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Posted by Kirsty Pasto on 25/01/2019.

High Performance Program on Target for Tokyo 2020

Following the successful qualification of all three Olympic disciplines at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon, North Carolina, in September 2018, the Equestrian Australia High Performance program is firmly on track ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.

Upon returning to Australia a detailed post WEG review was conducted to ensure the High Performance program continues to deliver optimal, world-class management and support to Australian athletes focusing on success at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Australia was one of only two countries in the World to qualify all three Olympic disciplines for Tokyo 2020, this achievement is a history making first for Australia.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is the sole financial contributor, to Equestrian High Performance and its associated programs in Australia. The AIS performance strategy states investments will be prioritised to sports that demonstrate the greatest chance of short, medium and long-term podium success, which has led the AIS to invest in Eventing and Para Equestrian.

The AIS has invested $2.2m in the Eventing Olympic cycle (until 2020) and $480k annually in Para Equestrian. All funding received by Equestrian High Performance is strictly allocated in accordance with AIS policies and requirements and no EA membership funds are allocated to the EA High Performance Program.

In order to reinforce the success of the High Performance program, specifically in reference to the disciplines of Jumping and Dressage, a re-structure was deemed necessary to fine tune resources and increase the provision offered to these disciplines.

With the support of the EA Board, EA High Performance Panel and the AIS, two additional personnel have been appointed to the team. It is with great pleasure that EA announce the addition of Todd Hinde and Kirsty Pasto to the High Performance team.

Todd Hinde has commenced the position of High-Performance Jumping Manager following his successful contribution at WEG as Chef d’Equipe of the Australian Jumping Team. Hinde brings with him a wealth of Jumping knowledge and experience and will be an essential part of shaping the Jumping program, and outcomes, leading into Tokyo 2020.

In order to further bridge the gap in the administration of Jumping, Dressage and the Non-Olympic Disciplines Kirsty Pasto has been appointed to the role of High-Performance Sports and Media Consultant. Pasto has moved across from EA where she has held the inaugural role of Committee Liaison Manager since 2016. Previously Pasto has worked with high-profile equestrian programs and events across the globe including the Longines Masters Los Angeles, Horse of the Year Show (UK) and British Showjumping National Championships. Pasto will focus on supporting Dressage and Jumping, as well as offering media and communications support to all areas of High Performance.

High Performance Sports Director, Chris Webb, said “The introduction of both Todd and Kirsty to the high-performance team is an exciting development, with both bringing valuable skills and introducing a new aspect to the program. EA is thrilled to welcome them to the team and I am sure they will contribute to the future successes of equestrian sport. ”

Deborah MacNicol will continue in the role as Dressage Chef d’Equipe, which she held during WEG, providing on-going guidance to the Dressage pathway and its riders.

The High-Performance Team consists of:

Name Position
Chris Webb High Performance Sports Director
Gina Haddad High Performance Development Director
Michelle Graham Australian Equestrian Team Manager
Erin O'Neil High Performance Sports Consultant
Dr. Alison Alcock Performance Support Manager
Erik MacKechnie Para-Equestrian High Performance Manager
Stefanie Maraun High Performance Sports Coordinator
Todd Hinde High Performance Jumping Manager
Kirsty Pasto High Performance Sports and Media Consultant

Equestrian Australia Staff contacts can be found here

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