An Interview With Eleonora Moroni Ottaviani – Director of the IJRC

Eleonora Moroni Ottavia at Piazza di Siena CSIO5* Rome.
Eleonora Moroni Ottaviani at Piazza di Siena CSIO5* Rome.
Eleonora Moroni Ottaviani at Piazza di Siena CSIO5* Rome.

The International Jumping Riders Club was founded in April 1977 with a group of 25 international riders, including David Broome, Raimondo D’Inzeo, Paul Schokemöhle and Rolex Testimonee Rodrigo Pessoa’s father, Nelson Pessoa. On 24 June 1977 the IJRC was launched in Vienna. The current director Eleonora Moroni Ottaviani talks about her role and passion for the sport. 

Q: How long have you been involved with the IJRC and how did you get involved?
A: I’ve been working with the association since 1997/98 and I love the job. It’s great being involved with the sport and working with both mutual respect and friendship, with all of the riders.

Q: Do you have a particular highlight from working with the IJRC?
A: There have been a lot over the years I’ve worked there, but here are a few: The CSI competition requirements (Entry Fees, Prize Money, Minimum requirements for CSI and CSIO) was an extremely important moment and involved seven years of negotiations with the sports’ governing body and representatives; the signing of our partnership with Rolex; but mainly I think of little moments, laughter and the debates during dinners and meetings.

Q: One of the objectives for the association is to promote the image of equestrian sport in jumping. How do you think the IJRC has done this?
A: Paying attention to the rules and being part of the FEI (International Equestrian Federation) and EEF (European Equestrian Federation) committees. Additionally, we try to offer spectacular competitions to the public, for example the Rolex IJRC Top 10. We also try to encourage all of our members to use social media, as communication is so important these days and an area we will continue to invest more in.

Q: What are the main challenges of the association?
A: First and foremost, we make sure that fair play and the horses’ welfare are the priority in our sport. We also ensure that the athletes’ voices are heard and considered by those who have to make decisions in the sport. This also means giving these institutions the correct tools to make the decisions. Lastly, we want to make sure that the retired athletes remain a part of the sport.

Q: In your mind, what are the IJRC’s biggest achievements?
A: The credibility and respect the IJRC has achieved in the equestrian world is fantastic. If I had to list them out; being recognized by the Olympic Committee in 2004, the CSI requirements, the Ranking List formula, the contract and the Memorandum of Understanding with the FEI who recognizes the formula’s ownership to the IJRC.

-Text via Rolex