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Posted by National Admin on 06/12/2019.

Statement from the EA Chair

Equestrian Australia Statement

A safer sport for all

A statement from the Board

A priority for the Board is the ongoing development of a safer sport for all.

There have been significant improvements in recent months and many of the coronial findings have been or are in the process of being implemented.

The work to date is commendable but we will all benefit from greater coherence and alignment across our efforts. If we can achieve this, we will be better placed to lead the adoption of safety and risk management practices.

The CEO has been directed to develop a plan for the delivery of a national safety and assurance program across all Disciplines that addresses the safe participation in, and conduct of, equestrian events. Risk and Safety forms a theme in the developing Strategic Directions for EA. We will address these Strategic Directions more fully at a later date.

While all Disciplines have inherent risks and require a coherent and coordinated management approach, Eventing is clearly one of the most dangerous.

Some events are extraordinarily well run, others would benefit from guidance and assistance. We should take what we do well across the country and make it available to all. Not only should we set standards, we should assist in their implementation and then assure ourselves that the standards are being met.

As a matter of urgency we have directed the development of consistent standards for the conduct of cross-country activities in the Eventing Discipline, a training program to ensure that event organisers understand their obligations, an assurance program to ensure that the safety obligations are complied with, and a support program to assist in the conduct of events that present an unacceptable level of safety risk.

It is our view that, small event or large, a competitor ought to be able to compete as safely as practicable and understand the risks to which they are exposed. The recent coronial findings are being dealt with in this context.

To assist and lead in this implementation we are delighted to announce the appointment of Meredith Chapman as the National Safety Manager.

Meredith has 20 years’ experience as a Health and Safety professional: consulting, training and advising government and organisations across many industries including equestrian. She combines this with nearly 40 years competing and participating in many areas of equestrian sport.

Meredith has extensive professional Health and Safety qualifications and is now in the final stages of completing her PhD research on reducing human injuries.

Meredith will commence January 2020.

The employment of a full-time National Safety Manager was made possible by additional funding from Sport Australia.

EA’s current safety program has largely been achievable through the generosity of Terry Snow, owner of Willinga Park Equestrian Centre. Terry donated $250,000 in January 2017 to the ‘Making Eventing Safer’ Fund made possible via our partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation. Donations to this Fund are tax deductible.

If you wish to support the initiative, you can donate here:

https://asf.org.au/projects/equestrian-australia/making-eventing-safer/

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