With the recent announcement by HRH Princess Haya that she will not run for re-election this year, the presidential position at the FEI has officially opened up. Six candidates have submitted applications to be the next FEI President, representing six different nations — make that seven if you count our very own Chinch.
The FEI published a press release today containing the names of the applicants:
- Pierre Genecand (SUI)
- Ulf Helgstrand (DEN)
- John McEwen (GBR)
- Javier Revuelta del Peral (ESP)
- Pierre Durand (FRA)
- Ingmar De Vos (BEL)
- Chinch (USA)
While there is no candidate hailing from North America aside from our resident freedom fighter, Chinch, the other six individuals who have come forward bring a wealth of experience to the table. Here is some more information on each candidate, from the FEI press release:
Pierre Genecand, 64, is proposed by the Swiss Equestrian Federation. A businessman, banker and insurance broker by profession, Genecand served as president of the Geneva International Horse Show from 1989 to 2003. He has been a member of the board of the World Cup of Horsemanship, the Alliance of Jumping Organisers and the Committee of Swiss Top Sports. He is the current president of the Polo Club Gstaad and the Hublot Polo Gold Club.
Ulf Helgstrand, 63, is proposed by the Danish Equestrian Federation. A medical doctor by profession, Helgstrand is a professor of vascular surgery. He has served as President of the Danish Equestrian Federation since 2003. He was board member and Vice President of the Danish Warmblood Association for 10 years and currently serves as Vice President and charter member of the European Equestrian Federation. Helgstrand is a former Dressage rider and has run a stud with several approved Dressage stallions since 1991.
John McEwen, 69, is proposed by the British Equestrian Federation. A qualified veterinary surgeon with wide international experience, McEwen served as veterinary surgeon to the British show jumping and dressage teams until the London 2012 Olympic Games. He was vice chairman of the FEI Veterinary Committee from 1999 to 2003 and has been the committee’s chair since 2006. He currently chairs the FEI Prohibited Substances List and Laboratory Groups.
McEwen has served on an advisory panel for World Horse Welfare for more than 15 years. He represents the FEI at the World Organisation for Animal Health specialising in horse transport issues and on the International Sports Horse Federation. McEwen was appointed FEI 1st Vice President in 2010.
Javier Revuelta del Peral, 57, is proposed by the Spanish Equestrian Federation. Revuelta is a lawyer and attorney at law for the Spanish government. He has held senior management positions at various Spanish and international companies in the telecommunications, media, food, financial and renewable energy industries. Revuelta has competed nationally and internationally in Eventing and Jumping.
He participated in the eventing competition in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, was a member of the Spanish eventing team at the FEI World Equestrian Games 1994 and at the FEI European Championships the following year. Since 2005, Revuelta has served as the chairman of the Spanish Equestrian Federation and is a member of the Spanish Olympic Committee. He breeds and owns racehorses.
Pierre Durand, 59, is proposed by the French Equestrian Federation. Durand holds a degree in business law, is a former professional rider and wine grower. He was Olympic jumping champion at the 1988 Seoul Games with the 13-year old gelding Jappeloup. He also competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and became European jumping champion in 1987. He won many other international and national titles.
From 1993 to 1998, Durand was president of the French Equestrian Federation. He has held various executive positions in the media industry and is currently chairman of the board of directors of the French National Institute for Sport, Expertise, and Performance (INSEP).
Ingmar De Vos, 51, is proposed by the Belgian Equestrian Federation. De Vos holds degrees in political science, business administration and international and European law and started his career as an advisor to the Belgian Senate. He joined the Belgian Equestrian Federation as managing director in 1990, and held the additional role of Secretary General from 1997 to 2011.
He was Secretary General of the European Equestrian Federation from 2010, the year the organisation was formed, until 2011. During his time at the Belgian National Federation, De Vos was chef de mission for the Belgian Equestrian Team at all FEI World Equestrian Games from 1990 to 2010 and at several Olympic Games. De Vos has been FEI Secretary General since May 2011.
Chinch, immortal, is proposed by the United States Equestrian Federation. Well-known globetrotter and champion of free speech, he launched the #censoredbyBE campaign to speak out against British Eventing’s stifling social media policy. He’s traveled to some of the world’s most prestigious events, such as Rolex Kentucky, Luhmühlen, Badminton and the World Equestrian Games.
This rubbing of elbows with the likes of William Fox-Pitt, Sam Griffiths, Bettina Hoy, Kim Severson and many more gives him the global perspective required for this presidential position. Campaign platforms include bringing positive change to equestrian sport using his massive media empire to spread his ideas. Will also carry a custom coffee mug emblazoned with “I’m the boss” if elected. #Chinch4Change
Voting will take place at the FEI General Assembly on Dec. 14. The winning candidate will be decided by a two-thirds majority vote. If this majority is not met, the candidate receiving the least amount of votes will be removed from the ballot, and another vote will take place. (FEI Statutes, Article 24.2, 24.4).