Heroes of Horseback: The Unstoppable Spirits Honored at FEI Awards 2023!
The FEI Awards 2023, held in the vibrant city of Mexico, was an evening of inspiration and celebration. It marked not just the achievements in equestrian sport but also the human spirit’s indomitable resilience and passion.
At the heart of the FEI Awards are stories of extraordinary individuals who have made significant marks in the world of equestrian sports. This year’s event was no exception.
The Rising Star: Mimi Gochman
Mimi Gochman, the 19-year-old American show jumper, clinched the Longines FEI Rising Star Award. Her journey to becoming the fourth-ranked FEI U25 rider is a testament to her dedication. Gochman’s bond with her horses and the life lessons learned along her equestrian journey resonate deeply with many. “The lessons I’ve learned from this sport are invaluable,” she shared.
Best Athlete: Jessica von Bredow-Werndl
German dressage champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl was honored with the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete Award. Her tribute to her mare, TSF Dalera BB, highlights the unique relationship between horse and rider. “It’s about us, our team, and the incredible bond with Dalera,” she stated, emphasizing the shared success.
The Heart of the Team: Emma Uusi-Simola
Acknowledging the unsung heroes, the FEI awarded the best groom to Emma Uusi-Simola, who has been integral to Swiss rider Steve Guerdat’s success. Her decade-long commitment and understanding of the equine athletes underscore the importance of a groom’s role. “Every horse challenges me, and I love that,” she remarked.
Inspirational Comeback: Federico Fernandez
Federico Fernandez’s story is nothing short of miraculous. Surviving a catastrophic plane crash, he made an astounding comeback to become one of Mexico’s most renowned show jumpers. His tale is a powerful reminder of how horse riding transcends physical and mental barriers. “Riding heals,” he says, “and it’s an indescribable feeling being on a horse.”
These stories from the FEI Awards 2023 are not just about winning or accolades. They are about the journey, the bond between horse and rider, and the passion that drives individuals to overcome adversity. They are narratives that inspire and resonate with every equestrian enthusiast.
The winners, chosen through a blend of public votes and expert judgment, highlight the community’s role in shaping equestrian sports.