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It focusses on “grass roots” projects that bring the experience of being around horses to those living in some of the poorest parts of the world, and these nominees are individuals or organisations that have demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport across the globe.
The Moroccan Equestrian Federation received several nominations in this category, as well as a full endorsement from the FEI Solidarity team at FEI HQ. They have focussed heavily on developing the sport in 2016, which was outstanding and included:
All-in-all, the federation has done an excellent job of increasing the awareness and promotion of horse sports both regionally and nationally.
We received several nominations for Mohamed Khalifa who is a trainer managing a showjumping centre in Egypt that specialises in training youngsters and amateurs.
He has been instrumental in creating welfare initiatives, including rescuing horses that have been injured or maltreated and provides them with the care and the resources they deserve so that they can heal and recover.
As a testament to his successes, many of those horses have fully recovered and gone on to compete in Jumping competitions.
Mohamed is known as a huge promotor of equestrian sports, and he has introduced them to many families in the community. Not just the technical aspect of learning to ride, but pushing students to become more knowledgeable about animal welfare through courses and teaching.
This young woman is the personification of dedication to the world of horses. Kylie Shepherd founded Equestrian Performance in 2015 which is aimed at treating and rehabilitating horses.
With a string of qualifications, Kylie has extensive practical experience but more importantly, loves what she does, enabling her to achieve maximal results.
Her overall drive is to promote Equestrian sport and horse welfare in Africa, and to support Zimbabwean athletes in their goals to compete globally. Kylie is focused on education and the dissemination of knowledge wherever possible, and connects with her audience with a very effective use of social media.
She single-handedly organised the first ever Pan Africa Symposium in March 2016 to bring expertise to Africa and on top of all this, she also sponsors 2 talented young riders in Zimbabwe: Nicolle Elson - National Eventing Rider and Andrew Philip - National Para dressage, rider who is looking to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
All of these 3 nominees are extremely worthy of the FEI Solidarity Award this year, but it can be only one. We’ll find out on Tuesday November 22, when the winners area announced at the FEI Awards Gala in Tokyo, Japan.
Images by RIchard Juilliart/FEI & Social Media