Belgium’s Ingmar De Vos elected unanimously as President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations

Photo caption: On 9 April 2024 Ingmar De Vos of Belgium was elected as the President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF). (c) ASOIF/Jon Super. Additional copyright free images available here.

Belgium’s Ingmar De Vos, who has served as the FEI President since 2014, has been elected unanimously as the new President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF). The election took place today, 9 April 2024, at the 48th ASOIF General Assembly held in Birmingham (GBR) during the SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit. Ingmar De Vos ran unopposed and was elected by secret ballot for a term of four years. He will take up his new position on 1 January 2025.

“I am humbled by today’s result and would like to express my deep gratitude to the Summer Olympic International Federations for their trust,” the newly elected ASOIF President Ingmar De Vos said. “In January 2025, I will be taking over from Francesco Ricci Bitti, a hugely respected figure in the Olympic Movement. I would like to take this opportunity already to pay tribute to his leadership and achievements and thank him for his unwavering support, wise counsel, and great friendship. I am fully aware of the fact that I have big shoes to fill and during my mandate I will make it my mission to continue strengthening the role of the Summer International Sports Federations in the Olympic Movement, focus on an open and constructive dialogue with the IOC, further intensify the communications with and between our IFs, and develop a strategy for the future so that together we can keep contributing to the popularity, appeal, and sustainability of the Olympic Games.”

Key Olympic officials congratulated Ingmar De Vos on his election.

“On behalf of the International Olympic Committee, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Ingmar De Vos on his election as ASOIF President,” IOC President Thomas Bach commented. “We are looking forward to the continuation of the excellent cooperation between the IOC and ASOIF. The International Federations are a fundamental pillar of our Olympic Movement. Since its establishment in 1983, ASOIF has played a vital role in promoting and strengthening the IFs by bringing together the shared interests of each sports federation. In doing so, ASOIF has safeguarded the autonomy of sport and preserved the unity of the Olympic Movement in times when it mattered the most. In his new role, Ingmar De Vos will benefit from his experience as FEI President and an IOC Member.”

“Having served as ASOIF President for almost 12 years, I know that Ingmar De Vos has the experience and stamina needed to lead our organisation,” incumbent ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said. “I have had the pleasure to work with him not only at ASOIF, but also in other positions. Ingmar is highly experienced, solution-oriented and, most importantly, he has high human qualities. It is also great to know that he enjoys the full support of our membership – something which is key for success. This is a good day for ASOIF and the Olympic Movement.”

“At the Belgian National Olympic Committee, we know Ingmar as a very reliable and hard-working official, who has great integrity and a heart for sport,” Jean-Michel Saive, President of the Belgian Olympic & Interfederal Committee (COIB), stated. “We are very fortunate to be able to build on his expertise for key strategic decisions. I would like to congratulate Ingmar for taking on the key task to lead such a vital organisation within the Olympic Movement as its first Belgian President. I am convinced that he will serve as an excellent President for ASOIF. I wish him all the best.”

Ingmar De Vos’ biography

A Belgian native, Ingmar De Vos was born on 5 August 1963. He holds Masters degrees in political science, international relations, and international and European law from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BEL).

He began his professional career as an advisor to the Belgian Senate. He joined the Fédération Royale Belge des Sports Equestres (Royal Belgian Equestrian Federation) as Director General in 1990 and from 1997 to 2011 served as the Federation’s Secretary General.

De Vos was the co-founder of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), where he served as Secretary General from 2010 to 2011.

In 2011, Ingmar De Vos joined the FEI as Secretary General.

On 14 December 2014, at the FEI General Assembly held in Baku (AZE), after three years as FEI Secretary General, the Belgian native was elected FEI President in a contested election by an overwhelming majority in the first round of voting. Four years later, at the FEI General Assembly in Manama (BRN) on 20 November 2018, he stood unopposed and was unanimously re-elected for another four-year term. On 13 November 2022, De Vos was re-elected for a third and final term in office by the FEI General Assembly in Cape Town (RSA). He ran unopposed as had been the case four years earlier.

Ingmar De Vos was elected as a Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in September 2017 and is a member of the following IOC Commissions: Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad Los Angeles 2028 (2019 – ); Legal Affairs (2018 – ); and Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (2019 – ). He is a member of the Belgian Olympic Academy and since 2017 he sits on the Board of the Belgian National Olympic Committee (BOIC/COIB).

Since 2016, he has been a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) Governance Taskforce. In 2019 he joined the ASOIF Council.

He has been a member of the Executive Committee of SportAccord, the world sport and business summit, since 2021.

From 2018 to 2022, Ingmar De Vos served on the Foundation Board of the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA). Since 2018, he is a member of the WADA Executive Committee.

In 2014, he was a delegate to the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC). He was the organisation’s Vice President (2014-2019) and President from 2020 to 2022. He is currently IHSC Vice President.

Ingmar De Vos is a Gender Champion for the United Nations and is fluent in Dutch, English and French.

The recent publication of the updated version of the Non-Rights holders’ Guidelines for Publishing on Social Media at FEI-Named Events has generated considerable conversation in the media, misinformation and questions from Stakeholders around what can and cannot be filmed and posted.

In order to provide more information around the Guidelines, and also their application, we have created some explanatory notes and a detailed FAQ which are both available alongside the Guidelines on a newly created page:

NRH Guidelines for Posting Videos from FEI-Named Events

We understand you have received a lot of queries as well from your members so we hope these explanatory notes and FAQS will settle many of those questions.

We would also like to highlight/remind National Federations they can post footage of their Athletes’ round(s) on the NF’s social media platforms up to the maximum duration of each of the rounds, as long as that footage is provided exclusively via FEI Socialie. And the same applies for Athletes on their Social Media Platrforms.

This is clearly explained in the updated Guidelines, but also in the FAQS, but please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any doubts or questions.

QR-code-FEI-Socialie-Platform

Registration Codes:

For athletes: “Athletes-Media”

For NF members: “NF-Media”

The rounds for the Longines League of Nations™ are available on the platform. The other FEI-Named Events are in the process of being implemented. In addition to the competition footage, additional content can be accessed through the FEI Socialie Platform which can be used for sharing on your social media platforms.


Reviving the Spirit: Jamaican Eventing Soars with the FEI Solidarity’s FEI Eventing World Challenge Series

Eventing in Jamaica lost its momentum in the early 90’s after the Jamaican team was unable to transport their horses to the United States for competitions due to equine piroplasmosis when the Pan American games were held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1991. The FEI Eventing World Challenge has inspired Jamaica to revive the discipline along with hosting one-day events and reintroducing local FEI competition. 

To this end, Jamaica hosted their first FEI Eventing World Challenge Cat C Derby in November last year with the support of FEI Solidarity at Kingston Polo Club, Caymanas Estates, with 18 participants competing. Ultimately Denise Cole-Avril was the victor, on board her gelding Raggashanti.

Denise – who also happens to be the Jamaican National Federation Vice President – is a testament to the success of the local training opportunities offered to the athletes. Denise participated in all the national Federation’s Derby training programmes, and is an exemplary role model to young riders:

“This competition has been the first FEI competition we have had in Jamaica in quite a few years, and I think this is just what we need here to get the equestrian sport growing and back on track for the development of all levels of riders. In general, the Eventing challenge has been amazing as it allows all participants to hone their skills in Dressage, Jumping and cross-country.”

We then took some time to speak with Heidi Lalor, the president of EFJ (Equestrian Federation of Jamaica) about what this initiative means for development of the sport in Jamaica.

Can you tell us the significance of the FEI Eventing World Challenge for equestrian Eventing in Jamaica?

“By introducing the new FEI Eventing World Challenge, our riders and horses across the island are being exposed to Eventing and benefiting from the training and competing in all three disciplines.  The 2023 Challenge offered us a fresh and exciting new event to work towards, and we feel privileged to have been one of the first countries competing in the Category C Derby.”

What inspired the EFJ to organise the FEI Eventing World Challenge, and how did the idea come about?

“The FEI Solidarity team! Initially Jean-Philippe Camboulives (FEI Solidarity Director) directed us towards the challenge when it was launched at the 2022 Cape Town General Assembly. Jean-Philippe felt that this was an ideal project with reachable goals for Jamaica especially as we had access to polo fields and suitable horses.  Andreina Wipraechtiger further offered us much needed guidance throughout the process with our Eventing goals by advising the National Federation organisers from FEI clinics in 2022 to FEI competition in 2023.”  

What preparation took place to support riders wishing to compete in this event?

“Our preparations were key and we owe much of our success to our Eventing coaches – Jamaica’s two-time Olympian Samantha Albert (UK based) and Jose Ortelli (ARG).  Sam and Jose trained local horses and riders who had no exposure to Dressage or Cross-country and through a series of Training Days and fitness programmes the continuity delivered positive results.  

Their energy and commitment towards Jamaica’s development motivated us and their support gave our local coaches the opportunity to compete. In addition, Colombia offered Jamaican riders Eventing training camps and the Colombian NF accommodated Caribbean riders in their 2023 Derby competition on borrowed Colombian horses, offering them invaluable experience and exposure.”

What were some of the highlights from the inaugural FEI Eventing World Challenge?

“It was so rewarding to build a competent Eventing team around this development project, aligning with our competition goals. The team’s efforts inspired us and it was a pleasure working alongside FEI Solidarity, incredible coaches, and our dedicated national and foreign FEI officials from Mexico, Argentina and Trinidad who ensured our Eventing challenge’s success. 

Other highlights throughout the journey were watching the riders and horses enjoying their introduction to Eventing over seventeen months; it brought our equestrian community together and it was a wonderful initiative by our federation.”

The FEI Eventing World Challenge is run in conjunction with the FEI’s Solidarity department. What specific benefits or assistance does Solidarity provide?

“Solidarity was clear from the beginning: they wanted to see Jamaica remaining active in Dressage and competing in local FEI competitions. The Eventing module was a pathway for us to achieve these goals.

The FEI Solidarity department provided funding for our one-day training event in July 2022 with Jose Ortelli and further financial assistance towards our FEI Technical Delegate Ricardo Perez Conde (MEX) for our local FEI Eventing World Challenge.

Without these training programmes and experienced assistance with competition execution, this venture would have not only been impossible but unsustainable.” 

In what ways do you believe the FEI Eventing World Challenge contributes to the growth and development of equestrian Eventing, in Jamaica and beyond?

“We experienced an increase in rider memberships and horse registration as local riders wanted to participate in this new Eventing opportunity. The Category C Derby also encouraged adult riders back into local competition and by covering three disciplines we are contributing to well-rounded horses and riders.

Partnerships with South and Central America, and other Caribbean islands, has also opened more doors for us which continue to build interest and opportunities in Eventing.” 

What challenges did you face organising and executing the FEI Eventing World Challenge, and how were they addressed?

“As the last one-day event was hosted decades ago we were extremely limited with volunteers and trained officials. Most of our officials reside off the island, this led to our next challenge of funding the project.

The FEI required portable jumps which came at a significant cost to our Federation, so we turned this into a community project and the equestrian clubs invested and provided the portable jumps for the competition – this is an example of teamwork which was a great help to us financially.”  

Looking ahead, what plans or initiatives does the Jamaican Equestrian Federation have to further promote and expand Eventing in the country, building on the experiences gained from the FEI Eventing World Challenge?

“We would like the FEI Eventing Challenge to remain on the federation’s calendar and be an event everyone works towards and the equestrian community celebrates! We aim to grow our participation numbers and hopefully more sponsorship opportunities will be available to assist us with funding officials. We are grateful for this Eventing Challenge and all the opportunities it has provided Jamaica and hope that more islands in our region will join us in competing!”

Cole-Avril emphasises the importance of these initiatives for growth, saying: “It has also been a fun challenge in terms of the training and preparation, and with my 7 year old daughter now interested in riding, it has given her goals and aspirations. I’m looking forward to participants, including myself, being able to improve our capabilities in order to step up our game and move on to category B in the near future… and even category A!”

The Jamaican equestrian community reviving Eventing is just one more success story of FEI Solidarity. The FEI looks forward to the reinvigoration of a discipline which has deep history in the 80’s and early 90’s when there were at least three active cross-country courses across the island, and Jamaica was represented by riders at not only the Pan Am Games, but also the Beijing and London Olympics.

The support of all National Federations enables FEI Solidarity to help countries carry on the traditions of the sport and disciplines we all love, widening our talent pool, deepening our development, and elevating our high performers.