BY SABRINA IBÁÑEZ, FEI SECRETARY GENERAL & PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PARALYMPIC SPORTS ORGANISATIONS
What a year! We were overwhelmed once again with incredible achievements and sparkling partnerships reminding us why our sports are so unique, whilst behind the scenes, we continued to strengthen our position within the sports sphere as a Federation and a community committed to integrity, innovation and equality. I’ve highlighted some of the key moments from 2017 and hope you enjoy this journey through a year which was, in every way, memorable!
Sport Highlights: 2017 was full of great sport
At a glance… For those that just need the quick facts!
- Over 4,500 international events
- European Championships
- World Cup series and Finals
- Nations Cup series and Finals
- And the list goes on… Read all about it in the Sport Highlights below or skip to the 2017 Governance Highlights
The sport calendar year truly kicked off with the unparalleled success of the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Final and the FEI World CupTM Dressage Finals in Omaha, NE (USA), where the electrifying performances of USA’s McLain Ward and Germany’s Isabell Werth, the showbiz atmosphere, and the dedication and professionalism of the new Organising Committee fantastically amalgamated and placed these Finals where they belong….on top!
Omaha’s success was contagious. In Ebreichsdorf (AUT), we saw the FEI World Junior and World Young Riders Vaulting Championships as well as the FEI European Vaulting Championships for Seniors . The stands were full and the crowds phenomenal as they cheered the likes of Juan Martin Clavijo from Colombia winning his second consecutive world title.
Corinna Schumacher was the gracious host for FEI Reining Championships for the fourth consecutive time in her ranch CS in Givrins (SUI). During the FEI World Reining Young Riders Championships we saw her talented daughter Gina win the world gold with her fellow German team members.
Strzegom (POL) put on a truly memorable 10th edition of the FEI European Eventing Championship where Great Britain regained the top as a team and Germany’s Ingrid Klimke won her first individual title ahead of triple champion Michael Jung.
Germany kept their winning streak in the exciting FEI European Endurance Championship in Brussels (BEL) with Sabrina Arnold (GER) claiming her first major individual Championship win as the Spanish team took the gold.
The equestrian family was also delighted to be back in Gothenburg (SWE) but this time for the Longines FEI European Championships in Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage and Driving. These championships were not only for equestrian enthusiasts but also for the entire family, with the Driving marathon being stupendously organised at the heart of Gothenburg in a public park open to all and free of charge. We were honoured to have the presence and support of the Swedish Royal family who participated in the festivities with the equestrian community.
In Gothenburg we were excited to share the excellent news that Longines would become title partner of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series as part of their long-term and extended agreement with the FEI. The agreement brokered by FEI President Ingmar De Vos and Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli was signed at a press conference in front of the National Federations, Chefs d’Equipes, athletes and media who celebrated with the FEI the most significant deal in FEI’s history.
A month after the announcement, the Longines FEI Nations CupTM Jumping 2017 Final took place at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona (ESP), the historic venue for the Olympic equestrian events at the Barcelona1992 Games, and was as thrilling as it was unpredictable with the young Dutch team claiming the legendary trophy.
Many other events were organised successfully during the year. I have only mentioned a few highlights of the Calendar containing over 4,500 events including championships and qualifiers organised throughout the world – but you can read all about the sport and the discipline highlights here. Congratulations to all the Organising Committees, FEI Officials and formidable athletes for their accomplishments and dedication.