14 June 2016
Manuel Bandeira de Mello new FEI Director DrivingFrom September 2016 Manuel Bandeira de Mello (POR) will be the new FEI Director Driving. Bandeira de Mello takes over from Bettina de Rham, who is to take over as Director of the Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage Department at the FEI. Mrs de Rham, who has been with the FEI since June 2008, will remain in charge of the Vaulting and Reining disciplines, and will add Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage to her portfolio after the Rio Paralympic Games in September. Bandeira de Mello will also continue in his role as Director of Endurance.
The restructuring comes following last month’s announcement that Trond Asmyr, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage Director since June 2009, had left the FEI due to ongoing health issues. He had been on long-term sick leave since August 2015.
Manuel Bandeira de Mello (56), former Secretary General of the Portuguese Equestrian Federation, was chef d’équipe for the Portuguese team at numerous FEI championships and was also Portuguese chef de mission at three editions of the FEI World Equestrian Games™. During his 13-year term at the National Federation, he organised the 2012 FEI World Singles Driving Championships in Lezirias (POR), acted as a referee at national Driving events during the 1980s and was a member of the Portuguese Driving Association (APA).
“I have been involved in Driving since I was a child when I used to drive a pair of ponies at home in Portugal”, Manuel Bandeira de Mello said, “so I’m very grateful to the FEI for offering me this chance to get back into the sport that I love, as well as retaining my current role as Endurance Director. I am thrilled to accept this new challenge later this year.”
In addition the FEI is planning to strengthen the two Sports Departments under Bettina de Rham and Manuel Bandeira de Mello with new hires as appropriate within both teams.