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Ad Interim FEI Secretary General steps down
Lausanne, Switzerland

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has announced that Jean-Claude Falciola steps down from his position as Ad Interim FEI Secretary General as of 12 May 2006.

The decision followed a meeting with the newly elected FEI President, HRH Princess Haya, and the FEI 1st Vice President Sven Holmberg at the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).

Michael Stone, FEI Sports Director, will take over from Mr Falciola as Acting FEI Secretary General. He will take up both the Sports Director's and Secretary General's responsibilities as of today, until a permanent appointment is made. Mr Falciola will remain available to the end of the month to allow a smooth transition. The selection process for a permanent FEI Secretary General will be initiated immediately and a decision will be taken after the FEI World Equestrian Games.

Jean-Claude Falciola took up the position of Ad Interim FEI Secretary General in September 2005 to manage the FEI's day-to-day business with the view that he would allow a seamless handover to a permanent FEI Secretary General. At the FEI Executive Board Meeting held after the 2006 FEI General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur last week, it was deemed necessary to move the organization forward at pace, leading to the recruitment of a permanent FEI Secretary General. It was felt that although the appointment of Mr Falciola had been a sensible choice at the time, the election of a new FEI President and Bureau meant a new direction. One of the key conclusions of the meeting was that the permanent FEI Secretary General should have a sound working knowledge of the equestrian industry and the National Federations that make up the FEI.

The FEI President, HRH Princess Haya, said: "Jean-Claude has provided a level of stability in a particularly delicate period of flux for the FEI and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his valuable contribution. We now need an FEI leader with a solid knowledge of the equine and sports industry. With Michael Stone taking up the acting position we believe that we can keep the momentum of change going while actively seeking the man or woman who will help fulfill the aspirations laid out in my election Manifesto."

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