On an historic evening for Irish Show Jumping, 16-year-old Irish rider Harry Allen from County Wexford has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Longines Rising Star Award, at the ninth annual International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Awards Gala presented by Longines, which took place last night in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Harry Allen becomes the first ever Irish winner at the prestigious international FEI Awards, which were launched in 2009 to put a spotlight on the men, women, young people and organisations that are making an outstanding contribution to the progress and excellence of equestrian sport.
The Longines Rising Star Award, is for someone aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment. Harry Allen, who competes on both horses and ponies at international level, is following in his older brother Bertram’s footsteps – making a name for himself on the international stage in Show Jumping. He has had a hugely successful year in 2017, claiming both the team and individual gold medals at the FEI European Pony (Under 16) Championships in Kaposvar, Hungary this summer.
Harry received his award in front of more than 350 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, equestrian fans, FEI partners and stakeholders representing the 134 National Equestrian Federations.
Speaking at the event, Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli said:
“On behalf of Longines, I would like to address my warmest congratulations to all winners of the 2017 FEI Awards, and in particular our Longines Rising Star, the 16-year-old talented jumping rider, Harry Allen. It’s very exciting to see all these incredible people pursue their dreams and continue to be great ambassadors for their sport.”
Nominations in five categories were received from all over the globe, before the final results which were decided – 50% by public vote and 50% by an exclusive panel of judges, which among others included the FEI President Ingmar De Vos, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli and Rio Olympic Gold medal winner Nick Skelton from Great Britain.
The remaining award winners on the night included Isabelle Werth who was named Best Athlete, for the athlete that, over the past year, has demonstrated exceptional skill in the arena and taken the sport to a new level.
Alan Davis was named Best Groom, for that important person who works behind the scenes and ensures the horses he or she looks after are given the best possible care.
The Against All Odds award was awarded to Emma Both for a person who has pursued his or her equestrian ambitions despite a physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.
The FEI Solidarity award went to, the former Vice President of the Indian Equestrian Federation, Manoj Jalan for his work in the retraining of racehorses demonstrating skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport.