Ingmar De Vos was today re-elected unopposed as President of the FEI at the General Assembly in Manama (BRN), where he pledged to build on the success of his first term in office. The Belgian native received unanimous support for a second four-year term from delegates representing the FEI’s 133 National Federations.
It is the first time since 2002 that there has been an uncontested election for the FEI’s top role. The Belgian native is the 13th FEI President since the Federation was founded in 1921, and only the fourth to become an IOC Member.
“I believe in our sport, in our community and in our potential”, Ingmar De Vos said in a powerful acceptance speech after an extended standing ovation from the delegates. “These are exciting times for equestrian. We are growing, our fan base is diversifying and we have seven amazing and unique disciplines to promote – the sky really is the limit!
“Together – and this is the key word – together we can and we will continue to develop our sport and to attract new athletes, new fans and new sponsors. And we will do this by ensuring great sport, cutting edge formats and great products globally to showcase the unique attributes of our disciplines and our sport.
“One of my biggest priorities is to keep our community together and ensure we stand united, because this is how we can continue to drive the sport to new heights. We are all on this journey together. It is not the mission of one man but of a community and I am grateful to everyone in this room for all that we have achieved and all that we will go on to achieve.”
He gave a heartfelt vote of thanks to his wife Sabine and the couple’s four children for their unfailing support, before going on to thank his predecessor HRH Princess Haya al Hussein for her visionary leadership and his mentor, the late Jacky Buchmann, former President of the Belgian Equestrian Federation.
Under his leadership, the FEI has seen greater youth engagement and universality, continued improvements in governance within the FEI and its member Federations, and a major evolution in the Federation’s broadcast and digital media strategy.
In his Presidential Programme for 2018-2022,, Ingmar De Vos has pledged to continue working within the five pillars on which he structured his first term, each with their own set of key commitments. The five pillars are Serving our Community; Sport: Our Core Business; Equestrian Sport in the Olympics; Solidarity: The Engine of Development; and Horses as our Partners.
Under the FEI’s constitution, a president can serve up to three four-year terms. Ingmar De Vos was firstin 2014 at the FEI General Assembly in Baku (AZE) after three years as FEI Secretary General at the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).
De Vos (55), who was elected as an IOC Member in September 2017, is also a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) governance taskforce, a member of two IOC Commissions (Legal Affairs and Digital & Technology), and is on the board of the Belgian National Olympic Committee. Earlier this month he was appointed to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) Council and as the GAISF representative on the 12-member World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee, replacing the late Patrick Baumann in both roles. Mr De Vos will take up the WADA post on 1 January 2019.
More about Ingmar De Vos
A Belgian native, Ingmar De Vos was born on 5 August 1963. He holds degrees in political science, and international and European law, and started his career as an advisor to the Belgian Senate. He joined the Belgian Equestrian Federation as managing director in 1990, and held the additional role of Secretary General from 1997 to 2011.
During his time at the Belgian National Federation, Ingmar De Vos was chef de mission for the Belgian team at all six FEI World Equestrian Games™ between 1990 and 2010 and at three Olympic Games – Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. He is a member of the Belgian Olympic Academy. He was co-founder of the European Equestrian Federation in 2010 and was also Secretary General from 2010 until 2011, when he joined the FEI.
After three years as FEI Secretary General, Ingmar De Vos was elected as FEI President in December 2014.
Photo: FEI/Liz Gregg