Elena Couttenye was born in Venezuela, the elder daughter of European immigrants who established a well-known chemistry industry in Venezuela 50 years ago. Married with three children, she studied Law in Venezuela and worked as a Lawyer for almost 15 years. As partner in a law firm, she worked in Tax and Corporate Law, as well as Civil and Banking Litigation.
Elena has been involved in the horse world for many years, first as a rider, then as a National Jumping Judge, national show organizer and now mother of a jumper rider. Serving at many international horse shows, Elena was the Secretary General of the Venezuelan National Federation, in addition to Show Secretary and member of the Organizing Committee at the American FEI Jumping Championship for Children, Pre-Junior, Junior & Young Riders held in Caracas in 2010. She has been member of the Jury in many FEI Jumping Challenges, including the FEI World Jumping Challenge Final, Caracas in 2012. An FEI International Jumping Judge Level 2, Elena was Chef D’Equipe for the Venezuelan Team at Copa San Cristobal Santiago de Chile in 2009, at CSIO de Juventude, Passo Fundo Brasil in 2011 and in the World Equestrian Games, Normandie in 2014.
In 2010, she was awarded the Honor Button for the collaboration on the sport development of the Youngest in America by the Venezuelan Equestrian Federation.
César Hirsch was born in Caracas with a passion for horse sport and a knack for business. He graduated from Instituto Universitario de Nuevas Profesiones with a Bachelor Degree in International Business. He also performed specialized studies in the Advanced Program in International Business at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1994.
His passion for horses and interest in equestrian sport led him to compete internationally for ten years, beginning in 1979. He is an FEI Judge and Chief Steward of the FEI in Monterrey, Mexico, as well as FEI Steward General Jumping in Switzerland and FEI Steward General Dressage in USA. He also serves as Official Technical Ambassador of Just World International.
His skills in communication achieved through years in professional business activities, and his affinity for sport led him to television and radio broadcasting. He starred in live broadcasts of the National Football League in two Superbowls: XXXVI in New Orleans, Louisiana, and XXXVII in San Diego, California. He was the first Venezuelan to broadcast the NFL.
As founder and President of Avance Ecuestre, a non-governmental and non-profit organization in Venezuela, César is dedicated to the promotion and development of equestrian sports. To that end, he took a stylish turn with the launch of Equis, LLC and is bringing a touch of international luxury to the North American market through Equis Boutique and its partners.
César is married to Francis Leonie Hoet, a pre-school teacher originally hailing from Belgium. They have three children: Nicole Mariana (10), Leopoldo Andrés, (9) and Victoria María (4).