In February 2011, I joined the Board of FEIF at a Delegates Assembly in Vienna. At the time, Jens Iversen from Denmark, was the FEIF president. I enjoyed working under his leadership for the next 3 years, until I took over as the President 2014. Now, when my term is coming to an end, have I been on the board for 12 years. During this time I have got to know so many exceptional people that have participated in the work of FEIF, and I am happy and thankful for the time with you all.
During my term on the board, I have participated in the development of FEIF, we have made many changes and improvements within the organization. We have successfully completed a range of different projects, including the research project on the shoeing of horses in cooperation with the University of Zurich and other institutions. We introduced the year 2012 as the year of Good and Harmonious Riding. We have reviewed and updated the statutes and all the rules and regulations for FEIF by introducing the totally new FEIF Rule Book. We have introduced an improved code of conduct and disciplinary measures and harmonised the rules across the disciplines of sport and breeding shows. We worked on the education of judges and their licensing arrangements, and integrated Tölt in Harmony as a FEIF class. In different workshops and strategy sessions we discussed the future of FEIF and the voluntary work that is being done for our community. A big effort has been made to attract new, and especially young people to our work at all levels.
Over this periods, FEIF has expanded with Lichtenstein, Australia and Hungary joining as full members. The board has made an effort to improve communication with the members of FEIF, and during the COVID period we had the opportunity to try out new methods of talking with one another, which helped to bring a mutual understanding to a new and different level. Despite its challenges, the lockdown brought us forward in many ways. The decision to cancel the World Championships in Herning in 2021 was a sad and challenging task, but taught us to be prepared for all kinds of situations.
I would like to personally thank all my fellow board members from my time in office. They made this work an interesting and challenging task. Also, all those who participated in the work of FEIF, joined all sorts of different meetings and came to our conferences, or indeed the World Championships. Finally, I would like to thank the FEIF Office team for all their help and enjoyable cooperation. Without their help, I would not have been able to complete this term and the work at hand!
I wish the new FEIF board, all officials and volunteers the very best for the future, and I hope that together, we will continue to work for to the Icelandic horse community, and that we will be able to ride and enjoy the Icelandic horse for many years to come.
Photo: Henning Drath