Athletes Elections: the IJRC urges all riders to vote!

FEI Athlete Representatives have an important role in the decision-making process, as a member of both the Technical Committee for your discipline and the Athletes Committee for a four-year term.

The IJRC urges all riders to vote, so that the Athlete Representative will represent and reflect the international jumping community in the best possible way.

International rider Pedro Veniss (BRA) has been the FEI Athlete  Representative for the last three years, and now two candidates are in the run to follow in his footsteps:

Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA)

Vladimir Tuganov (RUS)





The athletes’ representative must have both a strong personality and experience. It is an extremely important role as this person must represent the athletes in a global manner, defending the best interests of riders of all nationalities competing at all levels. The representative must be capable of representing them all, whether they ride for fun or at 5* level.

For we who are riders, horse welfare is a priority. It is absolutely everyone's first duty and must therefore be a priority for the athletes' representative to speak up as far any problems that might undermine the welfare of horses are concerned.

The global growth of all nations must be guaranteed, ranging from those with a strong equestrian tradition to emerging nations. Every country, and every federation, has its own problems, linked to its own situation. We must develop our sport in the best possible way and achieve top results in every country. I would like to be at everyone’s service as the athlete’s representative. Everyone can contact me and explain their problems so that I can represent them and be their spokesman as a member of the FEI Jumping Committee so as to find solutions together. So as to achieve this objective communication between the representative and the athletes is essential. Thanks to the experience I have gained over many years and in so many countries around the world, I have also met many people, experienced many realities, and believe I can understand the problems and speak for all the athletes in order to find the best solutions.

There is a need for competent people, a need for professionalism in all sectors of the equestrian world. There are many problems, starting with financial ones and the need for highly qualified professionals.

We are also experiencing problems linked to the ecosystem. Protecting the environment is extremely important and we too must play a role in equestrian sports. Another problem is posed by animal activists’ associations, which judge us without a real awareness of what happens. They do not know how we look after our horses, how concerned we are about their welfare. Social media judges and condemns and this is very dangerous. The media can be very useful in sending positive messages but when the message is a negative one then the damage done is immense.

The way in which communication is handled and what we communicate is therefore very important.

For riders the welfare of horses is the first undisputable point, the first issue to be addressed in order to build, spread and improve our sport as much as possible all over the world.  


Rodrigo Pessoa has an extraordinary sporting curriculum that includes great results and wins at the most prestigious of events including Olympic gold in Athens in 2004 and three consecutive wins (1998, 1999, 2000) in the FEI World Cup Final riding Baloubet du Rouet.

He has ridden at events at different levels ranging from CSI 3* to the Olympic Games, in the course of a career that still continues today.