FEI Awards 2018

20 November 2018

Find out who picked up the prizes at the FEI Awards 2018 gala in Bahrain...

Simone Blum has paid tribute to her superstar chestnut mare Alice after scooping the coveted Fosun Best Athlete gong at the FEI Awards 2018. The German star, who won the Jumping gold medal at this year’s FEI World Equestrian Games, received her prize at a glitzy ceremony at the Gulf Hotel in Manama, Bahrain.


The winners for this year were selected by almost 100,000 public votes and an expert judging panel. Here they are in full:


Fosun Best Athlete: Simone Blum

Longines Rising Star: Victor Levecque

Against All Odds: Leila Malki

Best Groom: Lee McKeever

FEI Solidarity: Alex Hua Tian and The Horsemanship Charity Programme

On receiving her award, Simone, who took gold in Tryon two months ago, described the honour as a "dream".

Simone said: “I am very proud to be the Fosun Best Athlete. I think it’s the dream of every rider and a lot of really good riders before have won it. To the people who voted I want to say  ‘thank you’. It was a pleasure for me and I have the best fans and support.


“It’s unbelievable actually because for me it started just one-and-a-half years ago and it’s just because of Alice that I’m here now. I’m really proud to ride at this top level, and I’m so, so happy to have Alice. It feels so easy with her, and that’s really great.”



More than 250 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, representatives of the 133 National Equestrian Federations, FEI partners and stakeholders were in attendance at the prestigious gala in Bahrain. The event was hosted by Paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker and young Dressage ace Juan Matute Guimon.



French Eventing prospect Victor Levecque, 20, thanked his parents, team and horse after scooping the Longines Rising Star award for young athletes. The award comes just a few months after he won Team and Individual gold at the FEI European Championships in Fontainebleau.


To win the Longines Rising Star award is amazing,” Victor said. “I never thought that I would win this award. Thanks to Longines and the FEI for putting the young generation at the front of the scene.


“For the future my main goal is the Olympic Games, maybe in Paris 2024. I know the road is very long and that’s my dream.”


On being named Best Groom, Lee McKeever, who works with Mclain Ward, said “it’s never been a job to me, it’s been a way of life.” He added: “It’s just a great honour to have everybody’s votes.”

The other worthy winners were The Horsemanship Charity Programme in China and Palestinian teenager Leila Malki.

The Horsemanship Charity Programme secured the FEI Solidarity award after last year improving the lives of more than 200 migrant kids by helping them learn key skills by building relationships with horses.


Against All Odds winner Leila Malki has broken taboos in Palestine by encouraging other girls to enter equestrian sport. The teenager has travelled as far as Colombia and Morocco to participate in international competitions. Watch the video below to find out more about Leila's story.


Paying tribute to the winners and nominees, FEI President Ingmar de Vos said: "Tonight we have had the pleasure of celebrating some wonderful individuals – individuals who represent our sport and everything we stand for. And perhaps what makes it even more special or has done so for the past two years is that the public have their say. The world has voted for these individuals because they have been moved and inspired by their stories."



Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, said: “As FEI’s Top Partner, Longines is very proud to take part in the 2018 FEI Awards Ceremony in Manama. 


“We are particularly delighted to present the Longines Rising Star award, acknowledging our commitment in supporting new generations of athletes in each sport that we are involved in.”


Images by Liz Gregg


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