By Staff writer
Declined a third term of International Equestrian Federation after eight years at the helm
Dubai's HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has stepped down as president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) after declining a third term at the helm of the international sports body.
In a statement released on the FEI’s website, HRH Princess Haya, who lost her mother at the age of three, explained her desire to spend more time with her family, particularly her two young children. She said she also wants to put a higher priority on providing help and humanitarian relief to people across the region who continue to suffer daily.
In a conference call with international media, she spoke passionately about conditions in Gaza, and the incredible generosity of Sheikh Mohammed and the UAE, as well as the role of Dubai's International Humanitarian City, in bringing relief to displaced Palestinian families.
In an election determined by National Federations from countries around the world, HRH Princess Haya became the 13th president and the first Arab president of the 102-year-old organisation in 2006. At age 31, she was also the youngest president of the any international sport federation.
She was re-elected to a second term in 2010 and this, along with her experience as a competitor at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, saw her appointed to the International Olympic Committee.
During her time at the helm of the FEI, she became a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Organisation for Animal Health and serves as President of the International Horse Sports Federation, an alliance she helped create.
Princess Haya said her husband has been her role model for her FEI work and expressed her gratitude to Sheikh Mohammed, a passionate equestrian and a leading figure in the equestrian world, for his ongoing support of her eight year as president of the FEI, the state news agency WAM reported.
"His Highness Sheikh Mohammed shares my love of equestrian sport, and I am grateful for his support of my work in that area," she said. "I am equally grateful for the guidance he provided through his leadership. His insistence on good governance, justice and service to the people set the standard that I have tried to emulate. I looked to him as my mentor and example."
She also expressed her gratitude for the steadfast support she received from the UAE National Equestrian Federation.
"Any success I have had as FEI President, is an achievement by the UAE Federation and a success for the UAE," she said.
Last year, 109 National Federations voted to change the FEI’s statutes to permit a third term.
Despite this Princess Haya has decided not to seek a third term and will remain FEI president and will continue to carry the UAE flag in that role until the election of her replacement at the next FEI General Assembly in Baku in December.
HRH Princess Haya was perfection complete in her role as FEI President. She gave 150% of herself and her knowledge of the equestrian world along with that of her husband, HH Sheikh Mohammed. The genius of this wonderful husband and wife team, who have given so unselfishly to equestrian endeavours will still be present and acknowledged for years to come. FEI was so fortunate to have had their devoted expertise to fashion the Equestrian world today.
I am so very proud of both of them.
Sure HRH Princess Haya will do some different and unique for sake of the World and children.
My heart melt to know that she couldn't receive her mother's love what she needed at her age and time.
So I wish she must proffer her full time for sake of her children so that they could have mother's care and affection.
I wish all the best to HRH Princess Haya and her children.
My best regards,