The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for the equestrian sports of Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, Reining and Para-Equestrian, and the Federation of International Polo (FIP), the world governing body for the equestrian sport of polo including arena, snow and traditional polo, have decided to increase cooperation in the interest of competition horses and their respective sports and sign a Memorandum of Understanding to that effect. This important event took place during the FEI Bureau meeting which is currently underway in Vevey (SUI).
Whereas the two organizations will retain their autonomy, it is recognized that cooperation would be enhanced by the proximity of their professional staff. The FEI and FIP have therefore expressed interest in locating their headquarters in the building recently acquired by the FEI which will be officially unveiled in Lausanne next year.
The FEI will, together with the Organising Committee of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010, examine the possibility for including a demonstration polo event in the Games programme.
FEI President HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein:
“The FEI is delighted with the prospect of future cooperation with one of the oldest forms of horse sport. The opportunity for us to share knowledge and experience with such a traditional and flourishing modern sport will undoubtedly benefit us all and most importantly the horse. It is through unity and development as a collective that horse sport will truly thrive.”
FIP President Patrick Guerrand-Hermès thanked the FEI and its President and declared:
“This is an historical commitment for the ancient sport of polo. Common thinking will be beneficial for both our sports. By working together, we will enhance the welfare of our beloved and faithful partner, the horse, and develop the practice of our sport for all, in a spirit of equality of chances.”
Notes to the editor:
Polo and FIP
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team (the international rules of polo are available here). The sports rich history dates back to antiquity; Persians played the sport as far back as 2500 years ago. The Chinese also lay claim to a polo tradition dating back several thousand years. The origins of the modern name for the sport can however be traced to Tibet, where it was known as “Pulu”. An overview of the history of polo is available on this page.
Today, upwards of 84 countries play polo. It was an Olympic sport from 1900 to 1936 and is now an sport recognised again by the International Olympic Committee.
The Federation of International Polo (FIP) was created in 1982 in Buenos Aires. Its mission is to enhance the image and stature of the great game of polo on an international level; promote the practice of the sport worldwide; unite the polo associations of the many countries that play the sport under one Federation and one international rule; promote the sport to FIP members through coaching clinics and tournaments for children; promote the concepts of friendship, team spirit, equality, respect, integration and embrace the idea of fair play and safety.
Details about polo and FIP’s activities are available on the Federations’ official website http://www.fippolo.com/
The FEI, founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
It is based on the principle of equality and mutual respect between the 133 affiliated National Federations, without prejudice to race, religion or internal politics.
It is the sole controlling authority for all international events in Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Vaulting, Endurance, Reining and Para-Equestrian.
The FEI concerns itself relentlessly with the welfare of the horse. According to the First Article of its Code of Conduct, applying to all those involved in equestrian sport, “At all stages during the preparation and training of competition horses, welfare must take precedence over all other demands”.
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High resolution photographs from the signing ceremony are available upon request.