Annual Report 2021

A Message from the FEI President

Longines Editorial

FEI World of Sport

FEI Governance Highlights

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FEI Awards

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FEI... More than Sport

FEI Campus & FEI Education

FEI 100 Years

Thank You

FEI 100 Years

On 28 May 2021, the FEI began a year of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of its creation as the governing body for equestrian sport.

A bit of history…

The FEI has come a long way since its foundation in 1921 when the idea of a governing body for equestrian sports came to fruition in France’s capital city, Paris, just two years after the end of the First World War. The inclusion of equestrian in the Olympic Games in 1912 and the rapid development of the sport overall, made it clear that internationally recognised rules supervised by a world governing body were essential.

The Federation was established by eight member signatories – Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the USA – with Frenchman Baron du Teil elected as its first President. The number of member National Federations had grown to 14 by the time of the 1924 Games in Paris, and in the coming years the FEI made enhancements to the format of Olympic competitions and ruled on matters such as professionalism.

The FEI initially oversaw the three Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. However, over the course of time, the FEI also went on to govern the non-Olympic disciplines of Driving, Vaulting and Endurance.

Although Para Dressage had been a Paralympic discipline since 1996, it was only in 2006 that Para Equestrian joined the ranks of the other disciplines regulated by the FEI. International events for Individuals with an impairment, in both Dressage and Driving, were established making the FEI one of the first International Federations to govern and regulate a sport for both able-bodied Athletes and Athletes with impairments.

The number of member National Federations has also massively grown since the foundation of the FEI, reaching 136 members in 2021.   

Over the course of 100 years, there have been iconic sporting moments, unforgettable Olympic Games and Championship Finals, and the creation of some of the sport’s biggest stars. While these highs are carved into our history books, the lows – especially those experienced during the ongoing global pandemic – have only served to bring us closer together as a community.


A year of celebration…

As President Ingmar De Vos said, The FEI’s 100 year celebration is about bringing together each and every individual who connects with the horse at any level.”

To mark its 100 year milestone, a dedicated FEI 100 Years Hub was created on with the aim of involving equestrian fans around the world in a digital celebration. The hub features stories, interviews, online competitions and other fan engagement activities that allowed people to share their memories and experiences throughout the entire year.

For the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, an FEI 100 Years branded obstacle was created, which was then reused at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championships in Riesenbeck (GER) and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP).

The FEI also invited French graffiti artist Ludovilk Myers to transform the statue of the White Horse, located on the outer façade of the HM King Hussein I Building, the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne, into a one-of-a-kind urban art intervention.

“We were looking for a unique way to celebrate our centenary year and it was natural for the White Horse to become the focal point,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez explained.

“Equestrian sport is unquestionably about the ‘love of the horse’ which binds together our athletes from different disciplines. But our noble friend, the horse, has also always captured the imagination of artists around the world, for their movement, grace and beauty. And this is why we were pleased to welcome the very talented Ludovilk Myers who, like our equine partner, is in his element when carrying out his art in the great outdoors.”

Myers’ playful art, scattered with funny shapes and colours, stands in opposition to the darkness that we sometimes experience in our everyday world. His unique style earned him a position as ambassador for Converse Cons in 2014, and accolades for his design of the iconic Timberland Yellow Boot in 2016. His exhibitions in Paris, Zurich, Munich and other European cities continue to gain attention.

The HM King Hussein I Building, a gift from former FEI President HRH Princess Haya, was thoroughly renovated in 2008 in accordance with the Swiss MINERGIE® construction standards for environmental responsibility, reducing energy consumption by 25 percent. At the time, only two per cent of renovated buildings in Switzerland met these high Minergie standards.

“The city of Lausanne, which has housed the FEI’s Headquarters for 30 years now, has become an integral part of the equestrian family’s identity and character over the past decades,” Sabrina Ibáñez explained.

“This is why we also wanted to involve the local Lausanne community in our celebrations. Just as street artists make their work more accessible to people by using urban settings as their canvas, sport also aspires to being universal. We hope this urban art intervention will be a unique introduction to equestrian sport, and that more people will discover the beauty of our sport as a result.

And for several months, as the trains pulled into the metro stop just outside the FEI’s Headquarters, passengers were treated to the rhythmic sound of horses’ trotting and neighing!


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