From world champions in sport to top grooms and equestrians that defy all the odds, the 2023 FEI awards are back with an exciting field of nominees from around the globe.
Established in 2009, the FEI Awards celebrate individuals and organizations that are making outstanding contributions to the progress and excellence of equestrian sport, both in and out of the arena. This year’s edition features just four categories: Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete, Longines FEI Rising Star, Cavalor FEI Best Groom, and the Pivo FEI Inspire Award.
Uniting elements from the previous FEI Solidarity and FEI Against All Odds awards, the new FEI Inspire Award has been designed to showcase the spirit and determination of role models who demonstrate that anything is possible.
Among those individuals featured this year are Valeria Bonfiglio (ITA) who entered her first Endurance event at age 54 and earned her first top placing in a 160km ride at age 57. In addition, there’s Jennie Sharpe (GBR), who defied medical expectations to return to the saddle after being diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome, which affects the nerve roots at the base of the spinal cord.
Completing the list of nominees is Mexican plane crash survivor Federico Fernandez Senderos, who overcame severe burns and vision impairment to compete successfully at the five-star level of show jumping. Finally, the Vaulting team of Polina Shovkova and Kateryna (Katya) Panasenko are nominated for competing at the FEI Vaulting World Championship for Juniors despite war raging in their home country of Ukraine.
Voting is open now through October 22 in four categories for 16 shortlisted candidates from 13 countries. The winners will be flown to the FEI Awards Gala, presented by Longines, in Mexico City (MEX) on 21 November.
You can find a full list of the nominees, below, or click here to vote now.
Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete, paying tribute to the athlete who over the past year has demonstrated exceptional skill and taken the sport to a new level.
• Steve Guerdat (SUI) – Jumping
• Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl (GER) – Dressage
• Ros Canter (GBR) – Eventing
• Marijke Hammink (NED) – Driving
Longines FEI Rising Star, for the athlete aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment.
• Christian Simonson (USA) – Dressage
• Rodrigo Storani Saliba (BRA) – Endurance
• Quentin Jabet (FRA) – Vaulting
• Mimi Gochman (USA) – Jumping
Cavalor FEI Best Groom, for the behind-the-scenes hero who ensures the horses they look after are given the best possible care.
• Danny Ingratta (CAN) – Jumping groom at Millar Brooke Farm (CAN) (Ian & Amy Millar)
• Sarah Charnley (GBR) – Eventing groom for Rosalind Canter (GBR)
• Emma Uusi-Simola (FIN) – Jumping groom for Steve Guerdat (SUI)
• Sofia Flodin (SWE) – Dressage groom for Mathias Rath (GER)
Pivo FEI Inspire, for an individual who has pursued their equestrian ambition in an inspiring way and serves as a role model to show that everything is possible, and that even when faced with challenges, you should never stop believing in your dreams.
• Valeria Bonfiglio (ITA) – Endurance athlete – Passionate Motivator
• Jennie Sharpe (GBR) – Jumping athlete with physical impairment – Resilience Champion
• Federico Fernandez Senderos (MEX) – Ultimate Survivor
• Ukrainian Vaulting team of Polina Shovkova and Kateryna (Katya) Panasenko – Youth Sport Advocates