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Equi Gala: The most prestigious tribute to equestrian sport in Belgium

January 23, 2019

Equi Gala is an initiative of equestrian icon, Ludo Philippaerts, famous entrepreneur Wim Maenhaut and President of the Belgian Equestrian Federation, Stephan Detry in collaboration with the Belgian Equestrian Federation and its Circle of Honour and Ambassadors Club.

The 2019 gala dinner was an excellent opportunity to have another look at the magnificent Belgian results and events of 2018 and for the first time ever, the Equistar awards were presented in five categories: Best Athlete, Best Team, Best Performance, Best Rookie, Best Horse.

The nominees of the EQUISTAR 2018 Performance of the Year award were Elisabeth Hardy (Endurance), Edouard Simonet (Driving) and Bernard Fonck (Reining).

In front of a full house, Fonck was presented with the Equistar 2018 Performance of the Year award following his 2018 achievements which included the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon individual gold and team silver – his presentation was followed by a standing ovation.

“I was speechless,” said Fonck. “I never thought I would win this award and get a 
standing ovation from 800 people. To win this incredible award in our ‘small’ reining discipline and feel the respect from those from all the other equestrian disciplines is amazing and I cannot thank our National Federation enough for giving us this opportunity. Thank you so much Steve Vannietvelt and Gina Vannietvelt De Pauw for everything and most of all, thank you What A Wave!


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