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Sergio Alvarez Moya: “We all have to work in the same direction”

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Sergio Alvarez Moya. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



Sergio Alvarez Moya was one of the first riders to speak out against the cancellation of the 2021 European Championships in jumping, a decision that later was reversed by the FEI. At the time, Alvarez Moya said the decision was premature and called for a real discussion with the riders. Six months later – with the Europeans back in the calendar – WoSJ met Alvarez Moya, who would like to see the sport’s different stakeholders working more closely together and in the same direction.  

“I think the FEI and many of the national federations need to work more closely with the riders. We should not treat each other as opponents; we all have to work in the same direction,” Alvarez Moya says. “On a national level, that’s also why I together with my brother Julio and Eduardo Alvarez Aznar have taken the initiative to create a national riders’ association. While Edu and I have the experience from top level, my brother is very involved with training the different age groups from children up to young riders and we also have a lawyer with us that competes as an amateur. We want to make sure the communication between the federation and riders at different levels and from different regions improves, so that we together can make the sport better.”

“Jumping is no longer just a sport, it’s a global industry. Hence, it’s very hard to unite all the stakeholders’ different points-of-view into a consensus,” Alvarez Moya continues. “When it comes to the riders as stakeholders, I think we need more athlete representation in the FEI – from different parts of the world ranking and with geographical variation. One rider in the FEI Jumping Committee is not enough.” 

“I wish that the FEI would actively use retired top riders such as for example Nick Skelton. Riders who know the sport inside out and who would be able to give great advice. Real horse people,” Alvarez Moya continues. “Also, the riders that are retired have nothing to lose when it comes to expressing their opinion – it will not change their lives.”

“To cancel the European Championships more than a year in advance was a decision that was not in the best interest of the sport,” Alvarez Moya says when looking back at one of 2020’s biggest controversies in the European jumping community. “This is an industry where people for one reason or another invest in horses, and what motivates them to do that is the potential to develop these horses to top level – either to keep or sell. If you take away something as important as the Europeans in a period where the sport is starving for events, you damage both the industry and the sport.” 

“If there is a lesson to be learned from this, it is that we should aim to improve the communication between the FEI and the riders. The cancellation of the Europeans and the process to re-allocate it, is the proof that we need to work closer together to make the right decisions for the sport because in the end it was possible to find a solution to the challenges the FEI was facing,” Alvarez Moya says.

“As riders, we are all individualist. It’s easy to be busy doing our own thing. However, we should all get together to make our sport better – not just for ourselves but for the future generations,” Alvarez Moya says. “The riders should get more active and organised, and work together in the same direction because we all need each other.”


No reproduction without written permission, copyright © World of Showjumping


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