Annual Report 2021

A Message from the FEI President

Longines Editorial

FEI World of Sport

FEI Governance Highlights

FEI Solidarity

FEI Awards

FEI Facts and Figures

Financial Report

FEI... More than Sport

FEI Campus & FEI Education

FEI 100 Years

Thank You

A Message From The FEI President

Every year we look back and say what an extraordinary 12 months it has been, but I truly believe that 2021 has been even more extraordinary than so many of its predecessors, and not just because it marked the FEI’s 100th birthday. But despite all the challenges, or maybe because of all the challenges, once the sport was back onstage, it provided truly memorable moments of joy and triumph.

Looking back, who would have thought that we would lose a second consecutive Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals, and of course the Dressage Finals as well, to different viruses, one that affected humans and the other that impacted our horses? And who could have predicted that we would have Olympic and Paralympic Games a year late, run under rigid Covid-19 countermeasures and without onsite spectators.

After a clearly rough start to the year, it took us until the end of May to get our sport back on track and ensure a safe return to competition. Undeniably, the combination of EHV-1 and Covid-19 added to the difficulties of athletes and horses not just earning their qualifications for the rescheduled Games, but also fine-tuning their preparations for Tokyo. But despite the challenges in the build-up, both the Olympic and Paralympic Games produced absolutely top-class sport and wonderful champions and the two magnificent venues provided the perfect setting.

With 2021 unexpectedly turning into an Olympic and Paralympic year, we nonetheless decided to listen to the needs of our community and agreed to, exceptionally, uphold having FEI European Championships in the Olympic disciplines run the same year, and it was the right thing to do. All three produced amazing sport and it was fantastic to have the fans back onsite, cheering on their heroes!

Our youth athletes also had a full calendar of Championships spread across the continents, and there was particular enthusiasm for the Dressage U25 Championships, run concurrently with the seniors in Hagen, in a model that many would like to see repeated. Seniors, as well as youth athletes outside the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines also had multiple opportunities to capture the much-prized medals on offer at FEI Championships in Endurance, Vaulting and Driving, all of which made a welcome return to the international calendar in 2021. I invite you to discover more about all the events that took place throughout 2021 in the FEI World of Sport section, which includes a special sub-section dedicated to the Olympic & Paralympic Games.

From a Governance perspective in 2021, I was pleased that the proposal to create an International Grooms Association (IGA) was so well supported at the FEI Online Sports Forum in June and would go on to become a reality thanks to strong community involvement and support. Recognising the work of grooms, taking the time to listen and giving them a voice within the official decision-making process was well-overdue and I believe a necessary building block for the future of the FEI and equestrian sport globally.     

It was also, with great enthusiasm that we hosted the first FEI Hybrid General Assembly in Antwerp (BEL), allowing delegates and stakeholders to join us and where relevant cast their votes either in-person or online. Scrolling through the FEI Governance Highlights section will allow you to read up on the efforts and major developments that happened throughout the year in our sport.

Once the work done, the General Assembly came to an end with the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines, a prestigious and much anticipated event allowing us to reflect and celebrate the achievements of our equestrian community. And I am, as always, immensely grateful to our Top Partner Longines, who have maintained their loyal and generous support for equestrian on all fronts, at a time when other sponsors were rethinking their backing across the sports world. We have regrouped the most memorable moments of the evening for you to look back to here in the FEI Awards section. 

As you can see, a lot has happened in 2021 and there is more. Before you move on to navigate the various sections of this Annual Report I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the FEI staff, the FEI Board and Committee members, the Task Forces, the National Federations, the Athletes, the Owners, the Organisers, the Officials and every member of the community that helped get us through. The major achievements and best moments of yet another successful year are, as always, the fruit of a collaborative effort and proof once again that we are always stronger together.

Ingmar De Vos, FEI President


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