Longines, Top Partner of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), is this year supporting the Rising Star category of the FEI Awards, the awards scheme run by the governing body of horse sport to reward excellence within the equestrian community.

The Longines Rising Star Award will reward a young rider, vaulter or driver who has consistently demonstrated outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

Commenting on Longines’ involvement in the FEI Awards, Longines President Walter von Känel, said:

“The support of young sport talents is very important to Longines and we strive to reflect our values in the several sports in which we are involved. We organise a tennis tournament for children in the frame of the French Open at Roland Garros and we support young tennis talents from all over the world. In addition, a race of young and promising jockeys is run during the Prix de Diane Longines and in alpine skiing we support young talents with the prize Longines Rising Ski Stars. Together with the FEI we now decided to extend this concept and to award a talented young athlete between 14 and 21 years of any FEI discipline with the Longines Rising Star prize which is part of the FEI awards.”

FEI President HRH Princess Haya, who will chair the international judging panel of the FEI Awards 2013, commented:

“We are delighted that Longines has the opportunity, through the FEI Awards, to extend their support of young sport talents to outstanding athletes from the equestrian world. I am sure that future recipients of the Longines Rising Star Award will be honoured and encouraged by this prestigious recognition of their achievements, commitment and sporting attitude.”

Past recipients of the Rising Star Award have continued to shine.

Caroline Roffman (USA), the 2010 winner, last weekend rode Sagacious HF to a second place finish in the CDI-U25 Grand Prix Test at the CDI-U25 Grand Prix at the 2013 CHIO Aachen.

Roffman told the FEI: “I can’t express how much winning the FEI award back in 2010 boosted my confidence and my belief in myself. I am grateful to the FEI and everyone who made that happen for me. Most importantly, I want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to nominate a worthy candidate, to please do so. They can’t win if they aren’t nominated and winning an FEI award is life changing”.

Eventing rider Nina Lamsam Ligon (THA/USA), winner of the 2011 Rising Star Award, went on to represent Thailand at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Ligon is majoring in engineering with an emphasis on product design at Stanford University and is carrying out an internship at an interior design firm in Bangkok. She is also coaching the Thai team for the FEI Asian Eventing Championship, which takes place from July 25-28 in Pattaya.

China’s first international Eventing rider, Alex Hua Tian (CHN), who competed at the Beijing Olympic Games at the age of 18, was the recipient of the inaugural Rising Star Award in 2009. He achieved fourth place on the waiting list for the London 2012 Olympic Games after coming first and second in two Olympic qualifiers on a horse he introduced to Eventing and brought up through the ranks himself. He is now working towards the FEI World Equestrian Games™, the Asian Games and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Jumping rider Tom McDermott (AUS), the winner of the 2012 Rising Star Award winner, was in April named Equestrian Australia Young Athlete of the Year for the third time. McDermott is preparing for the FEI World Cup™ season and will compete at the Australian Championships in late September. The talented young rider is hoping to qualify for a place on the Australian team that will compete at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014.

Nominations for the Longines Rising Star Award 2013 can be made via www.feiawards.org until July 31st.