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The 2023 Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award to Emma Uusi-Simola

Wednesday, 22 November 2023
FEI Awards 2023

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Emma Uusi-Simola clinched this year's Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award, in recognition of her outstanding dedication and hard work as groom for Steve Guerdat. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

On Tuesday, the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines, took place at Mexico City’s Colegio de la Vizcainas and several members of the international jumping community were among the award winners. This year’s winners were decided by combining 50% of the public votes cast on, and 50% of the judges’ votes. 

Emma Uusi-Simola (FIN) clinched this year's Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award, in recognition of her outstanding dedication and hard work as groom for Swiss rider Steve Guerdat. 

"Over the past decade, Emma has been an integral part of Steve's team, demonstrating unwavering passion and commitment through the highs and lows of the sport. A trusted member of the Swiss team, Emma is often the groom of choice when travelling to equestrian events overseas is required. Her special bond with Steve’s horse Dynamix, her understanding of her athlete’s needs as well as her ability to anticipate and adapt to any situation has been pivotal to his success," the FEI wrote in their press release from the Awards Gala. 

Receiving the award from Managing Director of Cavalor Liselotte Hamerlinck, Uusi-Simola said, “I'm really pleased to get this FEI Cavalor Best Groom Award and it means a lot to me."

“Horses are my whole life. I love to work with them because they challenge me every day. All of them have own personality, and I have to figure out how to handle each and every one of them."

“You need time to get to know the horses and it does not happen in one day. Some horses are easier and some horses are more difficult. With some of them you need two years to figure out what they like and don’t like.”

Photo © Mackenzie Clark Mimi Gochman took home this year’s Longines FEI Rising Star Award. Photo © Mackenzie Clark.

Mimi Gochman (USA) took home this year’s Longines FEI Rising Star Award, created to recognise young athletes between the ages of 14 and 21 who demonstrate outstanding equestrian sporting talent.

"The 19-year-old Jumping sensation from New York City, has already made her mark on the international stage with three senior FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ team appearances. Mimi has come into her own during the 2023 season, placing fourth in the FEI Jumping U25 Rankings and earning top three results at several CSI5* level competitions. With her sights set firmly on the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, the young Rising Star is also currently pursuing a degree at USA’s Ivy League school Brown University," the FEI wrote in their press release.

Longines International Sponsorship and Event Manager Michael Vuilleumier presented Gochman with the Longines FEI Rising Star Award and an elegant timepiece from the FEI’s Top Partner.

“Winning the Longines FEI Rising Star Award is an extreme honour and I'm super grateful to be here,” Gochman said. “Riding means everything to me. It’s the thing I've been doing my whole entire life and for which I’m very grateful. I've always had a connection to horses. I think they're incredible animals, and I'm lucky enough to spend my time with them. This sport has taught me a lot of valuable life lessons, and I hope to continue it as long as I can. Horses are very intelligent and when you make that relationship with them, a deep relationship, they work extremely hard to win with you.”

Photo © Mackenzie Clark Federico Fernández Senderos won the newly created Pivo FEI Inspire Award. Photo © Mackenzie Clark.

The last award of the evening was presented to Federico Fernández Senderos (MEX) who won the newly created Pivo FEI Inspire Award, in his hometown of Mexico City. The award has been designed to showcase the incredible spirit and determination of individuals who serve as role models and show that anything is possible.

"Aged 19, Federico was one of just three people to survive a plane crash in which more than 50 people were killed. After months of intensive recovery and with a new take on life, Federico returned to competition and has gone on to become one of Mexico’s most well-known Jumping athletes.  

Federico has participated in seven FEI World Equestrian Games™, three Olympic Games, and won a silver medal, together with team Mexico, at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo (DOM) in 2003. He has also competed at countless CSIO5* Longines FEI Nations Cup™ competitions, with wins in Xalapa (MEX) and Dublin (IRL), to name a few.

For Federico, family is his motivation, entrepreneurship his drive, and horses his passion. He is known, respected and admired by many for his philosophy of letting go of what can’t be changed, focusing on making life meaningful and always expecting that the best is yet to come," the FEI wrote in their press release. 

Receiving the award from CEO of Pivo Ken Kim, Federico Fernández Senderos said: “For me to receive the PIVO FEI Inspire Award is an honour. I should be the one to say thank you for all that equestrian has done for me because it has been so important in my life."

“I'm going out every morning with passion and I try to make every day special and happy for myself and for the people whose lives I touch daily. I really think that horses are the healthiest way of taking a step back into real nature and into the basics of life. It is about interacting with the animal and not with technology or anything else. Getting on a horse heals every physical and mental pain and it’s just an indescribable moment when you’re on top of a horse.”

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