The “FEI Award for Dedicated and Distinguished Services to Equestrian Sport” was established by the Executive Board and the Bureau early this year.
The members were in agreement that this special Award would not be given as a matter of course but only when a deserving candidate had been identified. The winners of this high honour will receive a crystal trophy designed by Tiffany & Co and their names will be inscribed on a plaque to be sited in the FEI headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).
At its last meeting in April the Bureau unanimously decided that the first to be selected to receive the Award should be HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, FEI President from 1964 to 1986, now FEI Honorary President.
After becoming FEI President in 1964, Prince Philip was the instigator of the Nations Cup Series which still remains one of the highlights of the sport today. In 1969, he formed a committee to study the introduction of Driving in the FEI. It became the fourth FEI discipline one year later. In 1979 The Prince strongly supported the introduction of the World Cup Series.
In the early seventies he took up Four-in-Hand Driving and competed in six World and three European Championships. The Prince placed sixth individually in the 1982 World Championships and was a member of the British gold medal team at the 1980 World Championships and a member of the British bronze medal teams at the 1978, 1982 and 1984 World Championships.
At the present time, Prince Philip still has a keen interest in equestrian sports and is, among others, a Founder Member of the British Equestrian Centre, Member of Horse Driving Trials Association, Honorary Member of the British Horse Society, USA Equestrian, formerly the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) and the Canadian Horse Cutting Association.
The FEI Award for Dedicated and Distinguished Services to Equestrian Sport will be presented to HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, by HRH The Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón on the opening day of the CSI-W Olympia held from 19 through 23 December 2001 in London (GBR).