FEI Announces Judges of FEI Awards 2011

The Fédération Equestre International (FEI), the governing body of equestrian sport, is pleased to announce the FEI Awards 2011 judging panel, which will be  presided by FEI President HRH Princess Haya for the third consecutive year.

Diane Fissore-Wathelet, President of the Monaco Equestrian Federation, Zoë Kayes, Secretary General of the  Malawi Equestrian Federation, and Juan Andres Sauce, International Delegate of the Venezuelan Equestrian Federation, will have the tough task of deciding which nominees will be applauded for their contribution to the sport at the FEI Awards Ceremony in  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in November. HRH Princess Haya will attend the ceremony, which will take place at the Copacabana Palace, the famous Art Deco hotel that opened its doors in 1923 and has played host to celebrities ranging from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to Madonna, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti and the Rolling Stones.

Diane Fissore-Wathelet is a qualified lawyer and has presided the Monaco Equestrian Federation since 1995. She has also been president of Jumping International de Monte-Carlo since its creation in 1995. In parallel to her activities within the Federation, Diane Fissore heads a communications, publishing and event management company. Despite her professional commitments, Fissore, who began riding when she was very young, continues to live her passion for horses. She is a Dressage rider and owns many horses.

Zoë Kayes grew up in Malawi, southern Central Africa and has ridden all her life. She is a qualified riding instructor, coach and Dressage, Jumping and Eventing judge and has competed in national and international Jumping and Dressage events for many years. Kayes was instrumental in creating the Zomba-based Malawi Equestrian Federation, which has been affiliated to the FEI since 2002, and works to bring children with no access to riding gear or basic equipment into equestrian sports. She spent a year riding in New Zealand with ex-Olympic Jumping rider Garnet Woods and still trains for Dressage with Brian Burgess. Kayes attended Agricultural College in Winchester (GBR), where she studied Agriculture, Dairying and Veterinary Livestock.

Juan Andres Sauce comes from a family with a long tradition of equestrianism. The 42-year-old lawyer and his daughter Beatriz were the 2010 Venezuelan Jumping champions in the “B” and Pre-Junior categories respectively. Sauce was elected by his club Lagunita as delegate to the Venezuelan Equestrian Federation and votes at its General Assembly. He is co-editor of the Statutes, General Rules and Jumping Rules of his National Federation. Sauce has been Chef d’Equipe several times, notably at the Wellington, Florida stage of the FEI Nations Cup™ in 2010 and the FEI South American Young Riders & Americas Juniors, Pre-Juniors & Children Championships in Bogota, Colombia in 2009 and at the Copa Mitad del Mundo in Quito, Ecuador and the International Championship for Children in Santiago, Chile, also in 2009.

Nominations for the five-category FEI Awards (Reem Acra Best Athlete, HSBC Rising Star, Against All Odds, Development and Best Groom) are open until 31 July at www.feiawards.org.