Ingmar De Vos
President of International Equestrian Federation (FEI)
Secretary General of International Equestrian Federation (FEI)
Message from the FEI
On behalf of the FEI, we are delighted to welcome you to the fabulous Thai Polo & Equestrian Club here in Pattaya, for the inaugural FEI Asian Championships. As this Championship unfolds, we will have the pleasure of seeing the best athletes and horses from the Asian region showcase their skills across our three Olympic disciplines.
With approximately 250 acres of land, stabling for over 250 horses, a veterinary clinic, numerous sand and grass arenas as well as a cross country track, the equestrian facilities provided here are of the highest standard. The Thai Polo & Equestrian Club is a wonderful multi-functional equestrian facility and has in the past already been a remarkable host for significant events such as the South East Asian Games in 2007 and the Asian Eventing Championships in 2013 and 2017.
Over the next few days, athletes from over 15 countries will come together aiming for team and individual glory across top-level competitions in FEI Jumping, FEI Dressage and FEI Eventing. To be selected to compete here is an impressive achievement and the result of commitment, dedication and hard work by the athletes and their entire support systems, reflecting that special bond and the horsemanship, respect and teamwork required to compete at this level.
The popularity of equestrian sport continues to grow throughout all of Asia. In Thailand alone, we have seen an increase of 83% in the number of FEI international events between 2009 and 2018. The number of FEI registered athletes in the country throughout the same period also rose by 89%, while the number of FEI registered horses increased by a phenomenal 167%. China and Australia have also experienced significant growth in the sport, leading to a 30% increase in the number of FEI international events in Asia since 2009.
With a growing fan base in Asia passionate about the sport and the new stars that are emerging on the international scene, it is vital to have Continental Championships such as this one in order to serve as stepping-stones to the next level of World Championships and Olympic Games. Prior to any global aspirations, athletes and teams need this preparation so that they can gain experience, have benchmarks and set goals - first at a regional and then continental level - and that is exactly what this Championship does. As for the fans, there is nothing like nation versus nation rivalry to establish national pride for sporting heroes and partnerships.
On behalf of the Fédération Equestre Internationale, we would like to thank the Organising Committee, and in particular President of the Thai Equestrian Federation Harald Link, as well as all the partners, volunteers and officials who have dedicated considerable time and energy to ensuring the success of this milestone event. To the athletes, the chef's d'equipes and their invaluable support teams, we wish you the very best of luck! And lastly, to all the fans, we hope you enjoy every minute our sport has to offer.
Message from the TEF
A very heartfelt welcome to all participants, supporters, officials, all families and visitors of the first ever FEI Asian Equestrian Championships 2019 Pattaya !
We are so very happy that FEI has granted us the privilege to organize this joyous event on the same level as the Asian Games in all three Olympic disciplines of Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing, an event that we hope will be repeated from now on regularly and bring the equestrian communities of Asia closer together, providing opportunities for our riders to shine and excel.
We are especially honoured that Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya will compete in the Thai Dressage Team and that the President of FEI Mr Ingmar de Vos, his Vice President Mr Jack Huang, the Director of Olympic Discipline Mrs Catrin Norinder and the President of the Asian Equestrian Federation Mr Hamad Al Attiya will celebrate with us these historic competitions.
We extend our sincerest gratitude to the Royal Thai Government and especially the Sports Authority of Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand as well as all other sponsors for their invaluable support in making these Championships happen.
In the name of the Thailand Equestrian Federation and Thai Polo and Equestrian Club we wish all athletes from all countries namely Bahrain, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Philippines, Singapore, Uzbekistan and Thailand great joy, happiness and success.
On this happy occasion let us all deepen our friendships among each other !
President of Thailand Equestrian Federation (TEF)
Chair Group III of Asian Equestrian Federation (AEF)
Honorable President of South East Asian Equestrian Federation (SEAEF)
Message from the Chair of FEI Regional Group VIII
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the first edition of the FEI Asian Championships here at the wonderful Thai Polo & Equestrian Club in Pattaya, Thailand. As second largest event featuring equestrian sport on the Asian continent, right after the Asian Games, we look forward to seeing the evolution and potential of our three Olympic disciplines unfold in the region.
Equestrian sport undeniably continues to flourish in all of Asia. From 2009 to 2018 we have been experiencing a 56% increase in the number of FEI registered athletes; India, Australia and China being the top three countries with the most athletes. The number of FEI international events in Asia has also risen by 68 % with Australia, New Zealand and Japan as top trio.
It is exciting to witness how equestrian sport has caught on in Asia, especially in view of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Asian Games in 2022. We already have five Asian countries qualified across our three Olympic disciplines represented in Toyko 2020, which is more than at the past Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016, and we hope to be able to increase this number further with individual athletes.
The FEI Asian Championships provide perfect opportunity for our athletes to compete with, and against one another, in competitions of highest standard. The experience gained at such championships is invaluable; it is an opportunity to see partnerships rise to the occasion and work as a team to deliver the best possible performance for their country. Continental and Regional Games create the pathway for athletes to continued international representation and, for some, they even open the doors to Olympic Games.
Over the next few days we will see great feats of athleticism on display as partnerships aim for both team and individual honours. The dynamic and power of Jumping, the thrill of Eventing and the elegance of Dressage which awaits us here in Pattaya will provide spectators with moments and memories they will never forget. You will be a direct witness of the unique relationship between horse and rider; see how courage, trust and communication are the keys to success. It is this indescribable bond which enables impressive feats of athleticism to be achieved and the core around which the whole FEI community revolves.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Harald Link, President of the Thailand Equestrian Federation, Secretary General Nara Ketusingha and B Grimm Group for their contributions to making this event successfully come to life. Last but not least, I would also like to express my gratitude to Mrs. Nunthinee Tanner from the Thai Polo and Equestrian Club, for providing a first class venue to promote our fantastic sport in the region.
To all the athletes, the sponsors, the media and the public, I wish you an enjoyable event, conducted in the spirit of great horsemanship.