Nominees have been announced for 2021 FEI Awards, and now it’s up to the public to determine the winners! Choose your favorites from the final shortlist of candidates for FEI Best Athlete, Rising Star, Best Groom, Against All Odds and Solidarity Awards from today until Oct. 17. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Antwerp, Belgium on Nov. 17.
The public vote will count 50% of the total vote, with the other 50% being decided upon by this judging panel. As patriotic citizens of Eventing Nation, we know which party you’re going to be voting for. Here are the eventing nominees:
Nominee: Julia Krajewski (GER), up for Best Athlete
Why she deserves to win: Julia made history in Tokyo, breaking the glass ceiling to prove that prove that a woman can wear individual eventing gold. Julia overcame innumerable obstacles and heartbreaks on her path to the top step of the podium — she could easily have been a nominee for the Against All Odds award, too.
Nominee: Greta Busacker (GER), up for Rising Star
Why she deserves to win: Greta, age 19, is the daughter of 2020 winner of the decade Ingrid Klimke, but she’s been making a name for herself in her own right. Most recently she became the 2021 Young Rider European Champion and earned big wins this year at Bad Harzburg, Westerstede and Radolfzell.
Nominee: Stephanie Simpson (USA), up for Best Groom
Why she deserves to win: As a longtime groom for Boyd Martin, nobody works harder than Stephanie to keep the elite equine athletes under her charge happy, healthy and fit. The photo above says it all — Stephanie has her hands full! — but whether putting in long hours at the farm or on the road, her unwavering work ethic and passion for horsemanship is clear.
Nominee: Laura Collett (GBR), up for Against All Odds
Why she deserves to win: Success has never been handed to Laura, and the obstacles she has overcome — including a severe cross country accident in 2013 that put her in a coma for six days and destroyed her vision in one eye back — would have derailed a less determined individual. From her five-star win last year at Pau to team gold in Tokyo, she’s fought her way to the top.
Nominee: Sue Ockendon (CAN), up for the Solidarity Award
Why she deserves to win: As an FEI Technical Delegate and longtime Bromont Horse Trials organizer, Sue Ockendon has plenty enough on her plate. Yet she’s made time for the MARS Bromont Rising Program, established in 2019 to offer financial aid and training to eventers under the age of 25. And the importance of her work to improve the quality and safety of cross country courses cannot be overstated.
The amazing stories of all the nominees in the five categories can be found here.
The public now has 13 days, Oct. 5-17, to cast their votes for their heroes. Make sure you have your say and vote here!
The complete list of nominees for the FEI Awards 2021 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.
- Peder Fredricson (SWE), Jumping
- Julia Krajewski (GER), Eventing
- Jessica von Bredow Werndl (GER), Dressage
- Sir Lee Pearson (GBR), Para Dressage
Longines FEI Rising Star – for the youth athlete aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment.
- Sam Dos Santos (NED), 15, Vaulting
- Greta Busacker (GER), 19, Eventing
- Jimena Carrillo Watanabe (MEX), 14, Jumping
- Marten Luiten (NED), 20, Dressage
Cavalor FEI Best Groom – for the behind-the-scenes hero who ensures the horses they look after are given the best possible care.
- Stephanie Simpson (USA), groom for Eventing athlete Boyd Martin (USA)
- Jorge Luiz Gonzales (ARG), groom for Jumping athlete Matias Albarracin (ARG)
- Kathleen Van Winden (NED), groom for Para Dressage athlete Sanne Voets (NED)
- Marie Johansson (SWE), groom for Dressage athlete Patrick Kittel (SWE)
FEI Against All Odds – for an inspiring individual who has pursued their equestrian ambitions and overcome challenges and obstacles along the way.
- Beatrice de Lavalette (USA), Para Dressage
- Laura Collett (GBR), Eventing
- Japan Equestrian Federation
- Dr Ruben Fausto Arismendi Garat (URU), Endurance Veterinarian
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.
- Hellenic Equestrian Federation (GRE)
- Sue Ockendon (CAN), founder of the Bromont Rising Program
- Compton Cowboys (USA), community programme in Compton, Los Angeles
- Equulus Charity ‘Pursuit of Dreams’ (CHN)
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
- Kyra Kyrklund (FIN), six-time Dressage Olympian for Finland, six-time FEI Dressage World Cup™ finalist and winner of the 1991 FEI World Cup™ Final
- Andrew Hoy (AUS), eight time Olympian and team silver and individual bronze medal winner for Eventing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
- Lucy Katan (GBR), founder of British Grooms Association (BGA) and the International Grooms Association (IGA) with the support of the FEI
- Hannia Chinchilla de Wolf (CRC), President of the Federación Ecuestre de Costa Rica and FEI Solidarity Committee member
- Wendy Laeremans (BEL), Belgium National Federation Sport Director & Chef de Mission