14 June 2016, UK Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was awarded the prestigious Longines Ladies Award in London’s Natural History Museum on 13 June 2016.
The Princess Royal, FEI President from 1986-1994 and now an FEI Honorary President, joined global horse sport industry leaders on the eve of Royal Ascot, Britain’s most valuable race meeting, to receive the Longines Ladies Award which celebrates women who have made major contributions to the equestrian industry.
The Princess Royal is known for her life-long love of horses, her successful equestrian career, and her hard work as President and patron of over 300 global charities and organizations, including Save the Children UK and World Horse Welfare, the FEI’s partner for over 30 years.
At the age of 21, The Princess Royal won individual gold at the FEI European Eventing championships at Burghley (GBR) in 1971 on the home-bred gelding Doublet, and four years later took team and individual silver at the FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen (GER). The following year she became the first member of the British Royal Family to compete at an Olympic Games as part of the British Eventing team in Montreal (CAN) on the Queen’s horse Goodwill.
The Princess Royal has been President of the British Olympic Association since 1983 and became an International Olympic Committee member in 1988. She was part of London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and was a member of the London 2012 Organizing Committee.
Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing of Longines said: “We are delighted to honour Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal as the recipient of this year’s Longines Ladies Award. She is a formidably talented horsewoman and deserves huge praise for her achievements and contributions in the equestrian world as both a competitor and administrator. Longines is thrilled to present her with this special award.”
The jury for the 2016 Longines Ladies Award comprised FEI President Ingmar De Vos, Louis Romanet, Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and Nathalie Bélinguier, President of the International Federation of Gentleman and Lady Riders (FEGENTRI).
“The Longines Ladies Award is a fitting tribute to The Princess Royal, who has inspired generations of athletes in equestrian sport and has been a role model for all our athletes aiming for the pinnacle of the Olympic and Paralympic Games”, FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.
“As we count down to the Rio 2016 Games, it is important that we remember how much The Princess Royal has inspired not just our female athletes but generations of women around the world.
“Countless communities globally have also benefited from The Princess Royal’s focus through her many charitable organizations. It is a real honor for our global equestrian community, together with Longines, to celebrate The Princess Royal’s tireless efforts.”
Past Longines Ladies Awards winners:
2015: HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein, FEI President from 2006-2014 and now an FEI Honorary President alongside Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (GBR), HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (GBR) and HRH The Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón (ESP), received the 2015 Longines Ladies Award at a ceremony in Hampton Court Palace (GBR).
2014: Four leading women in the equestrian world were honoured by the jury that included Longines Ambassador of Elegance Kate Winslet: Bo Derek, Hollywood actress and Chair of the Jury of the prestigious FEI Awards 2015; Sylvie Robert, Equestrian events manager of GL events group and President of Équita Lyon horse show; Christiane “Criquette” Head-Maarek, considered to be one of the leading female racehorse trainers in the world; Jing Li, CEO of Beijing Dashing Equestrian Cultural Company and founder of the Longines World Equestrian Academy with four-time Jumping Olympic gold medalist Ludger Beerbaum.
2013: The first Longines Ladies Awards were held in 2013, when a jury chaired by actor and Longines Ambassador of Elegance Simon Baker awarded Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Athina Onassis de Miranda and Sophie Thalmann at the famous Château de Chantilly on the eve of the Prix de Diane Longines.
Top Photo caption: Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (second right), who was awarded the prestigious Longines Ladies Award in London’s Natural History Museum today, is pictured here with (left to right) FEI President Ingmar De Vos, Louis Romanet, Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), Nathalie Bélinguier, President of the International Federation of Gentleman and Lady Riders (FEGENTRI) and Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing of Longines. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Longines )