FEI Awards 2023: the winners30 November 2023
Mexico City’s Colegio de la Vizcainas provided a stunning backdrop for the 2023 edition of the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines, which celebrated international and home-grown winners across four categories of equestrian excellence.
The evening saw Mimi Gochman (USA) take home this year’s Longines FEI Rising Star Award, created to recognise young athletes between the ages of 14 and 21 who demonstrate outstanding equestrian sporting talent. The 19-year-old Jumping sensation from New York City, has already made her mark on the international stage with three senior FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ team appearances. Mimi has come into her own during the 2023 season, placing fourth in the FEI Jumping U25 Rankings and earning top three results at several CSI5* level competitions. With her sights set firmly on the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, the young Rising Star is also currently pursuing a degree at USA’s Ivy League school Brown University.
Emma Uusi-Simola (FIN) clinched this year’s prestigious Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award, in recognition of her outstanding dedication and hard work as groom for Swiss athlete Steve Guerdat. Over the past decade, Emma has been an integral part of Steve’s team, demonstrating unwavering passion and commitment through the highs and lows of the sport. A trusted member of the Swiss team, Emma is often the groom of choice when travelling to equestrian events overseas is required. Her special bond with Steve’s horse Dynamix, her understanding of her athlete’s needs as well as her ability to anticipate and adapt to any situation has been pivotal to his success.
The last award of the evening was presented to Federico Fernández Senderos (MEX) who won the newly created Pivo FEI Inspire Award, in his hometown of Mexico City. As the name suggests, the Award has been designed to showcase the incredible spirit and determination of individuals who serve as role models and show that anything is possible. Aged 19, Federico was one of just three people to survive a plane crash in which more than 50 people were killed. After months of intensive recovery and with a new take on life, Federico returned to competition and has gone on to become one of Mexico’s most well-known Jumping athletes. Federico has participated in seven FEI World Equestrian Games™, three Olympic Games, and won a silver medal, together with team Mexico, at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo (DOM) in 2003. He has also competed at countless CSIO5* Longines FEI Nations Cup™ competitions, with wins in Xalapa (MEX) and Dublin (IRL), to name a few. For Federico, family is his motivation, entrepreneurship his drive, and horses his passion. He is known, respected and admired by many for his philosophy of letting go of what can’t be changed, focusing on making life meaningful and always expecting that the best is yet to come.
This year’s winners were decided by combining 50% of the public votes cast on FEI.org, and 50% of the judges’ votes. National Federations, FEI partners and stakeholders attended the FEI Awards, with well-known Mexican TV presenter Gloria Cazalda as Master of Ceremonies.