Simone Blum (Germany)
Fosun - Sponsor of FEI Best Athlete Award
Simone was born into an equestrian family and her father Jürgen competed at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta in Eventing. This set her on her equestrian journey and she actually became the Bavarian Eventing Champion aged just 12 before switching to Jumping.
Since then she has gone from strength to strength. In 2016, she became German Ladies Champion, while 2017 saw her snare German Champion in the open ranking.
With her long-time partner DSP Alice, spectacularly came away with Individual Jumping Gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon this year - the first woman to ever do so. Vote here!
Lambert Leclezio (France)
This young man has been rising through the ranks since winning the Longines Rising Star Award back in 2014. Originally from Mauritius, Lambert has been competing for France for two years.
As well as Individual gold at the FEI Vaulting World Championships in Le Mans, Lambert sealed the deal this year by taking home the Individual Gold medal in the male category for Vaulting at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon. Vote here!
Stinna Kaastrup (Denmark)
This young lady is an inspiration to anyone. While she could certainly be in the Against All Odds category, it’s her sporting achievements that have seen her nominated for Best Athlete this year, and with excellent reason.
After coming so close to Gold on several occasions, this was her year to shine! On top of her double bronzes at at the 2016 Paralympic Games and being a regular medallist at the FEI European Championships, her double Gold in Para Dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon was her first world title. Vote here!
Yoshiaki Oiwa (Japan)
Now recognised as the most successful Japanese rider, Yoshiaki has an impressive resume. Since starting to ride back in high school, he moved to the UK in 2001 to train under his mentor, Andrew Hoy, then on to Germany in 2009. Going from strength to strength, Yoshiaki represented Japan at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 – his third Olympic appearance, with the Duke of Cavan.
At the Asian Games 2018, he came home with Individual and Team Gold medals, - the only athlete to achieve this - also with a record time in the Jumping section of the event with 22.70. As if this weren’t enough, he also came 1st in Strzegom at FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing 2018 and 3rd in Luhmuhlen 3*. Vote here!
The FEI Awards were launched in 2009 to put a spotlight on the men, women, young people and organisations that are making an outstanding contribution to the progress and excellence of equestrian sport – in or out of the arena.
Check out the video below to find out more details about the Longines Rising Star, Best Groom, Solidarity and Against All Odds awards...