COUNTDOWN TO THE ALLTECH FEI WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES 2010 BEGINS
A year today, on 25 September 2010, the curtain will rise on the greatest global gathering of equestrian sport - the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
The quadrennial competition, which brings together Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Ebdurance, Vaulting, Reining, and - for the first time, Para-Dressage - takes place in the famous Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY from 25 September to 10 October 2010.
It is the sixth time the games have been held, and the first time they have been sited outside Europe.
All the best equestrian athletes from around the world will by vying for a place on their country's squad. Among them will certainly be winners and nominees from this year's inaugural FEI Awards.
These new Awards - www.feiawards.org - have been designed to reward the fair play, team spirit, inspiration and prowess that equine competition espouses, as well as celebrating the outstanding achievements of our often-underrated athletes.
The last FEI World Equestrian Games were held in Aachen, Germany in 2006. These were the individual champions then:
Jumping: Jos Lansink (BEL)
Dressage (Kür): Anky van Grunsven (NED)
Dressage (Grand Prix Special): Isabell Werth (GER)
Eventing: Zara Phillips (GBR)
Driving: Felix-Marie Brasseur (BEL)
Endurance: Miguel Vila Ubach (ESP)
Reining: Duane Latimer (CAN)
Vaulting: Megan Benjamin (USA) and Kai Vorberg (GER)
Many of these will be hoping to defend their titles against the stiffest opposition, but who do you think next year's Kentucky champions will be? Are they established talents, new stars, or hopes for the future? Who are the back-up teams that put these winners on the podium? Who has battled against adversity to triumph? All these categories, and more, feature in the FEI Awards. Use your chance to vote for your heroes and commemorate those who have inspired and impressed you.
The five categories are: Athlete of the Year; HSBC Rising Star for a rider aged 14-21; Alltech Development Award; Against All Odds or a disabled rider of any age; and Groom of the Year.
The nominations, which close on 17 October 2009, will be judged by an international panel chaired by the FEI President HRH Princess Haya and the winners of each category will be invited to the traditional FEI gala dinner taking place on 19 November in Copenhagen, Denmark, to receive their awards.
To put forward your nominations, go to www.feiawards.org. Act NOW before it is too late!