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Set in the Prince Park Tower in Tokyo, Japan, the 8th Annual FEI Awards Gala, presented by Longines, got things off to a cracking start as the air exploded with the sounds of Taiko drummers. These traditional musicians electrified the atmosphere and promised an exciting evening ahead.
The events kicked off with the Longines Rising Star Award, for someone aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment. These are the athletes to watch in the future.
A huge congrats to the young German who has been climbing the ranks since he first sat on a horse.
Sönke Rothenberger has been storming through the amateur ranks and made it all the way to the world stage at the Rio Olympics this year.
Sönke has shown he is a true Rising Star!
Focussing on development of the equestrianism, this award goes to an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport.
The Moroccan Equestrian Federation is a leading light in promoting our sports to those that have the drive and determination to succeed. A very worthy winner.
These legends have been working together for over 30 years, so it comes as no surprise that they are finally taking home the titles of Best Athlete and Best Groom.
One that always touches the heart and shows us the true strength of the human spirit, this is the category for those who have overcome incredible obstacles to succeed in equestrian sports.
This year's winner was struck down by meningitis and lost both his legs, as well as some of his fingers. But his grit and determination got him back on the horse and all the way to the Rio Olympics this year.
A huge thanks to all our athletes, staff and organisers who helped to make this one of the most memorable FEI Awards Galas ever.
See you next year!