Lausanne, 13 October 2009
Almost 900 nominations have been received from all over the world for the new FEI Awards in the seven weeks since they were launched, spanning the entire breadth of the FEI's international, cross-disciplinary remit. The final countdown has begun - with less than a week to go until nominations close on 17 October, the numbers are expected to reach 1000.
The most popular category has been the Alltech Development Award - for a development project, individual or organisation which has shown exceptional skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport. A massive 410 nominations have been received for this prize.
The Athlete of the Year - for a rider, driver or vaulter who has shown exceptional sportsmanship and ability - has gained 229 nominations so far.
The HSBC Rising Star Award - for a rider aged 14-21 who has not only demonstrated significant talent but also a love of the sport and great commitment - has also been popular, garnering 144 nominations.
Fifty-eight nominations have been made for Groom of the Year - for the often uncelebrated yet vitally important person who works behind the scenes.
And 29 nominations have come in so far for the Against All Odds - for a disabled rider of any age who has demonstrated that disability is no hindrance to sporting proficiency.
These awards 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.
You've still got until 17 October to make a nomination. Each federation has its heroes and heroines - who has inspired and impressed you, either this year or over a period of time? There are great stories at every championship in every discipline about emerging talent, battles against adversity and unsung heroes. Now's the time to shout about them, so visit the www.feiawards.org and make your nomination.
When the voting closes, the FEI will formulate a short-list, which the highly experienced international judging panel, chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya will use to make their final decisions. Her fellow judges include eventing and show jumping Olympian and multiple medallist Mark Todd, Dominican Republic dressage rider and judge Diana Ramos, Italian show jumping organiser and International Jumping Riders Club director Eleonora Ottaviani and German vaulting champion Kai Vorberg along with representatives from FEI sponsors Alltech and HSBC.
The awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony in Copenhagen on 19 November.
To put forward your nominations, go to: www.feiawards.org