Presidents message: Shaping the future - the power of continental federations

15. Dec 2023 / Category: News

Last month we met together for our annual regional group meeting ahead of the FEI GA. On these occasions, I am often reminded of the immense role that continental federations play. Truly alone we are strong, but together we are stronger.

Within these meetings, the ability to exchange opinions and share best practices provides a huge benefit to all. Moreover, it shines a light on the unique issues that face us in Europe, which may differ significantly from America, Asia or elsewhere. 

In a rapidly evolving equestrian landscape, there is a need to recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer tenable. Continental representation allows for a more nuanced governance, considering the unique challenges, cultural variations, and priorities across different regions. It ensures a more inclusive and adaptable framework in a global landscape marked by diversity.

In the equestrian industry, it is vital because it acknowledges the diverse equestrian cultures, practices and challenges across continents.  It allows for tailored regulations and policies for social licence and sustainability of the sport, that respect regional differences and at the same time promote fair competition and sustainable development.

Europe’s unique development in equestrian sport and its sports level in equestrianism stems from a rich history, strong cultural ties to horsemanship and sustained investment in the sport. The centuries-old equestrian traditions, coupled with elite training programs and top-notch facilities, create an environment conducive to producing world-class riders. Europe’s commitment to preserving and advancing equestrian arts contributes to its distinctive position in the global equestrian landscape.

However, to be successful as a continental representative for the FEI, the FEI needs to develop a strategic approach that includes flexibility and adaptability to changing dynamics, to ensure evolution with the equestrian landscape and the varying needs of the different continents.

For example, making it possible for continental organizations to invest in educational programs and training initiatives to uplift the skill levels and knowledge base of equestrian communities in each continent promoting overall development. Therefore, an allocation of resources, including funding and development support, in a way that reflects the priorities and potential of each continent, promoting sustainable growth, is required.

Furthermore, they should enhance communication channels to facilitate collaboration among continents, encouraging the exchange of best practices and fostering a sense of global unity within the equestrian community is key in such a process.
By incorporating these elements into the FEI’s strategy, the FEI can actively contribute to the success of continental representations in the equestrian world.

Together continental organisations bring diverse perspectives, experiences, and challenges to the table. Involving them ensures a more comprehensive understanding of the global equestrian landscape. Each continent has unique needs and priorities. Involving them allows for the development of tailored solutions that address specific challenges and opportunities in different parts of the world while fostering a sense of inclusivity and unity within the sport.  

I hope this philosophy can become a key component in strategic thinking as we approach a new year, and that the opportunities that continental organisations offer to the FEI, when writing its strategy, are used and not wasted.

As we close the chapter on another remarkable year in the equestrian world let’s reflect on our shared passion that unites us all. Your dedication, resilience, and love for the horse have defined our community.  May the coming year bring new milestones, joyous moments, and a continued bond that makes our equestrian family truly exceptional.

Happy year-end to each and every person connected in one way or the other with our beloved sport. A special thank you to all the volunteers that make our sport possible. 

I wish all of you happy holidays and that the future may be filled with many beautiful rides.