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Posted by Christine Armishaw on 19/11/2019.
New National Eventing Officials Education Program is part of a structured program to ensure our officials get the best education and support possible
Words and photo by Roger Kane

New National Eventing Officials Education Program Kicks Off In VIC

Despite the rainy weather, the recent Avenel Horse Trials in VIC proved an ideal location for an Equestrian Australia Officials Education training seminar.

The new National Eventing Officials Education Program includes two-day seminars, along with mentoring and assessment in the field, as part of a structured program to ensure our officials get the best education and support possible.

Run over the two days of the event, the seminar mixes some theoretical work with a significant amount of work at the event itself - both individually and in groups, where the importance of teamwork is emphasised.

The seminar opens with presentations on the roles of the various officials involved in running an event, (you would be surprised at how many are required), and importantly their role in supporting the Organising Committee (OC) who put in the lion’s share of the work involved in running an event.

A key part of the seminar is the emphasis on planning ahead for the event, teamwork, decision-making and the support available to make the best decisions possible.

Onsite work is next, with observations of how Serious Incident Management Plan meetings (SIMP), XC Officials meetings and fence judge briefings work in practice.

Following a discussion of best practices in XC course design, it is out on course to practice measuring and walking skills and to prepare for the highlight of the seminar, the evaluation of the XC course. This is done in small working groups, as well as by means of a discussion with the SJ course designer and Technical Delegate (TD) of the event.

The following morning commences with group presentations of the current XC course and their proposals for change within a given budget, then it is back out on course to see how the XC rides, as well as discussion of some impromptu scenarios in dealing with protests etc.

Finally, for those beginning their EA Officials career, or those upgrading or maintaining their status, there is the chance for individual discussions with the course presenters about their next steps.

Presenters included Wayne Copping, one of Australia's most experienced course designers and Michelle Debenham, a TD whose experience includes iconic international events, such as Geelong Horse trials and Badminton.

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