Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Henk Rottinghuis (FEI Photo)
Released 10-27-2010
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Henk Rottinghuis, Presidential candidate for the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the international governing body of equestrian sport, today announced that he would be joined in the Presidency by two of the most respected names in equestrian sport. They are 2000 Olympic gold medallist, current President of the United States Equestrian Federation, Chair of FEI Group IV and FEI Bureau member, David O’Connor, as 1st Vice-President; and as 2nd Vice-President, the current holder of the office, leading New Zealand lawyer Christopher Hodson, who is generally perceived as a guardian of continuity within the FEI and has recently announced his willingness to serve Mr Rottinghuis.

Commenting on the announcement David O’Connor said: “From my experiences as an International athlete for 20 years and a National Federation President these past seven I believe that the FEI is poised to make great strides in promoting equestrian sport around the world. I believe that Henk’s global view and pragmatic viewpoints make him the right person at the right time for the FEI. I am honored to be thought of as being valuable to the team that Henk is putting together to guide equestrian sport into the future.”

The announcement has been made ahead of the election at the FEI General Assembly election in Chinese Taipei on 5 November 2010.

Mr Rottinghuis said “The composition of this team fits perfectly with the needs of the FEI. I am very happy that both David and Chris have subscribed to my Agenda.

“To achieve this Agenda, which the federations have themselves requested, we need individuals with great knowledge of the sport, experience of the requirements and cultures of federations across the world, sound commercial principles and great integrity. I am confident that this team delivers that and much more.

“It is testament to the strength of the Agenda that both the US Equestrian Federation, the largest equestrian federation in the world, and two people of such individual qualities, who have themselves been talked about as presidential nominees, have recognised the task that lies ahead and agreed to act as my partners in our quest to deliver the Agenda.

“There is much to be done, not through ‘change’ but through a fresh approach that safeguards and builds on the FEI’s successes to date, not one which abandons them and starts all over again. David’s in-depth knowledge of the sport and athletes across the world, as well as his leadership of his federation, represents a good example of cooperation of established and developing countries, both small and large. This, coupled with Chris’ commitment to continuity, integrity and development, complement the skills that I bring,” said Mr Rottinghuis.

Looking ahead to the election in Taipei Mr Rottinghuis said: “National Federations have a clear choice. Those who have been happy with the last four years have two candidates to choose from – each of whom has been responsible for administering the FEI during that period. However, if they are looking for a new approach with a knowledgeable and committed, globally-focussed team, delivering a clear agenda, then they have only one choice.”


Notes to Editors:-

The election of Vice-Presidents

Upon election by the FEI General Assembly on 5 November 2010, the President-elect will be asked to immediately provide the Chair of the Nominations Committee with his or her nominations for the positions of First and Second Vice Presidents, along with their curriculum vitae (signed by their supporting National Federations), from among those candidates submitted by the National Federations to the Secretary General by 1 October. The candidates will thereafter be presented to the General Assembly for election.

Presidential candidates are not required to disclose the name of candidates for the positions of the First and Second Vice-Presidents by 1 October 2010. However, the pool of candidates from which they can select vice-presidents will be determined by 1 October 2010. As a matter of transparency and clarity, the FEI submits to the National Federations the pool of available candidates for all Bureau positions, including vice presidential positions, four weeks before the General Assembly.

David O'Connor  (©2004-2010 Nan Rawlins)

David O’Connor CV

David J. O’Connor

Two-time Equestrian of the Year and only the fourth American to win Individual Gold in Equestrian sport, David O’Connor’s success has made him a living legend. His Individual Gold medal in Sydney in 2000 was won with the best score in Olympic history, and in a four year span he won medals at the Pan American Games, the Olympic Games and the World Championships − all with the same horse.

An integral part of the U.S. Eventing program for nearly two decades as an athlete; O’Connor has grown even more prolific since his retirement in 2004. He is the president of the United States Equestrian Federation (the National Governing Body of Sport), chairs two committees for the FEI (the International Governing Body of Sport). He is also Bureau Member of the FEI.

He teaches dozens of students and continues to train young horses. Wife Karen, who was also a member of both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Teams, is the reigning Pan American Gold Medalist and together they have built an empire in the sport. They are the only husband and wife team in history to have been on two medal winning teams together.

O’Connor’s commitment to the Olympic movement is evident on every level, from teaching and training young horses and riders to designing competition courses. But it is his governance and the vision he has had for the USEF and the sport that put him in elite company. His dedication to youth, building programs and guiding our high performance programs is second to none.

Christopher John Hodson CV

Christopher John Hodson ED*, LL B, QC

Occupation: Queen’s Counsel

Marital Status: Married, (The Hon Justice Lowell Goddard)
2 sons, 2 daughters,

Present Positions: Queen’s Counsel

General Counsel in New Zealand to the Medical Protection Society, London

Judge Advocate General of the New Zealand Armed Forces

Chief Judge of the Court Martial of New Zealand

Second Vice-President, International Equestrian Federation (FEI)

Chair, New Zealand Organization for Rare Disorders Inc

Professional Practice: Barrister. Principal areas of practice medico-legal, military, international commercial disputes, civil litigation,

1998 Appointed one of Her Majesty’s counsel.

Principal Boards: 1998 – 2002 Director, Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR)

2002 – date Chair, New Zealand Organization for Rare Disorders Inc.

Equestrian: 1998 – date Member, Board of NZL NF

1999 – date Chair, Judicial Committee NZL NF

2001 – 2004 Chef d’Equipe Eventing New Zealand (Two Trans-Tasman Championships, WEG Jerez ESP 2002, Pan Pacific Championship Blenheim GBR 2003, Olympic Games GRE 2004)

2005 Member, Working Party A (Structural Reform) of the FEI

2006 Elected 2nd Vice-President, FEI

As Second Vice President of the FEI I have been involved in many issues; including international development of the sport, its increasing commercial profile, its anti-doping campaign, the resolution of international disputes involving national federations under the International Olympic Committee, the provision of legal advice and support to the Headquarters of the FEI, representation of the President at international competitions; and recurring advice on internal issues.

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