagues has been that the first sport conference to be held by the EEF has provided a fantastic opportunity to improve communication within the equestrian community throughout Europe," Finding said.

"We are very grateful to UK Sport for their funding support and to all of our delegates and speakers for joining us this week."



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