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Posted by Shelley Tilbrook on 25/05/2023.

CEO Update: May 2023

I hope this message finds you all in good health and high spirits as we wrap up the month of May. As we continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of equestrian sports, I am pleased to share with you the latest updates and developments from Equestrian Australia.

Over the past month, our organisation has remained steadfast in its commitment to promoting and advancing the sport of equestrian across the country. In this CEO Update, we will delve into some of the key initiatives, events, and achievements that have shaped our activities throughout May.

Our Aussie Riders Competing Internationally

We have two major international events underway:

The CSIO5* Nations Cup competition to be held in Vancouver, Canada at Thunderbird Show Park from 31st May – 4th June 2023. We are very much looking forward to seeing all combinations compete and wish you all the best of luck.

Australian Equestrians will also be focused on the Millstreet Three Day Event in Ireland from 1-4 June. Australia hopes to secure first or second place to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics (first or second of the non-qualified nations, therefore excluding New Zealand as they qualified at the FEI World Championships last year). We wish the combinations the best of luck in the coming days.

National Selectors Appointments

Equestrian Australia is pleased to confirm the National Selectors appointed for the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines for 2023/2024.

The National Selectors were appointed by the EA Board following a thorough consultation process, with EA’s High-Performance Leadership team, the Para-Equestrian Panel, the EA National Discipline Committees for the Olympic & Paralympic Disciplines, (Dressage, Eventing, Jumping and Para-Dressage) and the HP Committee.

Nationally Aligned Strategy & Structure

The national restructure focus remains on delivering a thriving sport for the benefit of all members, regardless for discipline, state or territory. We are working closely with state branches, disciplines and key stakeholders as consultation is paramount to getting this right. The structure reform is a key priority for the EA Board to deliver a positive outcome for the sport in to the future.

The timeline plan for the structure reform is available to view. You can see the outline of the five phases that will help drive this process in this document here.


EA staff have consolidated the strategic priorities in line with the over-arching nationally aligned strategy, along with 2023/24 budgets for the coming financial year. These plans will roll out imminently.

The IT strategy has commenced with scoping requirements, priorities and preparing the business case to best serve the members in the sport.

The strategic IT pillars have been drafted and identified as:

  1. Helping Deliver our Sport - Our IT infrastructure enables the efficient delivery and administration of the sport of Equestrian in Australia. 
  2. Protecting Information - Personal, sensitive and commercial information is appropriately accessed, stored & protected.  
  3. Positive Member Experience - Our member-facing platforms are professional, user-friendly and provide a seamless experience to our members. 

Equestrian SA

With the Equestrian South Australia (ESA) Board resignation, we continue to work with the executives to ensure appropriate support and governance is in place to provide continuity of operations and servicing of members in South Australia. Working within the requirements of the ESA Constitution, the Corporate Affairs Commission, along with the Office of Recreation, Sport & Racing are both providing support and direction and working with the SA executive team.

We are confident with the involvement of the South Australian government, a tranparent and fair process will take place. Nominations for the new ESA Board have been called and the Special General Meeting scheduled to appoint Directors. We encourage suitably qualified people to apply. We look forward to working with them to achieve the desired outcomes for the sport together.

We wish for all Equestrian members of SA continue to enjoy the sport without distruption. 

National Volunteer Week

Moreover, this month provided a platform for us to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our committed officials and volunteers. Their dedication, skill, and unwavering commitment to the sport serve as an inspiration to all, and it is our privilege to showcase their accomplishments and contributions to the wider equestrian community.

We were delighted with the number of peer nominations received to recognise outstanding contributions to our sport as part of National Volunteer Week - The Change Makers.

I also wanted to take this time to thank all our sport volunteers who are instrumental to the day-to-day operations. Your work doesn't go unnoticed and we are very fortunate to have such a passionate and engaged community.


We look forward to announcing both new EA Board members and the newly appointed Integrity committee very shortly.

As we move forward, it is important to acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead and address them with a proactive and collaborative mindset.

We are committed to fostering an environment that encourages open dialogue, transparent communication, and shared decision-making. By working together, we can effectively overcome obstacles, seize opportunities, and ensure the long-term sustainability and prosperity of equestrian sports in our nation.

Wishing you all a month filled with exciting equestrian endeavours and unforgettable moments.

Darren Gocher

Chief Executive Officer
Equestrian Australia