Fawzi Ghandour and his Great Passion for the Equestrian Art
Motivated by the love of animals in general but particularly horses, 1950 was the year Fawzi Ghandour says it all began. A riding enthusiast, he was eager to learn the true secrets behind this ancient and most noble sport. Few other people in Lebanon at the time had such vision.
Fawzi Ghandour was a perfectionist in everything he decided to do and his passion for the equestrian sport was no exception. Committed to improving the sport not just for himself but for all the riders in Lebanon, he gathered together other like-minded individuals with the intention of establishing the very first Lebanese Equestrian Federation. Intention soon became a reality as he set about creating the requisite 4 clubs that a federation is required to have in order to exist. One of them was his very own CLUB HIPPIQUE LIBANAIS (CHL).
By 1972 however the Lebanese Equestrian Federation was in dire straits. Its members invited Fawzi Ghandour (who had spent the last 10 years ridding for his own pleasure) to step in and save their society. He was granted full power to reorganize and rationalize what was left of the federation. After careful consideration he undertook the task, returning it to its rightful place as a member of the International Equestrian Federation.
This period can aptly be described as the golden era of the Lebanese Equestrian Federation.
In 1981 and in spite of the civil war that tormented the country, Fawzi Ghandour managed to keep the sport alive. He worked tirelessly to give the federation the highest profile of all the equestrian federations in the Middle East. With this aim in mind he also bought horses from France and Holland, horses which went on to prove themselves in international jumping events.
Through his private stables CHL, Fawzi Ghandour carried on his discreet development of the Lebanese equestrianism by helping, or should we say sponsoring, young Lebanese riders. He provided them with excellent jumping horses and taught them the art of good horsemanship.
CHL was like a second home for Fawzi Ghandour, where after a long day at work he would come and spent time with his beloved horses. He was very keen on building his stables and both of the arenas by professionals and every detail was looked into to reach international standards.
Throughout the years, Fawzi Ghandour made contacts with some of the biggest names in the sport in Europe. Veterinarians, nutritionists, international riders and trainers were invited to CHL to help take care and improve the well being of his horses.
In 1996 Fawzi Ghandour decided to retire from the Lebanese Equestrian Federation and spend more valuable time in his private stables CHL concentrating on his horses and the riders he chose to pass his great knowledge on to.
In March 2005, at the age of 75, the founder of CHL passed away leaving his family, friends and horses with wonderful memories and an inspirational legacy to be continued.
His family, very keen on keeping Fawzi Ghandour's memory alive, decided that CHL should remain a private club but at the same time, serious horse people who were willing to follow the professional path he had set were to be allowed to stable their horses at CHL. The club now operates under the experienced management and supervision of Cecile Moarbes one of Fawzi Ghandour's favorite student.