Henrik von Eckermann Headlines Nominees for 2022 FEI Awards

Lausanne, Switzerland – October 05, 2022 – The nominations for the FEI Awards 2022 are as impressive as ever, with the online voting opening today for the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete, Longines FEI Rising Star, Cavalor FEI Best Groom, FEI Against All Odds and FEI Solidarity Awards.

The 20 shortlisted candidates from 15 countries include World Champions, highly accomplished up-and-coming young athletes, grooms, inspirational equestrians, judges and charities.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry, who took home two individual Dressage gold medals at the Ecco FEI World Championships in Herning (DEN), is one of four nominees for the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete Award. Her peers include Vaulting World Champion and former Longines FEI Rising Star Award winner Lambert Leclezio from France, Para Dressage multi World Champion and Paralympic gold medallist Sanne Voets from the Netherlands, and Swedish Jumping legend, Henrik von Eckermann (SWE), current World number one, reigning World Champion and veteran of both the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the latter being where he helped bring home team gold.

Once again, this year the FEI received hugely diverse nominations from all over the globe, highlighting individuals and organisations going above and beyond in their dedication to equestrian sports and horse welfare. The ultimate accolades will go to the winners at the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines on 13 November in Cape Town (RSA).
The Longines FEI Rising Star category is once again bristling with young up-and-coming talent, including Eventer Alice Casburn (GBR), Irish Jumping athlete James Derwin, Denmark’s World Championship 2022 Para Dressage team silver medallist Karla Dhym-Junge and Dutch Vaulter Sam Dos Santos.

Of course, behind every great athlete, there are incredible grooms, and this year’s nominations for the Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award reflect that unfailing determination and commitment which characterises the sport’s often most valued yet unsung heroes. Representing four different nationalities and disciplines, four highly respected and experienced grooms who work with some of the top equestrian athletes in the world, have been shortlisted this year. 

Wherever they come from, and no matter their sporting discipline, they all share a common trait: total dedication and passion for the horses they groom and the athletes they work for. 

As is always the case, some of the most incredible and inspirational stories come from the FEI Against All Odds and FEI Solidarity categories. From New Zealander Trevor Harris who overcame 5% odds of ever walking again after a car accident, to the Horse Charity Barbados, who rescue and rehabilitate horses for equine therapy purposes – these are the stories that touch the heart and highlight the determination, drive and passion that can bloom from being involved with horses.

The shortlisted nominees have been selected for their outstanding achievements on the field of play, inspirational outlook and unparalleled dedication to equestrian sport.

The amazing stories of all the nominees in the five categories can be found here.

The public now has 10 days (6 to 16 October) to cast their votes for their heroes. Make sure you have your say and vote here!

The shortlisted nominees for the FEI Awards 2022 are:

Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete – paying tribute to the athlete who over the past year has demonstrated exceptional skill and taken the sport to a new level.

·    Charlotte Fry (GBR) – Dressage
·    Lambert Leclezio (FRA) – Vaulting
·    Sanne Voets (NED) – Para Dressage
·    Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) – Jumping

Longines FEI Rising Star – for the athlete aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

·    Alice Casburn (GBR) – Eventing
·    James Derwin (IRL) – Jumping
·    Sam Dos Santos (NED) – Vaulting 
·    Karla Dyhm-Junge (DEN) – Para Dressage

Cavalor FEI Best Groom – for the behind-the-scenes hero who ensures the horses they look after are given the best possible care.

·    Kerryn Edmans (NZL) – Eventing groom for Tim & Jonelle Price 
·    Emma Olsson (SWE) – Driving groom for Boyd Exell 
·    Sue Schlegel (USA) – Jumping groom for Elizabeth Madden 
·    Lars Seefeld (GER) – Dressage groom for Daniel Bachmann Andersen 

FEI Against All Odds – for an inspiring individual who has pursued their equestrian ambitions and overcome challenges and obstacles along the way.

·    Trevor Harrison (NZL) – Former jockey
·    Estiven Palacio Hernandez (COL) – Vaulting
·    Muthoni Kimani (KEN) – Jumping
·    Mia Rodier-Dawallo (USA) – Para Dressage

FEI Solidarity – for an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, an individual or organisation that has used skill, dedication and energy to expand the sport.

·    Zuzana Baciak Masarykova (SVK)
·    Horse Charity Barbados (BAR)
·    The Big Food Ride (SWZ)
·    The Dressage SA Solidarity Stars Project (RSA)
The winners will be decided by combining 50% of the public’s vote and 50% of the judges’ vote for the final result. The nine expert judges for this year’s FEI Awards are:

·    Ingmar De Vos (BEL), FEI President
·    Matthieu Baumgartner (SUI), Longines Vice President of Marketing
·    Peter Bollen (BEL), Founder and chief nutritionist of Cavalor
·    Martin Atock (IRL), Managing Director of Peden Bloodstock
·    Amanda Bond (GBR), Head of Equestrian Affairs at The Hong Kong Jockey Club
·    Luiz Roberto Giugni (BRA), FEI Board Member and Chairman of Group VI
·    Michelle Wang Qiang (CHN), Founder and CEO of Equuleus Corp.
·    Professor Natalie Waran (NZL), BSc (Hons), PhD (Cantab) International equine behaviour and welfare scientist
·    Sharlene Venter (RSA), Secretary General of the South African Equestrian Federation

About Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)
The FEI is the world governing body for horse sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was founded in 1921. Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic movement since the 1912 Games in Stockholm.

The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in the Olympic sports of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, as well as Driving, Endurance and Vaulting.

The FEI became one of the first international sports governing bodies to govern and regulate global para sport alongside its able-bodied disciplines when Para Dressage joined its ranks in 2006. The FEI now governs all international competitions for Para Dressage and Para Driving.

Press Release from FEI – Fédération Equestre Internationale

Photo: © FEI / Richard Juilliart