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Posted by Jan Golding, Course Director & Adelyn Fallon, participant on 23/02/2016.

INSIGHT - National Level Course for Jumping Stewards

Equestrian Australia has hosted a National Level Course for Jumping Stewards the 13-14 February 2016 at SIEC in Horsley Park, NSW, conducted by Jan Goulding, FEI Level 3 Steward and FEI Level 3 Jumping Judge.  Jan is sharing with us her insights about the course and Adelyn Fallon her view as a participant. Read their stories...

Jan Goulding - Course Director

The aims of good stewarding are one to look after the welfare of the horse, two to provide a level playing field for all riders and horses and three to work with the organising committee to produce a top-class event "Help, Prevent, Intervene" is the FEI and EA Stewards' motto. 

Nine participants learnt and practised skills as part of their promotion to EA National Steward status during the Febuary Rider Series Showjumping weekend at SIEC. Others came as observers or to refresh their knowledge.

The main focus was on using friendly and helpful communicative skills with a sound knowledge of the current EA and FEI rules and Codes of Conduct regarding educating riders about the rules, accepted behaviour, correct processes, attire and saddlery.

All participants passed their risk assessment task and written tests and are now ready to gain experience working with FEI Stewards.

All EA National Stewards are eligible to attend the promotion course to FEI Steward One  which will be conducted on Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th August 2016 at SIEC. 

View the Education Calendar

Adelyn Fallon - training to become a national steward

Two months ago, I didn’t see myself getting up at some awfully early hour, to fly from Melbourne to Sydney. But on Saturday the 13th of February that was just what I did. Touching down in Sydney at 7am, I was ready to head to SIEC to complete my stewarding course. Arriving being pretty confident I was going to be the youngest one there did make me a little nervous, but the nerves quickly vanished after being greeted by the lovely Di and Jan. I have always being more into the officiating side of our beautiful show jumping sport. Don’t get me wrong, I love jumping myself, but I like having just the one horse to take places with me. Being a professional rider hasn’t ever been something I personally have dreamed to be. But I love organizing. That’s my thing. I could organize things all day. My love of organization and fairness then prompted me to become a jumping judge. And being the jumping judge is what prompted me to want to become an official.

The stewarding clinic was everything I could have hoped for it to be and more. We spent Saturday going through and cementing our knowledge of the rules, and what it truly means to be an official. Being a jumping judge and a rider, I thought I would have had the rules down pat. But, there were some rules which where not only new to me, but many of the others sitting in the room. Jan didn’t just talk to us the information, she had fun little games and quizzes to help the information sink in and stay there. She even organized for us to go out into the field and steward at a real show – sorry riders at the riders series!  She knew many of us where riders, and that all of us there had some involvement in the sport. She made things relatable to us. She had us think of things that as competition riders we hadn’t thought of before, such as boot checks. When your boots are weighed it is everything on that one horses leg exclusive of the shoe. This includes, the boots, bell boots, and anything else you may have on there. Everything on that one leg (excluding the shoe) must total 500 grams or under. As she was telling us that, we where all sitting there nodding, then she asked, “But what if its raining”? Many of us sat there for a minute thinking.  She then went on to explain that the water that the boots soak up counts. And on wet days we should let riders know this, especially the riders who have the sheepskin boots on their horses. A sheepskin boot can very easily go from comfortably sitting under 500 grams, to tipping the scales over 500 grams and causing serious problems for the rider.

To me, a big way to tell if I enjoyed something is if I would do it again. And the national stewarding course would certainly be something I would do again. I loved it so much that I am going to be back at SIEC in September to have a go at getting my FEI stewards qualification. I couldn’t recommend this course any higher. If you are a rider, a judge, a parent or even just a spectator to our beautiful sport, I can promise you that you wont be disappointed in the course. Finally a huge thank-you must go to Di Saunders for organizing the weekend for us and to Jan Golding for being so kind to us all in helping us onto our stewarding career paths.

To Read all the other INSIGHT stories Click HERE

Are you also an Equestrian Australia official who has recently officiated overseas? Are you interested in sharing your experiences with the greater equestrian community in our regular series? Click HERE to submit your story.

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