FEI announces judges of Awards on closing day

Lausanne (SUI), July 31, 2012: On the last day of nominations for the FEI Awards 2012, the FEI is pleased to announce the names of the three National Federation representatives who will compose the judging panel of this year’s hunt for equestrian heroes.

Rosana Maria Roig, Director and Secretary General of the Puerto Rico Equestrian Federation, Ronald Gaerty, President of the Malta Equestrian Federation, and Zhichen Pan, President of the Chinese Equestrian Association, will decide the winners in the five FEI Awards categories. The judging panel will be chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya for the fourth consecutive year.

Rosana Maria Roig is an expert in communications, crisis management and public affairs and runs a public relations firm. She has four children and became involved in the equestrian world in 1990 when her son Francis started riding. Her interest in the local development of the sport led her to serve as Director and Secretary of the Puerto Rico Equestrian Center from 2002 to 2008. She became Director of the Puerto Rico Equestrian Federation in 2003 and since 2008 has served as both Director and Secretary General of the Federation.

Roig played an important role in the preparation of the 2010 Central American Games, oversaw the construction and maintenance of the courses for all disciplines and coordinated out-of-competition activities for officials and participants. She advocates the creation of more and better equestrian clubs in Puerto Rico and aims to ensure that riders are able to participate in the best and most competitive events possible.

Ronald Gaerty co-founded the Malta Equestrian Federation (MEF), which was set up in 1999 to attract and develop new talent on the local level and to provide professional training opportunities for horses and riders in all equestrian disciplines.

Gaerty was coordinator of the MEF until his election as President in 2006. He strongly supported the acceptance of Para-Equestrian as an FEI discipline at the FEI General Assembly 2004 in Paris and also helped to clarify and amend the rules relating to the nationalities of riders.

He is committed to developing Maltese equestrian sport so that it is proudly represented in international arenas. Ensuring a level playing field for all is very important to him and his motto is “Try hard to win, but win fairly. This is the very essence of sport!”

Zhichen Pan has devoted himself to sport in China for 20 years. He became President of the Chinese Equestrian Association (CEA) after serving as Director General of the national Cycling and Fencing Administrative Centre. He was previously Deputy Director General of the Competitive Sports Division of the General Administration of Sport in China. From 1991 to 1995, he worked as editor-in-chief of the publication China School Physical Education.

China’s equestrian sport has progressed dramatically in recent years and Zhichen Pan is overseeing fundamental work that will strengthen its future through globalisation, specialisation, socialisation, market-orientation and professionalisation.

The winners of the FEI Awards will be invited to Istanbul, Turkey to receive their awards at a gala evening that will close the FEI General Assembly 2012.

Nominations for the FEI Awards 2012 (Reem Acra Best Athlete, HSBC Rising Star, Best Groom, Development and Against All Odds) can be made until midnight Central European Time via the dedicated website www.feiawards.org. —- FEI

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