All in a day’s work for the princess of equestrian sport. (FEI photo)
HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, president of the world’s governing body of horse sports, the Federation Equestrian Internationale (FEI), climbed another impressive rung of the world sport hierarchy this week when she was elected to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
She defeated the Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the President of the Columbian Olympic Committee, and the President of the Indonesian Olympic Committee.
Commenting on the decision, IOC President Jacques Rogge said: “The fact that half of the nominees are women reflects the IOC’s desire to lead by example as regards our policy of increasing the number of women in sports organisations.” The FEI is one of only two International Olympic Sports Federation out of a total of 34, 28 Summer and 6 Winter, to be chaired by a woman and has been since 1986.
Princess Haya will become only the 15th woman on the 115-member body, and she will be the third Arab woman.
While she technically represents the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of her marriage to the Sheikh, the Princess is the daughter of the king of Jordan and represented her country in show jumping in the Sydney Olympics. Her husband is deeply involved in equestrian endurance.