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Staff Profile - Erin O'Neill

Each month we introduce you to a member of the EA team. It's fun, a little bit serious and maybe more interesting than you’d expect...

 

Introducing Equestrian Australia team member

Erin O'Neill

High Performance Sport Consultant, Europe

What is your role title?

I don’t really have one but I like to call myself the Fixer.

What does your role entail?

Whatever needs to be done! Mostly, I support the high-performance Eventing athletes who are outside of Australia – those in UK, Europe and USA. I coordinate the high-performance training/clinic program and also help riders with their competition schedules (liaise with shows, verify qualifications, make entries, assist with travel/transport). At times that includes attending shows to provide on the ground support.

What’s the problem you most commonly solve in your role?

There aren’t too many common problems, mostly uncommon ones!! But I field a lot of questions about qualifications as riders are bringing horses through the grades and show availability as some UK shows can be difficult to get into.

If you could pick a superpower, what would you choose?

To be invisible.

What’s your favourite horse breed and horse colour?

Black thoroughbred, only because I have had one that was absolutely magic. However, most black TB’s are completely crazy!

What’s your favourite equestrian discipline?

Eventing. I think it is one of a few sports that requires you to be a good rider as well as a good horseman.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

I love going to the shows but I really love watching the progression of a horse from the wee grades through to the pinnacle of the sport.

What is your equestrian background?

My grandfather was a grand prix show jumper in the 1930’s. He rode in Madison Square Gardens in NY and I have photos of him jumping 6-foot walls, wearing a Fedora hat, with model-T cars in the background.

I always loved jumping and riding fast and did a lot of hunting in Middleburg Virginia in my youth. In Australia, hunting was not quite up to the same standards, so Eventing was the obvious choice.

I had a once in a lifetime horse that I brought over to Europe after the equine flu hit Australia in 2008. I was going to stay for a season and return home ...that was 11 years ago.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Probably a dog. They seem to have a built-in nature that is always happy.

What is the nerdiest thing you do in your free time?

I don’t know what free time is.

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