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Posted by National Admin on 13/12/2018.

Christmas Message to Members from EA Chair Judy Fasher

I have enjoyed the great honour of serving Equestrian Australia, as your Chair, for the past two and a half years. I was voted into the position by the State Branches and pledged to serve both the Branches and the members to the best of my ability.

Respecting and understanding the role of the State Branches is critical to the on-going success of EA.  There is no plan to assume their role. The individuals who make up the membership of the EA family are all members of State Branches. Recently, rumour abounded regarding alleged intent to establish a new National Body. There is no such intent.

EA will continue its quest to engage with the State Branches and the National Discipline Committees to improve all aspects of our sport at the least possible cost to our members. It is only with a strong collaborative partnership between all parties that we can be clear on where to direct our resources to benefit the membership – from grassroots through to the highest level of competition in the country. 

The World Equestrian Games, Tryon, North Carolina, USA

With a great effort from our High Performance Team, Australia was amongst the big five nations to field full teams in all seven of the able-bodied sports, plus one Para-Rider.  We joined USA, Canada, Germany and Holland in this remarkable effort. A further exceptional achievement was the qualification of all three of our Olympic Disciplines for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Boyd Exell triumphed and won gold in Carriage Driving. Boyd’s remarkable effort maintains his place as the world’s premier Carriage Driver.  Australia not only benefits from his gold medals, but he is also a generous supporter of Carriage Driving in Australia and returns home regularly to conduct clinics and support our sport on home turf. 


During the last financial year, EA returned to a surplus position. This was achieved with disciplined cost management and reductions in staff numbers. We understand the current level of staffing is not sustainable. Our new CEO, Lucy Warhurst, has been reviewing the requirements of EA and the team of people she will need to deliver these services. 


Your EA Board has agreed to re-instate the National Coaching Committee and employ a National Coaching Manager. Our coaches agreed, at the Coaches Forum in November, that this is the way forward, and their request has been endorsed by your EA Board.

Consultation with States and Discipline Committees

In August, EA organised the first Sports Forum involving all State Chairs and CEO’s. This was followed in November by Sports Forum Two. This is the way of the future. These Forums allow us to develop our joint vision and our ambition to grow our sport by combining our efforts with the work of our volunteers and our organising committees.


Representation has been made by EA delegates to the FEI over the past two years to increase the age limits for our officials. At the FEI General Assembly in November, FEI President Ingmar De Vos, announced a recommendation from the FEI’s Officials Working Group to introduce a ‘competency based evaluation system to replace the age limit’. Although this may take some time for the FEI to develop, it will replace the age limit of officials and is supported by the EA Board.

Officials education will continue to be organised in conjunction with the FEI and our discipline committees.


Safety is a high priority for Equestrian Sport. Terry Snow’s generous donation, together with the fund established by the Inglis family following the tragic loss of their daughter Olivia, has made a significant contribution to eventing safety. This is just the beginning.

Your EA Board is committed to assisting all our sports to address safety matters in all our sports. Gow Gates, our insurance brokers, have indicated their full support of initiatives which are in train.


With the assistance of Sport Australia, EA has further developed It is an educational pathway to encourage young and old to step up and enjoy our sport. Rideahorse opens opportunities for both coaches and delivery partners to provide horses and experiences for those who want to ride a horse for the first time, as well as those who have had a gap in their equestrian experience but want to re-involve themselves in our sport.

Ready-Set-Trot is now followed by ‘Trot Canter Gallop’, with ‘Ready Set Vault’ about to be delivered.

High Performance

Chris Webb, our High Performance Director, will be with us through to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Chris and his very effective team will provide support and guidance to our three Olympic Disciplines - Eventing, Jumping and Dressage.

We are one of the very few countries in the world to have qualified all our Olympic Sports, and our Para team is on track for qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. This is the result of outstanding performances by our riders delivered at the World Equestrian Games this year.

The High Performance Program is funded entirely by Sport Australia who also provides a significant contribution to the administrative costs of running the EA Office. This benefits all members by providing the services needed to support our major competitions, our FEI responsibilities, our rules and the general conduct of our business.

Our 2017-20 Strategic Plan, as endorsed by our State Branches, continues to be a work in progress. While much has been achieved to date, there is a considerable amount of work left to do over the remaining period. We have, unlike some other sports, maintained our funding from Sport Australia.

We have improved the opportunities for participation. These initiatives should encourage an increase in the membership numbers in the future. Our safety initiatives are well advanced and will continue to be increased and monitored so we can produce statistical evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of our efforts.

Your EA Board will continue to work with both States and the EA National Discipline Committees to encourage co-operation between organising committees to provide a product attractive to sponsors so we can fully exploit the potential of our sport, appeal to a wide audience, and build and maintain the interest of our youth utilising all available communication channels.

Our sport offers age and gender equality and exciting competition. Together with our partners - farriers, feed suppliers and saddlers- we are so much more than a sport. We are an invaluable industry.

If we work together, support good ideas, tolerate our differences with good humour and remember that above all we are united in our ambitions for the growth and success of Equestrian sport, then we can collectively achieve great things for the sport we all love.

Finally, on behalf of your Board, we wish you and your family a happy and safe Christmas and we look forward to a great year for Equestrian in 2019.

Judy Fasher

Equestrian Australia Chair

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