Making a

11 April 2017

For the second time, the FEI has selected one person who has made an outstanding contribution to equestrian sports and awarded them the FEI Lifetime Achievement Award.

Yesterday, the award went to HH Prince Faissal bin Abdullah Al-Saud.


What is the FEI Lifetime Achievement Award?


It's a part of the FEI Awards launched in 2009 to reward excellence, commitment, dedication and courage.  You can see past winners here:


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.


Queen Elizabeth II became the first recipient of the FEI Lifetime Achievement award in 2014 


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.




Who is Prince Faissal?

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. 


In 2010, Dalma Rushdi Malhas became the first Saudi female athlete to compete at Olympic level when she claimed individual bronze at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore with Flash Top Hat.



“Prince Faissal’s entire life has been dedicated to horses and promoting equestrian sport.

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