Landslide victory as Princess Haya re-elected to FEI presidency

November 5, 2010

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, pills wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, doctor Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was re-elected as President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the international governing body of equestrian sports.

Princess Haya defeated two other candidates, Sven Holmberg (Sweden) and Henk Rottinghuis (Netherlands), to win a second four-year term in voting at the FEI General Assembly in Chinese Taipei. In a vote of 124 National Federations (out of 133 who were eligible), Princess Haya won the support of 90 National Federations from around the world, compared to 23 for Holmberg and 11 for Rottinghuis.

Princess Haya announced Her decision to seek a second term in March after several FEI nation groups and Federations urged her to do so. Princess Haya was first elected as President of the FEI in May 2006, on a commitment to modernize the organization. She was the first FEI President to win a contested election. More than 80% of the deliverables outlined in her original manifesto were implemented in her first term, including significant improvements in communications, marketing, animal welfare, FEI finances, grassroots development and liaison with national federations. In Her first act in office, She initiated a reform that established a two-term of four-year limit for the Presidency.

“Thank you so much for your confidence and trust. I promise that I won’t let you down”, an emotional HRH Princess Haya commented. “I promise to unify this Federation. I promise to work for you, the National Federations, and constantly appreciate your needs and do everything I can to serve this sport we all love. I never really realised how many wonderful friends and supporters I have. This has been a really extraordinary year for me and I am truly humbled by what you have done for me. Thank you very much.”

Looking ahead, in addition to plans to build on and consolidate Her first term accomplishments, Princess Haya has presented numerous new ideas among Her second-term pledges in Her Programme, which was published on the October 23, 2010. Her vision for the future of the sport entails the development of equestrian sport in unison with the National Federations and Athletes, while respecting good governance and strong values that celebrate the horse and horsemanship.

The daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, Princess Haya has been riding internationally since the age of 13 and competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. She became a member of the International Olympic Committee in 2007 and also serves as a UN Messenger of Peace, with a focus on combating hunger and poverty. Sharing Her love of horses and horse sport is Her husband, HH Sheikh Mohammed, who successfully led the UAE endurance riders to take the team gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, USA last September.