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The month of April is one of the equestrian mega-months of the year, with World Cup finals for Jumping and Dressage and the first 4-star Three-Day Event of the year. There are news items listed for these and more but here is a short summary:
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage
Las Vegas was the venue again for the combined finals of the World Cups for Jumping and Dressage. We had Edwina Alexander and Harley Brown participating in the Jumping event and Heath Ryan in the Dressage. Congratulations to all on their achievements. Read more about the event in the news items below.
There are rumours that organisers will not bid for events in the near future, partly because of Global Financial Crisis, which reduced spectator numbers and will impact on gaining the required sponsorship funds.
Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event
What a great win by Lucinda Fredericks and her gutsy little mare Headley Britannia. This victory added to their 'grand slam' successes in Badminton and Burghley and, of course, the Team Silver medal from Hong Kong. Congratulations, Lucinda and 'Brit'! Since I have taken out a (private) subscription to the new FEITV facility on the Internet, I was able to watch the cross-country and stadium jumping live and share in the excitement.
The Rolex Kentucky was the first of the HSBC FEI Classics series that continues with five other major three-day events in Europe. The podium in Lexington was very much a family affair in that winner Lucinda is married to the 2007 winner (Clayton), 2nd-place Bettina Hoy (GER) is married to the 2006 winner (Andrew) and 3rd-placed Bruce Davidson Jr. is the son of multi-Kentucky-winner Bruce Davidson Sr.
High Performance Manager Brett Mace reports
This Rolex Kentucky 3D event was significant not only on the field of play, but off it as well, as a number of countries sent significant delegations ahead of WEG 2010. While there will be a Test Event in conjunction with the Rolex at this time next year, with the addition of CDI & CSI events, most National Federations (NFs) looking to send large teams to WEG were in Kentucky this year. These delegations were briefed by the WEG Organising Committee on its preparations for the Games. This was an opportunity to discuss any concerns NFs had with the WEG OC.
The new main stadium, which will host Dressage, Eventing and Jumping, was opened officially on the Wednesday prior to Rolex. The Stadium with its 6,000-seat grandstand looked magnificent and was well received by both competitors and spectators. Additional temporary stands next year will look fantastic and provide a great atmosphere for WEG. The new Indoor Stadium for Vaulting and Reining is on track for an official opening in July and will provide a wonderful atmosphere for competitors at WEG.
'Weekend of World Cups' in Sydney
HSBC is also the sponsor of the FEI World Cup Eventing. The HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing qualifier in Sydney this weekend - the only one in Australia and one of two in the Southern Hemisphere - is guaranteed to be a great event, so please make the effort to come out to the Sydney International Equestrian Centre and show your support for the sport. The event includes an FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier, held in the Indoor at SIEC. For more details and a full program outline, go to the event web www.sydneyeventing.org/.
The following weekend, Australia's most prestigious Dressage event, the Sydney CDI 3-Star, will take place at SIEC. A range of high-level FEI International judges will officiate, although the proposed President of the Ground Jury, Mrs Maribel Alonso Quinzanos (O-level Judge from Mexico), is finding it impossible to get here because to the swine flu. Organisers are trying very hard to find a replacement O-level judge but this is very difficult at such late notice, especially from Europe where the main competition season has started.
For other international- and national-level events, please consult the event calendar on the National and Branch webs. I should also remind you that we publish details of riders participating in FEI events overseas, so if you are interested in how our 'expats' are going, visit www.equestrian.org.au.
BP offers petrol vouchers to Volunteers
You may be able get some free petrol to help you undertake your volunteer activities. To check this out and apply, go the the Talk stopped long ago website.
(Photo: Sue Crockett)
Endurance Rider Meg Wade in hospital
One of Australia's best-performed Endurance riders, Meg Wade, is in intensive care in Canberra Hospital after suffering severe head injuries in a fall during an Endurance ride over the Easter weekend. She is still in a coma.
I spoke with Meg's husband Chris Gates last Monday. Apparently, Meg's condition has improved somewhat and she is physically out of the critical stage. The comatose state has lightened but she has not regained consciousness.
(You can listen to an ABC radio interview with Chris.)
I have not quite completed the minutes of this meeting, which dealt with the Strategic Plan, the constitution and many other matters. The Board also listened to a presentation by representatives from IMG Sport Media, a company involved in the production of broadcasts around the world, including for the FEI. We are investigating how we can develop a broadcast partnership with IMG and have also been in touch with the FEI to see how we can share in their new FEITV project that commenced in March.
EA Management Conference
I met with managers from the various Branches for two days in Fremantle immediately after the Board meeting, to discuss a range of matters, including the Strategic Plan and an upgrade to our IT system. The main 'outcome' of the meeting was a proposal by managers for the National Board and National and Branch management to meet over two or three days to review the way the sport works in Australia, including its governance, functions and responsibilities of committees and other bodies, the membership and horse registration system and event management and EA involvement in this.
Equine Influenza Response Scenarios
Equestrian Australia is participating in an inquiry on how to respond to a future outbreak of Equine Influenza. The panel of experts is lead by Mr. Roger Beale, who also completed the review of Australia's quarantine system. At this stage the inquiry is working on developing a number of possible scenarios on how to deal with an outbreak and measures that could or should be taken beforehand. These could include the creation of vaccine banks and/or the vaccination of sectors of the herd. The scenarios will need to be costed once finalised and will then be considered by the Primary Industries Ministerial Council.
AHIC Industry Advisory Committee meeting
A number of people representing the national organisations for thoroughbred racing, harness racing, TB breeding, stockhorse, pony breed groups, pony club, polocrosse, rodeo, camp drafting and equestrian met as the advisory committee to the Australian Horse Industry Council (AHIC) in Melbourne this week. The group revised aspects of the AHIC constitution, how to make progress with an industry levy to fund the response to future disease outbreak (under the Emergency Animal Diseases Response Agreement - EADRA), a national horse database, microchipping, and other matters.
It is amazing (or maybe not) how meetings vary in their productivity and agreement on future action. Most meetings are useful if there is some preparation done beforehand by all those attending and people are willing to make a contribution to the outcome. Unfortunately, all too often the behaviour of one or two attendees 'kills' any productive dialogue. Such people interrupt, interject and talk over others, ridicule and mock their arguments (often with regrettably poor language).
Fruitful dialogue and high-quality outcomes are usually only possible where people are prepared to understand the other side of an argument ('positive listening'). This opens the mind to consider options 'outside the box'. If one does not listen to the other party and instead tries to formulate a response as the other speaks, an appreciating of the ‘whole picture’ is simply not possible.
Equestrian Australia Annual Sport Achievement Awards
Unfortunately, we have experienced a number of delays with the receipt and 'processing' of nominations for National awards but are now getting close to finalising these. Since there will not be a 'national occasion' until the EA National Forum planned for October, we will try to formally hand over the awards in conjunction with other events in the near future. Other awards not related to a particular year, e.g. the 'Special Services Award' will still be awarded at National Forums or similar 'national' functions.
National Education Manager Nathan Holman reports
Accreditation Renewals for Eventing and Jumping Officials
The National Office has sent over 550 re-accreditation letters to all state- and nationally-listed Eventing (TDs, CDs and Judges) & Jumping (CDs and Judges) Officials. Creating the detailed list has been the combined effort of the State Discipline Committees and the National Office staff. Both the Eventing and Jumping National Committees have endorsed the EA recommendation of a two-year accreditation period for all officials commencing from 01 April 2009 to 01 April 2011.
The Officials re-accreditation forms should be arriving over the next few days. Simply complete and return this to the National Office and you will then receive your new EA Officials Accreditation card.
Update Courses for Coach Educator and Skill Specific Trainer and Assessors
The National Office with the assistance of the State NCAS Coordinators will be running a two-day CE/SSTA Update course in each State throughout the months of May and June. These update courses will be providing CEs and SSTAs with a refresher / update on the assessment principles and process, outlining the changes to the candidate workbooks, first view of the new Show Horse Coach and Riding workbooks (due for release after 1 July) as well as practically assessing coach and rider candidates. One of the aims of the update course is to ensure the assessment standards are consistent from a national perspective.
WA - Tues 26 and Wed 27 May
Absence from the Office
I would also like to let you know that I will be absent from 11 May for around five weeks, giving other National Office staff the opportunity to get involved in some of the work that I usually do. And yes, some things will have to wait and some will be handled remotely when absolutely necessary.
Supporters and Sponsors
Before I close, though, I would like to thank our funding agencies, sponsors and supporters for their continued assistance. The Australian Sports Commission is our Principal Sponsor and we hope that High Performance funding and other grants will continue beyond the next funding cycle.
Many thanks also to the Australian Olympic Committee, who apart from organising the Australian Delegation to go to the Games is also involved in securing more funding to guarantee Australia's medal success at future Games.
We are also looking forward to a continued good working relationship with the Australian Paralympic Committee in the management of the Para-Equestrian high performance program.
We hope our partnerships with our commercial sponsors can be strengthened further in the next Olympiad.
So in summary, we would like to mention
Make it a good day!
|Lesley Sullivan returned as Chair of the Australian Dressage Committee|
|Linda Dobson, winner of the 2009 Copabella Classic|
Over the ANZAC weekend the Copabella Classic took place in the scenic Princess Anne Arena at St Ives Showground, Sydney.
|Lucinda Fredericks and Headley Britannia win the Rolex Kentucky 3DE|
Austalia's only entry at the 2009 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Lucinda Fredericks and Headley Britannia, have won the first 4-Star event of the season with a clear round in the showjumping.
|Equestrian Australia launches the new 2009 Dressage Tests.|
Our new tests are based on the 2007 USEF Dressage Tests, under license from the United States Equestrian Federation, and have been adapted for use in Australia.
|More results from Hagen|
The 2009 CDI Hagen Horses and Dreams Show has commenced with a fantastic win for Hayley Beresford and Rousseau in the Prix St Georges.
|Berrima CIC Results|
Congratulations to Stuart Tinney and Vettori for their win in the CIC3*
|Camperdown CIC Results|
A win for Wendy Schaeffer and Koyuna Sun Set in the CIC3* at Camperdown!
|Para-Equestrian National Coach and National Squads have been announced|
Equestrian Australia is pleased to announce the National Coach and National Squads for our newest discipline
|Kiwis win Young Rider Eventing Trans-Tasman competition in Camperdown|
The win was comprehensive. Our congratulations to the NZL Team!
|Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum takes a clean sweep, Edwina finishes 14th|
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has won all three competitions at the Rolex FEI World Cup Final to take home the title.
|A Winning Round|
Sydney Royal Easter Show FEI World Cup Qualifying Competition.
|Steffen Peters wins World Cup Final, Heath Ryan places 10th|
German-born Steffen Peters and and his bay Dutch gelding Ravel became the first Americans ever to win the Rolex FEI World Cup Dressage Final on the night.
|Summary of Para-Equestrian High Performance Meeting|