Nominations for these prestigious awards, which put the spotlight on excellence, courage, commitment and dedication in the equestrian world, are open until midnight CEST this coming Friday (28 August). Nominate your champions now at www.feiawards.org.
World Jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam, who just a few days ago won individual and team gold at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER), was the Reem Acra Best Athlete 2014. The Dutchman is urging everyone to cast their votes for the 2015 Awards:
“The FEI Awards are incredibly important to equestrian sport, and there is a category dedicated to every member of our community that makes this sport a reality”, he said. "We are all dependent on each other to get to the next level in equestrian sport - it is truly a team effort. “Stand up and be counted, and vote for your favourite equestrians, be they riders, grooms or projects that are helping our equestrian community to be bigger and stronger.”
Awards 2015 - five categories
- The Longines Rising Star Award - won last year by Lambert Leclezio, the 17-year-old who became the first athlete to represent Mauritius at a World Championship when he competed at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, is for equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.
- The Reem Acra Best Athlete - awarded to Dutch jumping legend Jeroen Dubbeldam, this award celebrates the athlete who over the last 12 months has demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and has taken equestrian sport to a new level.
- The Against All Odds Award - acknowledges people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical issues or extremely difficult personal circumstances. Last year this award was won by Para-Equestrian Dressage athlete Sydney Collier (USA) with her service dog Journey. Collier, also named 2014 Junior Equestrian of the Year by the United States Equestrian Federation, has relentlessly pursued her dreams while dealing with the rare Wyburn Mason syndrome. She is aiming to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
- The Best Groom Award - dedicated to the vital behind-the-scenes team members, who work around the clock to make sure horses get the best care and attention, this award was won last year by Jackie Potts (GBR), who has spent over 20 years as groom and right-hand woman in the stables of the multiple Olympic, World and European Eventing medallist, William Fox-Pitt (GBR).
- The FEI Solidarity Award - presented to equine therapy centre Equal Ark (SIN) last year, this award will be presented to an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding equestrian sport.
Hollywood actress Bo Derek, star of the romantic comedy "10" and recently cast in the cult Sharknado series on US cable network SyFy, is the Chair of the Jury of the prestigious FEI Awards 2015.
The winners of the awards will be flown to the glamorous FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan, where they will be presented with their awards by Bo Derek in front of over 350 guests from the global equestrian community.