EEF Press Release



The EEF’s General Assembly 2019 was hosted by the Rumanian Equestrian Federation and had taken place in Bucharest on June, 25th 2019. With 26 member federations and 7 proxies out of total 37 voting members, the representation at the General Assembly was very good and together with Associate Members and invited guest participants the attendance with 51 delegates has been very satisfying.

The following major decisions have been taken and points have been presented:

EEF President, Theo Ploegmakers, had outlined the several important impulses that had been set since the last extraordinary EEF General Assembly back in November 2018. First and utmost, he emphasized the fundamental change that had taken place back at the occasion of the last FEI General Assembly, when the EEF had transformed from being an alliance of different Groups, to the actual “EEF Regional group” and as such the institutional representation of the EEF in the FEI. Then he informed the members about the intensification of working group activities: next to the permanent EU-committee Working Group, there have been established more temporary Working Groups covering all Olympic Disciplines, namely, Jumping, Eventing and Dressage, next to the one for Endurance. The strategic Planning Working Group and the newly formed Communication Working Group are responding mainly to the organizational development needs.

The Jumping working group, chaired by George Dimaras (GRE), had elaborated a new layout and formula to replace the European Division II of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup. The declared goal and promising outlook is to realize a European team competition series open to all EEF countries and which shall moreover be open for invitations of further countries. The pursued higher goal is to implement a sustainable and enduring competition series format specifically targeted at a 3* jumping level and therefore ensuring to embrace the whole European jumping community.

George Dimaras: “We want to engage all stakeholders and make it the most talked-about jumping format. It shall be a platform for upcoming Riders, shall encourage owners to invest in younger horses and OCs to organize shows.”

The reverberation of the full agreement among all stakeholders that the Nations Cup is one of the most valuable products of the FEI was strongly felt within the EEF community. Thus the presented concept, always in line with FEI rules and regulations, had been received very positively by the European Equestrian community and it was agreed that the launch of the series shall be planned for 2020.

The EEF communication concept has been introduced to the members by Nayla Stössel (SUI), chair of the respective working group: the guidelines being elaborated, prioritization shall be given to internal communication in order to facilitate the dialogue among the member federations. The planned communicational measures shall contribute to the improvement of opinion making, but also to specific EEF initiatives such as “pooling the talents” or the Brotherhood program.

The former being an initiative aimed at securing best qualified representation of EEF members at the FEI standing committees and the latter a program launched to ensure know-how transfer and mutual education among EEF member federations.

Around noon, elections were hold for three board seats. After the individual presentations of all six candidates, the EEF voting members have elected George Dimaras (GRE), Quentin Simonet (FRA) and Nayla Stössel (SUI) into the EEF board. While Quentin Simonet is an incoming board member, George Dimaras and Nayla Stössel have been confirmed in their role as board members for another four-year-mandate. The members for the permanent EU-Committee had been elected in corpore.

As a closing element, an update of the Strategic Planning Working Group was given by Soenke Lauterbach (GER), chair of the group. He reminded that the members of the Working Group had agreed on focussing on EEF USPs (unique selling points) when defining the EEF’s strategy for the future. Several areas of potential interest for the EEF and possible added value for its members have been identified and are being worked on by individual working group members. The development of the two currently troubled disciplines, Endurance and Reining, shall be especially monitored.

The General Assembly was closed by the EEF president, Theo Ploegmakers, who reminded the EEF members of the importance of their voting at the FEI General Assembly and also to consider well the relative consequences for Europe by doing so.


The EEF was formed in 2009 to address equestrian sport matters of European interest and to increase the influence of the European NFs within the FEI. In 2018 the FEI Groups I & II were merged into the: EEF Regional Group, which thus includes and represents currently 37 European NFs.


For further information please contact:
EEF President, Theo Ploegmakers:
EEF Communication, Nayla Stössel:


 Theo Ploegmakers, EEF President (left), Marilena Mladin, President of the Romanian Federation (right)

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