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Posted by Equestrian Queensland on 10/05/2019.


The turmoil across the sport over the last few months, in fact years, has undoubtedly been challenging for everyone, culminating in the Equestrian Australia (EA) Board being completely reconstituted over the period from November 2018 to March 2019. The new Board of 8 directors met for the first time in April, and then again for a day for a preliminary strategy workshop in early May.

The Board’s mix of skills and experience brings strengths from both sport and industry together. This diversity gives the Board the depth, knowledge, and ability to further the aims of EA. All directors, and the CEO, have given a personal commitment to lead the organisation into the future.

The history of how EA came to the position we have been in is relevant only insofar as repeating the mistakes of the past needs to be avoided. It is much better we expend our efforts on the future.

The Board formed a view the core purpose of EA is:

To provide safe pathways for participants in all forms and at all levels to contribute, compete and develop within the equestrian sports.

It is against this standard that we will measure our contribution, our activity, our choices and our outcomes. We will not be able to do everything and with limited resources some initiatives will take more time than we would prefer. Every journey starts with the first step – and we have started:

  • The continuous improvement of safety in the sport is essential and front of mind. A number of initiatives are underway and have been implemented including from 1 July tagging of helmets and body protectors in eventing to ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) meets current approved safety standards;
  • The Coaching Committee has been reinstated and is re-establishing itself. We see this as a foundational element of the sport and we will be looking at ways to further develop its contribution. A current project is the new Learning Management System (LMS) that will use technology to better communicate and support coaches;
  • Insurance for participating members and clubs is a high value element of membership. No matter how safe we seek to make the sport it is inherently dangerous. Insurance mitigates the consequences of accident and injury. We will be working with the Insurance Broker and the State branches to further improve this offering over time;
  • Rules being reviewed to make them more consistent across the disciplines, and in line with FEI and best practise. This must be an ongoing process.

There is a lot more to do but the choice of what and when should be informed by the needs, wants and priorities of the participating membership. To this end we are embarking on the development of a new strategy for EA, underpinned by an immediate and enhanced communication program. Our first task is to listen, which we will do by:

  • Meeting with the State boards within the next six weeks to hear their views on the future;
  • Establishing a web site where participating members may contribute their views directly and where we may publish concepts for comment and updates on the progress of the developing strategy;
  • Establishing a program of “Meet the Directors” at selected events around the country;
  • Offering an online webinar style engagement to provide access to those who cannot access other venues.

The revitalisation of the Board provides all of us the opportunity to learn from the past, but now focus is on our
future. What is certain is that if we do not review and adjust, we are destined to repeat the past.
The coming months will be both challenging and exciting. We must not lose sight of the need to ensure.

  • existing activities and events continue;
  • governance is improved;
  • that the pursuit of ‘Tokyo Gold’ is not lost as this is currently vital to the overall funding of EA;
  • safety development and risk mitigation is continued;
  • we offer pathways for participation, training and competition to both horse and participant members to ensure overall membership grows;
  • we collectively contribute to shaping the future of our sport by better communication with the participating members and the various stakeholders.

On behalf of the Board

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