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Yesterday, the award went to HH Prince Faissal bin Abdullah Al-Saud.
It's a part of the FEI Awards launched in 2009 to reward excellence, commitment, dedication and courage. You can see past winners here: www.feiawards.org.
The award itself is a bronze of a series of horses jumping, specially crafted by sculptor Ronny Paesbrugghe entitled "Horses In Motion". The plaque includes the interlinked horseshoe insignia of the FEI Awards.
In the company of International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, his proud wife and daughters and delegates from all over the world, he was keen to share the spotlight.
“Although this is a personal award, I feel this recognises the work of everyone in the equestrian community. We work together, we sacrifice our time and efforts in the name of this sport that we all love so much - and because of this, our sport is flourishing.”
“This is a humbling gesture from the FEI, which represents one of the most passionate and exciting sports in the world,” said HH Prince Faissal.
President Bach, who last visited FEI headquarters in the countdown to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said following the ceremony: “Like many Olympic sports, the success of equestrian is driven by highly committed volunteers and by a strong and dedicated community.
Prince Faissal has had horses in his life since he started riding as a child. His passion for equestrian sport was ignited when he owned his first horse at 14.
He then went on to create the Saudi Equestrian Federation in 1990, and it took just six years for Saudi Arabia’s jumping athletes to make it to their first Olympic Games in Atlanta.
At the next Games in Sydney, Saudi Arabia won its first Olympic equestrian medal, when Khaled Al Eid and Khashm al-Aan took home individual Jumping bronze.
History was then made once again at London 2012, when Saudi Arabia won its first team Jumping bronze medal.
He has made an incredible impact as we see our sport grow quickly around the world,” said Ingmar De Vos, President of the FEI.
“The global equestrian community is a very special one, pulling together to make big steps. We are taking the opportunity here tonight to say thank you to Prince Faissal and also to our equestrian family during these exciting times for our sport.”
Congratulations Prince Faissal, and we look forward to seeing the athletes and horses from Saudi Arabia go from strength to strength in the future.
Images by Richard Juilliart/FEI