10 September 2018

FEI Athlete Representative Candidate James Fairclough

The FEI has put forward seven candidates for the function of FEI Athlete Representative on the FEI Driving Committee. In this function, the representative will have a seat on the FEI Driving Committee where everything happening in the international driving world is discussed. The Athlete representative will at the same time sit on the FEI Athletes Committee which is formed of representatives across all FEI disciplines. The online election began on 29 July and will run until 23 September. Hoefnet will introduce the candidates to you over the course of the election. This week our representative is James Fairclough.

James Fairclough
Photo: Krisztina Horváth

James Fairclough

This experienced American four-in-hand driver will be part of the team representing America at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon. At sixty years of age he brings a huge amount of experience with him: he has been active in the international combined driving world for more than thirty years. In addition to that, James has been an active member on various committees for over twenty years. Day to day he is CEO of his families successful company Fairclough Fuel.



James is committed to the promotion of the sport and the welfare of the horse. About his candidacy: ‘Communication is the most effective manner to bring about change. If I am chosen, I wish to organize forums at international competitions so that the suggestions and questions of the drivers can be brought directly to the FEI. I have had good results working in this manner when I was chairman of the driving commission for my national federation. This approach creates an open dialogue. I was not always in agreement with the ideas from the group, but I have always brought forward the propositions and suggestions of the active drivers in a completely nonpartisan manner.’ As an example James mentions current dressage scores. ‘I would like to know what the drivers think about throwing out the highest and lowest scores, as is done in other sports. In ridden dressage it was dismissed, but the driving world is something completely different.’

Ups en downs

In conclusion he adds: ‘I know the feeling of standing on the top of the podium and winning team gold, but I also know how if feels to be eliminated at a World Championship. If I am chosen, be certain that your voice will be heard.’

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James Fairclough resumé

Click here for the Facebook page of James Fairclough