On a recent visit to the FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach praised equestrian sports for their “high level of compliance” with the 40 recommendations outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020.
“Olympic Agenda 2020 is the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement and it is impressive to see how compliant the FEI and equestrian sport already are with many of the recommendations,” Bach said in a statement.
“Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic movement since 1912 and the growth of the sport has been phenomenal, but it is good to know that the FEI was already working on a number of these areas, including good governance and a full review of the competition formats, even before we rolled out Agenda 2020.”
Bach complimented equestrian sports on being at the forefront of gender equality as well as the scope of participants from varying ages and culture. “…and I have great admiration for what equestrian athletes achieve through the unique relationship between horse and rider, it’s truly awe-inspiring.”
FEI President Ingmar De Vos has been outspoken in his determination to modernize equestrian sports and make them “more global than ever before” since his election last December, and during a presentation to Bach, De Vos explained how the FEI is embracing Agenda 2020 and how it aligns with the FEI’s own goals for equestrian sport.
“We see it as an invitation to continue on the path we are already on to grow and develop the sport, a launch pad to further improve our sport and make it relevant in the modern sporting climate. We are confident that we tick many of the Agenda 2020 boxes, and we’re working hard to add the tick to the missing ones. We are pushing the boundaries, while respecting the traditions of our sport,” De Vos said.