At the 2023 FEI General Assembly in Mexico City on 18 November 2023, the FEI Board appointed Thomas Eyckmans (BEL) as a member of the FEI Dressage Committee.
He will be on the committee for the four-year term 2023-2027.
Thomas Eyckmans ran against FEI steward Didier Ferrer (FRA) who was put forward by the French Equestrian Federation.
Eyckmans replaces outgoing member Patrik Kittel (SWE), who was appointed on the board in 2019 as a representative for the "show organizers" through his involvement in the CDI Stockholm.
At the time the Association of International Dressage Event Organizers (AIDEO) got upset that the FEI Dressage Committee (with Kemperman as chair) did not support nor recommend their candidate (Christof Umbach) for the show organizers' position on the FEI Dressage committee.
Eyckmans will now join the FEI Dressage Committee which includes Chair Maribel Alonso (MEX), deputy chair Federico Pinteus (POR), the FEI Athletes Representative Yvonne Losos de Muniz (DOM), and members Monica Theodorescu (GER) and Peter Storr (GBR) as representatives of their national federations.
The 34-year old Eyckmans was a rider on the LRV show circuit in Belgium during his teenage years and got introduced to the world of dressage through his life partner Belgian international dressage rider Eline Borrey de Coninck in 2012, who was a member of the Belgian Young Riders team at the time.
He rolled into the horse world professionally through his company Max Equestrian Productions, which he founded with Klaas de Coster in 2017. He first worked as a camera man at horse shows, then started arranging music and doing the lighting. Their company is a one-shop-stop solution for sound, light, show, timing and has a wide range of LED solutions. Their clients include the Brussels Stephex Masters, Global Champions Tour and Longines Masters, and they have branched out with "MaxAmaze" to other sports event outside the horse world (football, basketball, etc).
Since 2017 Eyckmans has been member of "Paardensport Vlaanderen" (the Flemish Equestrian Federation), a subsidiary of the Belgian Equestrian Federation KBRSF, where he became co-chair, together with Mariette Whithages in 2021h.
he is part of the team behind "Belgian Dressage Events (CDI4* Lier, Belgian Dressage Championships) and organizer of the OakBarn Online auctions.
Photos © Astrid Appels