Annual Report 2018

A Message from the FEI

Longines Editorial

FEI World of Sport

FEI Family Highlights

FEI Solidarity

FEI Awards

FEI Facts and Figures

Financial Report

Thank You

FEI Family Highlights

2018 was a big year, to say the least, and it was great! We have once again shown that, together, everything is possible. The equestrian community is growing stronger, and our fan base is increasingly diversifying as we continue to promote our seven unique disciplines through cutting-edge formats across the globe. This is the fruit of a collective effort. Each and every stakeholder community plays an essential role in making our sport the best it can be. I have revisited some of the highlights of 2018 and I hope you will enjoy looking back on what has been a challenging but memorable year for our sport.


Sport Highlights: 

At a glance… 

  • Four fabulous FEI World Cup™ Finals
  • Japan shines at the Asian Games
  • Challenges and successes at the FEI World Equestrian Games™
  • Belgium triumphs at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final
  • 2018 – a big year for the next generation of equestrian superstars


The FEI World Cup™ Finals dominated the first quarter of the year, with Australia’s Boyd Exell proving his exceptional talent by claiming the FEI Driving World Cup™ title for the fifth time in Bordeaux (FRA) in February. The FEI Vaulting World Cup™ titles were up next, with the Germans unstoppable on home turf in Dortmund, starting with Kristina Boe claiming the individual female title, finally reaching the top step of the podium. Meanwhile, her compatriot Jannis Drewell was crowned individual male champion and the successful partnership of Theresa-Sophie Bresch and Torben Jacobs claimed the Pas de Deux.

Paris, France was the final deciding event for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ and FEI Dressage World Cup™ series, where Beezie Madden (USA) outshone the world’s best partnerships to claim the FEI Jumping World Cup™ trophy for the second time in her career on her wonderful stallion Breitling LS. Defending champion Isabell Werth summoned all her skill and experience to claim the FEI Dressage World Cup trophy for the fourth time in her career, and for the second time with her wonderful mare Weihegold OLD.

The 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta (INA), the largest multi-discipline event in history, proved a tremendous testing ground for Asia’s equestrian community in the build-up to Tokyo 2020. Next Olympic and Paralympic host Japan were on good form, winning team gold in both Eventing and Dressage, individual gold in Eventing and individual silver in Jumping. Other gold medallists were Kuwait’s Ali Al Khorafi competing in Jumping under the FEI flag, Hong Kong’s Jacqueline Wing Ying Siu in Dressage, and Saudi Arabia in Team Jumping.

In Tryon, Germany’s Simone Blum carved her name into the record books when becoming the first woman in the 28-year history of the FEI World Equestrian Games™, and only the second athlete in the 65-year history of the FEI Jumping World Championship, to take the individual Jumping title. Other sporting highlights were the first jump-off at an FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Jumping – won by team USA; gold for Team USA in Driving; double gold for Great Britain in Eventing; and of course, the historic win by Team Netherlands in the Para Dressage Championship where they beat Great Britain, a feat which had never been achieved before at Paralympic, World or European level.

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 also represented the largest commercial airlift of horses ever undertaken, with 23 flights transporting 550 horses. Specialist horse transportation company Peden Bloodstock – working alongside The Dutta Corp – coordinated the highly complex logistics, with horses from six of the world’s seven continents flying into Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina and Miami, Florida.

An event of this scale and magnitude also presented an array of challenges, as did the adverse weather conditions. We sought solutions where possible and everyone, from the OC to the Officials and the FEI HQ representatives, worked extremely hard to minimise the impact on the sport. Nevertheless, the Endurance Championships had to be cancelled due to a collection of factors which were subsequently investigated and presented at the General Assembly, and we also had to cancel the Dressage Freestyle Championship due to the after-effects of Hurricane Florence.

Barely a handful of weeks after the FEI World Equestrian Games™, the world’s best Jumping nations gathered in Barcelona once again for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final. Belgium, also known as the “Never Give Up Team”, won the Final followed by France and Ireland in second and third.

2018 was also a big sporting year for the rising stars of the equestrian world, with milestone events such as the Youth Africa Games in Alger, the FEI European Jumping, Dressage and Eventing Championships in Fontainebleau (FRA) for Juniors and Young Riders, as well as the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires (ARG), where Team North America – made up of Haiti, Honduras, Mexico Panama and the USA – rewrote history by winning gold for the first time, while Giacomo Casadei brought individual gold home to Italy.

With 4,464 events in 2018, the highlights mentioned above are just a glimpse of all the exciting sporting moments that took place. For more on your favourite discipline, go to the FEI World of Sport in this Annual Report and, of course, don’t forget to look at all our digital platforms and channels where we actively cover and promote an impressive array of events. Events are the lifeblood of our sport and without tremendous organisers, we would not have a platform to display our sport – so a big thank to all the Organising Committees and to all the Officials, industry specialists, volunteers, sponsors and media for their commitment and promotion of our sport.

Governance Highlights: 

At a glance… 

  • FEI Sports Forum welcomes first youth panel
  • A new Code of Conduct for Officials
  • A Green Office for FEI Headquarters
  • FEI General Assembly and the re-election of FEI President Ingmar De Vos

In March, we held the seventh edition of the FEI Sports Forum with an entire day dedicated to youth. Eight brilliant young athletes, selected from around the world to represent each of the FEI disciplines, joined us in Lausanne to discuss the future of the sport. The session was entertaining, interactive and highly informative. Refreshing ideas were expressed as the athletes shared their views on the accessibility to high-level sport, long-term career pathways, sports promotion and media. It became apparent that they are looking to the FEI for more opportunities to step up to the top-level senior events, as the leap can be quite overwhelming. Their ideas and views are instrumental when it comes to shaping the future of the sport, and the FEI Board, together with FEI Headquarters, are actively implementing and debating youth-related initiatives.

The Officials Working Group took a big step forward in 2018. A new Code of Conduct was integrated and published in the FEI General Regulations, and approximately 100 job descriptions were written by the relevant departments and reviewed by the FEI Education Department.

The FEI General Assembly 2018 took place in Manama (BRN). Some of the key decisions and discussions are summarised below, and you can view the full minutes here.

  • Approval of modifications to the FEI General Regulations and Internal Regulations. The amended General Regulations now include a new FEI Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse, which was proposed during the Athlete Welfare session at the Sports Forum 2018. This FEI policy, which is in line with the IOC Athlete Safeguarding toolkit, defines the forms of abuse: psychological, physical and sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and neglect.
  • Modification to the Statutes to formally recognise: Gender Equality principle (new Principle in Article 2.2); support and implementation of code of ethics and of the basic principles of good governance in equestrian sport (new Principle in Article 2.11); and a limitation of term of office for Board members (Article 19.6), which is an important indicator of good governance in international sports federations. The main objectives of having term limits are: a) to ensure a gradual turnover of leadership and b) to reduce the potential for one individual or a small group to concentrate power.
  • Unanimous approval of all proposed modifications to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Regulations. These regulations are subject to approval by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
  • Update from the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU), including a follow up on the report of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018.
  • Re-election of FEI President Ingmar De Vos for a second four-year term.

In his Presidential Programme for 2018-2022, A Roadmap for the Future, Ingmar De Vos has pledged to continue working within the five pillars on which he structured his first term, each with their own set of key commitments, namely:

1. Serving our Community

2. Sport: Our Core Business

3. Equestrian Sport in the Olympics

4. Solidarity: The Engine of Development

5. Horses as our Partners.

In a powerful acceptance speech after an extended standing ovation from delegates, the FEI President pledged to build on the success of his first term in office and once again expressed his belief in our sport, in our community and in our potential. Under his leadership, the FEI has seen greater youth engagement and universality, continued improvements in governance within the FEI and its member Federations, and a major evolution in the FEI’s broadcast and digital media strategy.

Education and Sustainability:

FEI Campus has continued to grow and develop, with approximately 30 new courses added in 2018 in the Horsemanship portal. Content development for athletes as well as FEI Officials is also ongoing, together with an English assessment test. At the close of 2018, FEI Campus had approximately 113,000 users around the world, and this is just the beginning for this exciting educational platform.

When it comes to sustainability, the FEI has been working towards becoming increasingly sustainable at its Headquarters in Lausanne and was audited by an environmental sustainability agency in order to optimise office practices. The detailed recommendations received have been put in place and the Headquarters are now fully equipped with recycling stations in order to optimise waste management and behaviour.



The fully revised Veterinary Regulations were well received and successfully implemented in 2018. Especially worth mentioning is the cooperation with National Federations, Stewards and Official Veterinarians on the introduction of the Supportive Therapies and Permitted Equine Therapists (PETs) that has introduced registration and control of the specialised professionals and therapies at FEI Events.

Several outbreaks of Equine Herpes Virus during the year led to the cancellation of events and, following a biosecurity review of several events, the Veterinary Department came to the conclusion that there are multiple needs for improvements to ensure a high level of biosecurity, so this will naturally be high on the agenda for 2019.

Climate mitigation and optimal performance were also very high on the agenda for 2018 and will continue throughout 2019 and 2020 as Tokyo approaches. A dedicated session at the FEI Sports Forum in 2018 was well received by the community and will be instrumental in ensuring the right conditions for top sport at Tokyo 2020.

Throughout 2018, the FEI Veterinary department continued to work on the International Movement of Horses within the framework of the International Horse Sport Confederation (IHSC) and alongside the World Animal Health Organisation. This is a long-term initiative but one which is vital for the development of equestrian sport around the world.

I am also delighted that the successful cooperation with the Glasgow University Global Endurance Injuries Study (GEIS) has been extended for two more years. The research team has delivered world-class statistics that have been instrumental for rule changes in Endurance, as well as advice during the FEI World Equestrian Games™.

I have referred to a couple of Veterinary related themes from 2018, but for more on all the key FEI Veterinary related activities and milestones in 2018, click here.


Sponsorship Highlights:

At a glance… 

  • Longines is title partner of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series and joins forces with FEI Solidarity
  • ATPI becomes official FEI travel agent
  • Fosun sponsors the Best Athlete Award 2018
  • Pixio becomes new FEI Campus sponsor



Our long-term partner Longines, already title partner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European, China and North American leagues, took on their first season as title partner of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series. With 32 declared nations, 13 qualifiers and the prestigious Final in Barcelona (ESP), this series was, as always, a dazzling success.

At the close of 2017, we signed a new partnership with Longines for a dedicated FEI Solidarity Retraining of Racehorses programme, which got underway in 2018 with the first Tutors’ Course in Singapore (SGP). I am looking forward to seeing the fruits of this programme in years to come and the effects this will have on the South East Asian equestrian industry. Longines has been a strong and loyal partner for several years and we are thrilled to share common goals for the future development of equestrian sport around the world.

In addition to our existing portfolio of Longines, JetSet Sports, Boehringer Ingelheim, China National Sports International (CNSI), SAP and Otto Sports, agreements were signed with the following partners:

  • ATPI: The FEI signed a four-year international travel partnership with ATPI Sports Events, part of the ATPI Group, at the FEI General Assembly in November 2018. ATPI will run the FEI’s corporate travel needs as Official FEI Travel Agent and as Official FEI Travel Desk.
  • Fosun: One of China’s largest privately-held multinational companies, became title sponsor of the Best Athlete Award 2018.
  • Pixio: French camera equipment company MOVE’N SEE, famous for its Pixio auto-follow camera used for equestrian sport training, which was launched in 2015, signed a three-year partnership. The relationship, geared towards improving training performance in Dressage, saw them become FEI Dressage Official Supplier and Official FEI Campus Sponsor; a relationship geared towards improving training performance in Dressage.

You can read all about the FEI’s sponsors and commercial structure here.

Media and Digital Highlights:

  • FEI wins bronze at the 2018 Association Excellence Awards
  • Launch of new Chinese digital platforms
  • FEI social media platforms boom
  • Broadcasting and live streams expand global exposure of the sport
  • Media coverage breakthrough at key events

In 2018, the marketing and communications “7 unique disciplines” strategy was implemented. Bespoke brands were developed for each of the FEI disciplines, with a dedicated ecosystem, sponsorship model and associated content. Part of this process included the launch of seven new discipline pages on Facebook in order to better target the specific audiences. To date, these pages have generated almost 180,000 new followers for the FEI and contributed to a year-on-year increase of 14% in impressions and more importantly 52% more engagements on Facebook alone. The best performing discipline page was FEI Dressage with a 500% increase in followers over the 12-month period.

As expected, the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 was a large driver of content and numbers did not disappoint, delivering 68.4 million impressions and just under 15 million video views on the FEI Facebook pages alone.

By year end, FEI Facebook views were close to 45 million, an increase of over 70%, with just short of one million followers. The annual “Sport on Social” report, which reviews the performance of all International Federations (IF) on social media, ranked the FEI as the second best IF (summer & winter) on Facebook in 2018.

Throughout the year, visits to the FEI website increased by 22%, with over 30.3 million page views and an increase of 26% in the number of unique views. FEI Instagram reached close to 300,000 followers, representing an increase of 44% compared to 2017. FEI YouTube views were just over nine million, an increase of 64%, and the number of subscribers increased by 53%.

FEI brand awareness increased by 757%, with 60,000 views generated directly via FEI/FEITV searches. The increased number of live streams from competitions greatly contributed to an increase in watch time and engagement on the channel. Year-on-year growth has shown +96% in engagement, +140% in watch time and +54% new subscriptions in 2018.

The growth of equestrian sport in Asia is undeniable, and the partnership between the FEI and CNSI, aimed at producing equestrian content for an enthusiastic Chinese audience, plays an important role in this. In addition, the launch of new Chinese digital platforms on Weibo and WeChat, as well as the new Chinese website, marked the beginning of a venture to increase the reach of equestrian sport in China as well as the wider Asian market.

The media value for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ and the FEI Dressage World Cup ™ series has grown due to an increase in the global broadcast exposure. Due to changes in technology and media landscape, the FEI has adapted its distribution and content strategy to further increase reach and promote the sport to new audiences.

With new partnerships and a powerful integrated strategy in place, extensive media coverage was obtained at the key events in 2018, generating a clear increase in global media outreach. Worldwide coverage of the FEI World Cup™ Finals in Paris (FRA) was hugely successful, with an estimated reach of more than 500 million for Dressage and Jumping combined.

For the FEI World Equestrian Games™, media coverage was negotiated with the top five global news agencies around the world, covering many markets and languages. These partnerships resulted in high-value coverage, delivering daily digital sports content on platforms with over a billion monthly users in more than 130 countries.

News and photographic agencies as well as mainstream sports and news publications were invited to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP), generating coverage with an estimated reach in excess of 500 million.

The FEI’s marketing and digital efforts were rewarded with bronze at the Association Excellence Awards for best Marketing & Social Media Campaign in October.


Thank You!

2018 was challenging but successful and we can be proud of our achievements. Thank you to our National Federations, the FEI Board, Officials, and to the entire equestrian community for making all this possible and for always giving 110%!

Sabrina Ibáñez

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