In three weeks' time, the 2006 World Equestrian Games will start and in five weeks' time the they will be over.  Many of our competitors and their horses are already in Europe for training and preparation and for the final selection events.  Our top International Carriage Driving representative, Boyd Exell, had an unfortunate accident and received multiple fractures in a lower leg.  Boyd has had to cancel entries in two events but will do his best not to miss out on WEG.  Good luck, Boyd.
This weekend, four Dressage riders will compete in the Fritzens (AUT) CDI 3-Star in the spectacular Tyrolian Alps (http://www.schindlhof.at/turnier/de/ ) while Australia-based Eventing riders are in a camp at SIEC and also compete at the Camden Horse Trials.
Next weekend sees the final selection event for our Jumping riders at the Balve (GER) CSI 3-Star in the beautiful Sauerland (Westphalia) (http://www.balve-optimum.de/). The venue is, byt the way, the home (and castle) of the former President of the German Federation, Count Dieter von Landsberg.
On the same weekend, Mary Hanna will ride Port Said 10 at the Verden (GER) CDI 3-Star near Hanover (http://www.verden-turnier.de/).  This event will also host the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses, with several entries from Australia.
National Selectors are planning to announce the WEG teams for Dressage and Jumping on 08 August and for Eventing on 13 August. Riders not selected have the right to appeal their non-selection.  Appeals can, however, only be made on the grounds that the Selection Policy was not properly followed and/or implemented.
For more information and access to the WEG newsletters, go to the WEG page on our web.  We will also try to keep the web up-to-date with the latest from Aachen, so keep checking www.equestrian.org.au .
The Landrover Burghley Horse Trials
This year's event has, of course, a very important additional attraction: Should Andrew Hoy win the event, he will have also won the Rolex Grand Slam with prize money of USD250,000, having taken the prize at Kentucky and Badminton earlier this year.  We wish Andrew well.
The broadcaster of the event is offering access to live video streaming of the cross-country and the show jumping tests, if you have access to broadband.  The service will cost you AUD25.00 (AUD20.00 if you subscribe before the end of August). No, you won't be able to record the video but the price apparently includes a repeat at more reasonable hours after the event.  We will publish details on our web www.equestrian.org.au as soon as they are confirmed.
The Burghley web site address is http://www.burghley-horse.co.uk/ .
A number of Branches opted for a new on-line membership renewal facility that is linked directly with our database and saves the re-entry of data.  As this was the first time, we struck a few problems that needed to be sorted out.  This did, however, not affect the vast majority of members who used the new service. From all accounts received from participating Branches, members appreciated the new facility.
The on-line renewal system is another step towards greater interactivity on our web.
You probably know that you can search for all kinds of things on the National web, including rider profiles, results and horse names. You should know that the use of registered tradenames for horses, particularly well-known ones from the fashion, car and other high-profile industries, is fraught with danger. As a basic rule, the EFA does not allow it but our staff do not always recognise the names. The FEI recently reported the following:
The owner of a famous trademark reported a potential case of infringement under the trademark law in relation to the use of its trademark for the name of a horse. The FEI and the relevant National Federation are currently seeking to resolve the matter on an amicable basis. In light of the issues raised in this case, we wish to bring Article 140.2 of the General Regulations (21st edition, effective 1 January 2005) to your attention:
“140.2 The first registered name may not be the name of a commercial company or product. If this name is considered to be the name of a commercial company or product, a new first name must be entered and remain permanently in the passport.”
The National Federations are responsible for issuing passports for all horses required to have them and for ensuring that the passports are correctly completed in accordance with Article 139 of the General Regulations. While the FEI is offering tools to simplify the registration and issuance of FEI passports for horses, it is the responsibility of the National Federations to ensure the application of the rules regarding the name of horses.
For any query, please contact the FEI Legal Department.
Public Liability, Association Liability and Voluntary Workers' Insurance
We are now awaiting quotes for next year's insurance package for EFA NCAS coaches and for clubs and other affiliated member organisations.  We review the scale of fees on an annual basis, taking into account the uptake we had in the previous year. In the last two years, we have offered a 10% discount for renewing coaches and clubs, basically refunding the insurance administration income that exceeded our budget.  Last year, we added a further rebate for clubs that met a number of criteria, to reward "good club management".
It is unlikely that the discount on renewals will again be offered for the next period, as we got very close to our budgeted receipts. On the other hand, we are hoping for a reduction in the overall premium cost that we can then pass on to coaches and clubs. We will keep you informed on our web site.
"Equestrian" web sites
It appears that there are now a number of sites which through their addresses (URL) and their content seem to give the impression that they are speaking on behalf of the Equestrian Federation or for the sport.  Please be careful when you read what they publish.  Members frequently ring EFA offices trying to confirm that what they have read is actually true.  Very often they find out that it isn't. There are obviously a number of people "out there" who enjoy creating rumours. Mind you, the spreading of misinformation is not restricted to web sites. Even "serious" horse magazines get factual information wrong far too frequently.
The EFA cannot react to each incorrect news item or rumour with a correcting statement. That would take a lot of time and effort. We try to publish as much as possible on our web and through other channels but often need to rely on volunteers (including volunteer Chefs d'Equipe and other team officials and committee members) to write or phone in reports that we can then publish.
EFA Annual Forum
When reading the "Summary of Business Conducted" at the last National Board meeting, some of you may have noticed the reference to the next EFA Annual Forum that is planned to take place in the Yarra Valley near Melbourne in November.  Due to a clash with a particular other event on the calendar - and mind you, there will always be a clash with something - the dates have been brought forward to the weekend of 18 & 19 November 2006.
The first-ever National Forum was held in Sydney in February last year and was a great success.  It gave delegates an overview of the EFA and an opportunity to contribute to the Strategic Plan.  We hope this year's forum can build on this.  We will publish more details in September, after the World Equestrian Games.
First National Magazine for EFA Officials
The National Office has been working hard in recent months to establish a number of new services for EFA Officials. These include:
- Federal government accreditation via NOAS
- Centralised records of all Officials' accreditations
- Online Officials search facility soon to be released on our web site
- The first-ever magazine for EFA Officials: ethos
The word ethos means "the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community" (Oxford Dictionary). The fundamental values of the EFA Officiating community have been defined as: fair play, integrity, welfare and excellence. This new magazine contains articles for every EFA sport and every type of Official, as well as general items relevant to all Officials. The EFA National Office has collated the details of all EFA Officials - as advised by EFA Branches or committees. The magazine has been sent to over 1,400 Officials - a huge number that has only been confirmed for the first time through this exercise. The sport is fortunate to have so many volunteers contributing their time - be sure to thank them when you next see them on the job.
ethos should be landing in your letterboxes any time now. If your magazine has not arrived, let us know your details (including your accreditation) so we can check our records and send you a copy. Our National Education Manager Brad Paterson would be delighted to receive any articles or suggestions for future editions.
Please check the home pages of National and Branch web sites for events that are happening, or use the search facility on the "calendar" page.  Apart from the World Equestrian Games, there is a lot on, and your attendance at events helps the sport. Most Branches have now joined the national web, so our calendar is getting more and more inclusive.
The Sweeney Survey
We just received the latest issue of this sports survey.  It covers things like interest and participation in sports, attendance, TV viewing, radio listening and newspaper readerships.  There is also a lot on sponsorship, including the recognition in the public of names and their association with events or sports.  Unfortunately, we are not allowed to publish the report itself but we can summarise its findings.
Equestrian does not get too many mentions in the general section of the report (it is simply "swamped" by many other sports) except for attendance (3%) and TV viewing (13% - joint 26th position), with both showing a growing trend.  In the Equestrian-specific section, not too much has changed from previous surveys, except that participation appears to be dropping.  Since the sample for this survey is quite small, this may simply be a temporary aberration. Let's check that again next year.
Interest in Equestrian sport is:
- a steady 19% overall (joint 31st) and remains much higher in females than in males
- highest in Sydney and Melbourne and lowest Brisbane and Canberra
- higher among females aged 45+ than those aged 16 - 29
- twice as strong among low income earners compared to high income earners
- highest among art followers and gardeners and lowest among business travellers.
Now, that should make you think ...
Supporters and Sponsors
I cannot close without thanking our funding agencies, sponsors and supporters.
In particular, we would like to mention
• the Australian Sports Commission,
• the Australian Olympic Committee,
• Kentucky Equine Research and Ridley Agriproducts,
• Horse Deals magazine, and
• Aon Risk Management Services.
Make it a good day!