Santiago Varela, Co-Course Designer at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
FEI Board Announcement
Santiago Varela and Gregory Bodo have been appointed as Co-Course Designers for the Jumping and Jumping Eventing Competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. This decision was announced by the FEI Board during its last teleconference in December 2022.
Santiago Varela: A Distinguished Career
Santiago Varela, born in Madrid in 1968, is a highly respected figure in the equestrian world. His journey as a Course Designer began at the Club de Campo de Madrid in 1984 when he was just 14 years old. By the age of 15, he earned the title of “Local Course Designer,” showcasing his early talent and passion for the sport.
By 1993, Varela achieved the status of an International Course Designer, marking a significant milestone in his career. His dedication led him to the prestigious FEI Level 4 Course Designer designation in July 2013, allowing him to design courses for top-level competitions.
Varela’s course designing expertise has been showcased globally, including his appointment as the Course Designer for the first Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™️ Final in Barcelona in 2013. Notable contributions include designing courses for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup qualifiers and finals, as well as championships for various categories.
Gregory Bodo: International Career Excellence
Gregory Bodo, the Co-Course Designer alongside Varela, boasts an extensive international career spanning over two decades. His collaboration with Varela began at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy in 2014. Bodo consistently excelled as an Assistant Course Designer, delivering outstanding courses for significant competitions.
In 2019, Gregory Bodo was promoted to 4* Technical Delegate and Course Designer status, marking the highest level attainable for an FEI official. He is one of only two French Course Designers in Jumping who have reached this distinguished level, reflecting his dedication and commitment to enhancing his skills.
Ingmar De Vos’s Delight
Ingmar De Vos, FEI President, expressed delight at the appointment of Santiago Varela and Gregory Bodo as the Jumping Co-Course Designers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. He emphasized their wealth of experience, dedication, impeccable work ethic, and commitment to horse welfare.
Beauty of Jumping and Welfare
De Vos highlighted that the designs created by Varela and Bodo combine expertise with a unique local flavor, ensuring the highest quality Jumping courses. In his words, “Santiago Varela and Gregory Bodo have demonstrated their dedication to the sport through their exceptional course designs. Their work showcases the beauty of Jumping while prioritizing the welfare of our equine and human athletes.”
Paris 2024 Equestrian Events
The equestrian events at the Paris 2024 Olympics are scheduled to be held in Versailles, with the historical château providing a stunning backdrop. With Varela and Bodo at the helm, these games promise to deliver exceptional equestrian competitions that resonate with the global audience.
The appointment of these two esteemed Course Designers reflects the FEI’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of course design for one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world.
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