t is awards season at the FEI with the annual FEI Awards Gala evening fast approaching. on November 13th in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Each day this week the FEI will be announcing the shortlist from the 5 award categories, Longines Rising Star, Reem Acra Best Athlete, Best Groom, Against All Odds and FEI Solidarity.
Today we will be starting with the shortlist for the Longines Rising Star.
With young talent developing all over the world and across all of our disciplines, it is always a tough job to shortlist our Longines Rising Star category. The public nominations highlighted many athletes of which the following were selected to go through to the judges’ vote:
Bertram Allen (IRE) Jumping
Bertram Allen has made such an impact on the international jumping circuit in recent years that it is easy to forget he is still only 20 years old. In 2015, he has won over 20 international competitions and came third in the Longines FEI World Cup Final 2015, winning the first round of the event. He was the youngest rider to compete in Jumping at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 coming 7th overall.
Juan Matute Jr (ESP) Dressage
Following a highly successful 2015 season winning many Junior Dressage competitions and beginning to compete in senior Grand Prix tests, Juan won the individual Freestyle gold at the FEI European Junior Dressage Championships in Vidauban 2015. He also came 2nd in senior Grand Prix Freestyle test this year at only 18.
Kelsey Russell (USA) Endurance
Kelsey won the 2015 North American Junior Young Rider Championship and the Best Condition award. She is currently top of the Young Riders World Endurance Rankings. Kelsey works very hard and trains the horses she competes. In 2014 she was the only young rider chosen by the United States Equestrian Federation to ride on the team at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2014.
Phoebe Peters (GBR) Dressage
At the 2015 Pony European Dressage Championships, Phoebe won all three gold medals up for grabs in the Team, Individual and Freestyle competition improving on her 2014 silver medals in the same competition. She is the current holder of all 3 Pony FEI Dressage World Records (Team Test – 80.12%, Individual Test – 81.39%, Freestyle Kur Test – 85.8%) and has won a total of 33 CDI PFEI Tests.
Jessica Mendoza (GBR) Jumping
2015 heralded a meteoric rise for the 19 year old showjumper who has produced consistently strong international performances with over 10 first placings in the past year. Her selection to Great Britain’s senior team made her the youngest British International Jumper for nearly 40 years. Jessica rose through Ponies, taking 2 team golds at the 2011 and 2012 Pony European Championships, has been crowned British Junior champion 3 times and won Individual Bronze and Team Gold at the 2014 Junior European Championships. She was a key part of the British team at the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen securing Team GB Olympic qualification and narrowly missing a team medal.
Gina Schumacher (GER) Reining
Gina Schumacher is the double FEI Junior European Reining Champion winning first in 2013 and then retaining her title in 2015. She regularly rides in demonstrations including at the senior FEI Europeans in Aachen this year, boosting the profile of the sport. Her hard work and training has resulted in consistent, strong results showing she has the ability and talent to go far.
A jury of international experts including FEI President Ingmar De Vos will select the winner on November 13 in San Juan, Puerto Rico where over 350 guests representing the 133 National Equestrian Federations, enthusiasts and stakeholders from around the world will celebrate their achievements.