The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of equestrian sport, announced on 5 November the winners of the 2010 FEI Awards at a ceremony in Taipei. Organized for the second consecutive year, the FEI Awards reward outstanding dedication to horse sport in five categories.
The ceremony, emceed by FEI Director of Non-Olympic Sports Ian Williams, was attended by National Federation delegates, equestrian stakeholders and a number of equestrian personalities. FEI President, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya presented the awards to all the winners.
FEI Secretary General Alex McLin commented: "The nominations we received for the 2010 FEI Awards once again demonstrated that the equestrian community counts many heroes. It is an honour for the FEI to acknowledge the achievements and dedication of five people - and a horse whose work on the equestrian stage or behind the scenes has contributed to highlighting the greatness of our sport or making it accessible."
Reem Acra Best Athlete Award
Dutch Dressage rider Edward Gal and the extraordinary Moorlands Totilas received the honours for their dazzling achievements in equestrian sport. After breaking world records in 2009, and winning a historic three gold medals at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™.
HSBC Rising Star Award
American Dressage rider Caroline Roffman (Wellington, FL) is one of the brightest hopes of the US Dressage community. The 21-year-old, who trains with Olympian Lars Petersen, won the Five-Year-Old Championships at the USEF National Dressage Championships this year on a horse she trained herself and was the youngest competitor in the Intermediaire I National Championship at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions at Gladstone.
Alltech Development Award
Since 1996, Ebony Horse Club founder Ros Spearing has helped to improve the self-confidence and life skills of some of the most disadvantaged children and young people living in Brixton, south London, by giving them the opportunity to ride horses and take part in outdoor activities and educational visits.
Best Groom Award
Freelance groom Michelle Tipper started her equestrian career as a Dressage rider in her native England but soon discovered she preferred grooming to competing. She worked for three years as a travelling groom for British Dressage champion Nicky Barrett and has since worked freelance for international and national riders, including Paralympians.
Against All Odds Award
German Para-Dressage rider Angelika Trabert was born without legs and only three fingers on her right hand. She has represented Germany at four Paralympic Games, winning the silver medal in Hong Kong. She has won some 15 medals at world, European and national equestrian championships and this year competed in the Para-Equestrian Dressage World Championships Grade II at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. Despite losing her long-time partner in a tragic accident in 2005, Angelika continues to make the best of her life and help improve the lives of others by promoting the cause of sport for people with disabilities and teaching disabled children to ride. She has been elected Athletes' Representative for the International Paralympic Equestrian Committee (IPEC) four times and regularly speaks at conferences. Angelika works as an anaesthetist at the University hospital in Mainz.