Javier Revuelta Withdraws From FEI Presidential Race

15 November - On Nov. 12, Spain’s Javier Revuelta withdrew from the Fédération Equestre International presidential race via a letter to the FEI and the national federation presidents.

One of his reasons for leaving the race is that Ingmar De Vos, the current FEI secretary general, is running for president while concurrently holding his paid leadership position with the FEI.

“I have absolutely nothing against Ingmar de Voss [sic] as a person or as the Secretary General, however, as a candidate, it breaks all principles of impartiality in the process,” wrote Revuelta. “In my views, Mr. de Voss should have resigned as Secretary General, exactly at the moment that he declared himself a candidate. If not there could be an issue of conflict of interests.”

He also took issue with the FEI Independent Advisory Committee, which has the job of preserving “the integrity of the election process and to avoid any potential conflict of interest”but was announced on Sept. 4, after the six candidates had declared their intention to run.

“Also the independency of it, is compromised by the fact that one of its members, the FEI President, hired one of the candidates as Secretary General of the FEI,” wrote Revuelta. Current FEI President Princess Haya is a member of the IAC along with Lord Stevens, chair of the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit; Ken Lalo, former chair of the FEI Tribunal; and Brian Mangan, chair of the FEI Audit and Compliance Unit.

Additionally, Revuelta was surprised to receive “Rules of Conduct for FEI President Candidates” on Oct. 7 from the FEI. “I fully agree with existence of these Rules and I view them as a necessity, however, I believe those Rules must be established, and no doubt in place, before the electoral period, and clearly before the acceptance of any candidacy,” Revuelta explained.

Lastly, Revuelta objected to the idea that the FEI President might change to become a remunerated position, as De Vos has proposed, without “deep study of the reasons why it should be made and if it is beneficial, or not for the FEI.”

“I cannot act against my principles, and be accomplice with a process that I believe it is [sic] flawed, and does not meet the minimum democratic principles of independency, transparency and equal opportunity to all candidates,” he concluded.

De Vos responded with this statement: “Mr. Revuelta is certainly entitled to his opinion. I am content to let the national federations make their own judgements, and I look forward to an election focused on the important issues and ideas pertaining to the future of our sport.”

Pierre Genecand, the Swiss candidate for FEI President, responded that he thought it was a shame Revuelta was withdrawing. "He was a very valuable candidate, with an extensive knowledge of the Equestrian sports internationally," said Genecand. "Moreover, being a lawyer and the CEO of a Spanish company, he also had great managerial skills.

"It is disappointing that the campaign has taken quite a deleterious tone and shows a very bad image of the FEI to the media, the riders, the public and the IOC," Genecand continued. "When I started my campaign, I thought that we could debate on ideas and on the future of our sport. However, since a couple of months, it has only been about internal politics and politician maneuvers. This is everything I dislike. And the sport is probably not gaining anything from this. We should spend much more time debating about the real challenges."