EEF Press Release


The Netherlands’ Theo Ploegmakers elected new EEF President

Tributes paid as Dr Hanfried Haring steps down; important new Statutes approved in Bahrain

Theo Ploegmakers, former President of the KNHS (Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation), has been elected President of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF). He takes up the role formerly held by Germany’s Dr Hanfried Haring, under whose direction the organisation has established itself as a strong voice for National Federations across the continent of Europe.

Elections took place at the EEF Extraordinary General Assembly staged during the FEI General Assembly in Manama, Bahrain, and new EEF Statutes were unanimously approved. Armagan Özgörkey (TUR) is elected to the role of EEF 1st Vice-President, Ulf Helgstrand (DEN) is 2nd Vice-President and Soenke Lauterbach (GER) becomes a member of the EEF Board. 

Following the approval of new FEI Statutes at today’s FEI Extraordinary General Assembly, European Groups l and ll are now formally combined into the EEF Regional Group and will be represented by Theo Ploegmakers and Armagan Özgörkey on the FEI Board. Ulf Helgstrand and Soenke Lauterbach will serve as Deputy EEF Regional Group Chairs.

At Saturday’s EEF EGA Hanfried Haring described the progress made by the EEF since its creation in 2009 and the challenges that lie ahead. “We in Europe have to work to ensure the survival of our sport, and who could lead this better than the EEF? I am very optimistic, I am proud of what we have achieved and happy about the new leadership. They are the guarantee for the future!” he said.

Hanfried Haring, a former Jumping and Eventing athlete, who was also an FEI Jumping judge and Secretary General of the German NF for 16 years, played an active and influential role on the stage of global sports governance. 

At the end of the EEF EGA, Theo Ploegmakers presented Hanfried Haring with the distinction of EEF Honorary President conferred upon him by the members of the EEF. 

“Hanfried is a man of great vision and integrity, and I feel honoured and privileged to follow in his very big footsteps as President. He will continue to contribute in an advisory role, and I am very much looking forward to building on his legacy at the EEF”, he said.


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