Six Questions to FEI Secretary General
|Today, we embark on a new journey with the launch of
a Newsletter entitled Today's Feature. This newsletter will be
editorial in character presenting the FEI’s opinions, reactions and
strong points of view. It will be released every two to three weeks
and will also be presented as the main feature on the homepage of
www.horsesport.org. And to begin our editorial jaunt, Today's
Feature is an interview with Michael Stone, the FEI's new Secretary
|Six Questions to FEI
Secretary General Michael Stone |
1. What is the
role of the FEI Secretary General?|
The Secretary General is
the chief executive of the FEI, who ensures the leadership of the
management and staff. His main responsibilities comprise the
organisation of the general business of the FEI, including financial
and commercial issues; the implementation of the policies and
decisions of the Bureau and General Assembly; the preparation and
presentation of the annual and long-term plans and budgets; the
promotion of good communications and relations between the
headquarters, the National Federations and all other stakeholders;
ensuring the development of horsesport with the aim of meeting the
requirements of the IOC and of National Federations.
changes will be introduced in the federation’s management and
administration to truly have the FEI at the heart of horsesport?
My main goal will be to further strengthen and
professionalise the FEI and its working methods. We must make sure
that we deliver to our members as well as to all the stakeholders of
the sport. A well structured and eficient FEI should no longer be
perceived as a burdensome administration but as a reliable partner
adding value to horsesport.
3. Several significant
sponsorship agreements between the FEI and major international
companies were signed lately. Can you give us a brief outline of the
FEI’s commercial strategy?How will the income earned through
sponsorship be used?
We started and will further focus on
the centralisation of rights in order to achieve a truly win-win
situation: positive for the riders, organisers and the FEI and as
such commercially viable for current and future sponsors. The goal
obviously is not to have money for the FEI in a Swiss bank. This new
income will be reinvested in the sport in the form of additional
prize money but especially in the various development programmes the
FEI is running worldwide.
4. Doping has unfortunately become
an element of international sport. What does the FEI do to ensure a
fair playing field?
The FEI has substantially reviewed and
revamped its ant-doping regulations. The new Equine Anti-Doping and
Medication Control Rules, based on the principle of strict
liability, came into effect on 1 June 2006 and has worked very
effectively during these first months. The FEI has also fully
endorsed the World Anti-Doping Code. Our recent successes with the
Court of Arbitration of Sport, which validated the position of the
FEI, were encouraging and they clearly demonstrated we were on the
right track. The next step will be the further separation of the
Judicial Committee from the internal Legal Department; the objective
is to guarantee a truly independent judicial tribunal.
The 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games took place in Aachen almost
three months ago. What is your assessment?
tell their own story. With 576,000 spectators attending the
competitions and media coverage of an unprecedented scale, the Games
were clearly a remarkable public and sporting success. However,
there were elements which could have been better, especially where
the lesser known disciplines are concerned as they were somewhat
left out of the general high standard.
6. The next global
equestrian competition will be the Olympic Games in Hong Kong. What
is the stage of preparations?
After what can be called a
slow start, organisation is now proceeding at full speed. Last
August, an FEI delegation travelled to Hong Kong in the framework of
the two-day visit by the IOC Coordination Commission. A series of
important meetings were conducted with various stakeholders,
including the Equestrian Committee, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and
the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China.
Delegation members received detailed briefings on venue construction
and different topics of consequence such as security control,
accommodation, quarantine and transportation arrangements. To our
great satisfaction, the FEI’s concerns were addressed in a most
serious way and have been resolved adequately. An Eventing
competition will be held as a test event in August 2007.
Note to the editor:
Michael Stone took up his
position as FEI Secretary General on 28 August 2006. Born and raised
in Ireland, he is a former International Jumping rider. He also rode
Eventing and Dressage at a national level. He was the Secretary
General of the Equestrian Federation of Ireland from 1987 to 1997.
He was the Team Manager of the Irish Team during the 1996 Olympic
Games in Atlanta and the 1994 FEI World Equestrian Games in The
Hague. He acted in the same position for the Irish Junior and Young
Riders Teams from 1993 through 1996. Before he joined the FEI in
1997 in the position of Development Officer, he was the Management
Director of his family’s horse feed business for five years. In
1998, he became FEI Assistant Secretary General and in 2003 he was
appointed to the position of FEI Sports Director.
a keen golfer and plays off a handicap of 16. He also enjoys
football, rugby and tennis. Other interests include cinema, cooking