Announcing the shortlist for the Against All Odds Award 2014

Nov 18, 2014 Other Press Releases »

It is awards season at the FEI with our annual FEI Awards Gala Evening fast approaching. Each day this week we will be announcing the shortlist from our five categories, Longines Rising Star, Reem Acra Best Athlete, Best Groom, Against All Odds and FEI Solidarity.

Yesterday we announced the nominees of the Reem Acra Best Athlete category and today we focus on the Against all Odds Award.

Equestrian sport is one which inspires passion and dedication at all levels. The following nominees epitomise this passion, having overcome many challenges and setbacks in order to achieve their dreams.

Sudipti Hajela (IND)
Armed only with her own determination, Sudipti set out on her equestrian career at the age of 8 in India. With limited equestrian infrastructure available Sudipti travels 200km each weekend to train at the government equestrian centre in Bhopal. Training hard she succeeded in winning a team Bronze medal at the Junior National Championships in India, alongside an individual Gold and team Silver medal at the Delhi Horse Show 2013 only hiring horses at the show.

Sofie Lexner (SWE)
A successful dressage rider on the Swedish Team, Sofie suffered an extremely bad fall from one of her young horses in August 2013. Sustaining injuries to three of the vertebrae in her neck alongside back injuries, Sofie was initially paralysed and suffering from seizures after the accident. In time, Sofie regained movement and was required to wear a support collar for 3 months with no riding recommended for 8 months. However the doctors counted against Sofie’s determination to get back in the saddle at barely 7 months after the accident Sofie came 6th in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix at Gothenburg, following this up with a 5th place finish in the Freestyle at the same event.

Roxanne Trunnell (USA)
Following a mystery infection in October 2009, Roxanne went from being a healthy, young, aspiring equestrian to being paralysed and unable to speak almost overnight. However, four years after her illness, a trip to the US Para-Equestrian Dressage National Symposium changed Roxanne’s life inspiring her to return to her previous love of equestrian sport. At this event, Roxanne connected with other para-equestrian dressage athletes and coaches which spurred her on to begin training in the quest to become an international para-equestrian dressage rider. Thanks to her dedication, in less than a year, Roxanne went from being a developing para-equestrian dressage rider to an internationally ranked Grade Ia athlete coming 8th in the individual competition and 7th in the freestyle at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014.

Sydney Collier (USA)
Suffering Wyburn-Mason Syndrome, a congenital birth defect, Sydney has been faced with significant obstacles to overcome but these have in no way prevented her from working towards her goals. A series of medical treatments including three brain surgeries left her blind in one eye and a stroke at the age of 11 led to paralysis on her left side. Nevertheless, Sydney has pursued her dreams with great fervour and having competed at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy this summer, she is even more determined to continue training in order to achieve her goal of representing the USA at the 2016 Paralympic Games. In between training in New York, 10 hours away from her family and friends, Sydney also volunteers once a week to speak, motivate and encourage kids her age who do not have the same motivation and family support that she does.

Check back tomorrow to find out the nominations for the FEI Solidarity Award.

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Alice Permain
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