The FEI Gallops into Its 100th Year

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November 17, 2021

Photo by Greg Takatch.

Lausanne is known as the the Home of International Sport – and it’s not just because living here means hiking up the Petit Chêne a few times each week. Over 50 international sports federations have set up shop in the city, and this year one of the largest – The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) – marks a special milestone with its 100th anniversary.

We recently learned that Lausanne has long had an affinity for horses. Even before Pierre de Coubertin revived the modern Olympic games and set the city on its path to becoming the center of gravity of the sports world, Lausanne was home to nearly 1,000 horses. Today, equestrians across the globe look to our city as the capital of their sport thanks to the FEI’s presence.

Photo Copyright: FEI/Richard Juilliart

And since we love a reason to celebrate, we wanted to share markers to keep your eyes (and ears!) open to in this centennial year for the FEI:

  1. If 1,000 horses were living in Lausanne a hundred years ago, they needed a place to be stabled. Traces of this pastoral past can be seen near the train station at the Passage des Saugettes and in the Vallon neighborhood, with the remnants of the old stables.
  2. Until this summer, as you pull into the M2 metro station at Délices, you’ll be welcomed by the noble clippety-clop and whinny of a horse, signaling that the FEI building is a few short paces from the stop. Unique among other Olympic disciplines and sports, equestrian games are a shared effort between man and beast. It’s no surprise then that “the love of the horse” is at the center of the FEI’s activities and its celebration.
  3. To mark the occasion, the FEI organized a remarkable project to highlight the beauty of the animal, merging sport and art. We were invited behind the scenes while Parisian street artist Ludovilk Myers transformed the evocative white horse on the FEI building with his signature colorful patchwork brushstrokes. Now whenever you pass in front of the FEI building, be sure to look up. The bright and playful colors are impossible to miss. Admire the transformation in the video below.

Here’s wishing the FEI another 100 years of passion and sportsmanship! Next time you get off the metro at Délices or walk past their building on Ave. de Cour, cast your eyes upward to appreciate the joyful and colorful work of Ludovilk Myers and the noble FEI horse.

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