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Equestrian VIC

Equestrian VIC Newsletter

August 31, 2015


A big thank you to everyone who came along to the WPNEC Open day last weekend. We were lucky enough to have such a beautiful sunny day with plenty of horses and riders enjoying themselves out and about on the grounds. We had an overwhelming amount of support for the Protocol Dressage Tests and a great turnout for Freshman Show Jumping in the indoor. Congratulations to our organizers on a fantastic day. We couldn’t have done it without the wonderful support from Lou D'Elia and Paul Williams.  WPNEC would love to host more events like this in the near future, including mid-week Freshman Show Jumping once the weather warms up a bit. Please follow our Facebook Page and visit our Website regularly in order to stay up to date with our future updates.

Chairmans Chat

With all organisations there is always a lot of activity behind the scenes that  most people are unaware of. It can be likened to ducks swimming in water all looks serene on top but underneath the water there is furious paddling. So to have the Board of Equestrian Victoria been working to address the long ' to do ' list.

Our key priority was to turn the financial situation of EV  around. You would all be aware that the last financial year showed a less than desirable bottom line. Many measures have been put into place to address that and although there is still a long road ahead of us the situation has been reversed and we are heading in the right direction.  Thankyou to everyone who has made the many important contributions to make this possible. Included in this are also our organising committees as Events have a significant impact on the bottom line.

Released in recent weeks were the draft 'EV Media Policy' and EA Social Media Policy which we invite all members to view and feed back on the Media Policy is very welcome. In fact we welcome all feedback and ideas as we can not pretend that we have the perfect solution to each situation that arises.

Equestrian Victoria run many National events (since September 2014  we have hosted the Australian Showjumping Championships, National Showhorse Championships, Australian Interschool Championships, MI3DE, Australian Young Horse Dressage Championships  and also hosted several CDI's). The calibre of these events are a testimony to the enormous dedication, talent and hard work of our amazing volunteer committees who make these events happen. From the list above it can be seen that many national Championships are held in this state which is a wonderful opportunity for not only our competitors to be able to compete at the highest National level but also for the rest of us to be able to easily spectate and enjoy these wonderful competitions.

The recent Awards Night was a tribute to everyone who contributes to the running of Equestrian Victoria. Volunteers, officials, athletes both human and equine and administrators were all honoured and the decision as to who the final winners were was very difficult as there are so many deserving people who are a part of the Equestrian Victoria community who make everything possible.

There have been some queries re WPNEC stables - the stable price is very similar to that of twelve months ago and patrons may purchase shavings from WPNEC which will be delivered to your stable or you may bring your own.
Please Click Here for a lengthier explanation.

Eventing season kicked off with Friends of Werribee Horse Trials over the weekend and will be followed by the Fundraiser. FOW have been benefactors of the Centre for many years. There is a board in indoor 1 which lists many of the donations this group have made and the contribution is significant.

Congratulations go to the Australian Showjumpers who last week earned a spot at RIO and we can proud to note that Jamie Kermond from Woolsthorpe was a team member.

Good luck to everyone preparing for the Australian Showjumping Championships which kicks off at Werribee in 17 days time and also to the Interschool riders representing Victoria in Sydney at the National Inter school Championships. Safe travelling, happy competing and may you and your horses remain in tip top health.

Ingrid Green
Equestrian Victoria.

Meryl Dekker & Drummer in the 2* Showjumping at Friends of Werribee yesterday. Photo credit Tim Herbert


The jumping season is underway with successful Geelong, Border Districts, Peninsula and Tatura events concluded.  Unfortunately the Euroa show committee were not so lucky with the recent torrential rain, they made the call to abandon the event. This event was to be conducted on their new grounds at Violettown and a power of work had already gone into the infrastructure as well as the show itself, so the committee would be gutted. It was very pleasing to hear of the support the riders gave the committee- with the understanding that a lot of money is not recoverable and the new club will need assistance- most riders have indicated they would not be looking for a refund. Our sport has a great track record in helping out in adverse circumstances so I am not surprised by these gestures of support. 

The cancellation of the TIE classes on the weekend leave Victoria with no time to arrange a second show to conduct these. We are in communication with EA to sort this out, so if you have a young horse and were looking to start in the Finals at the ASJC, please keep an eye on the website, facebook or alternatively register your interest on and I will keep you posted on what HPP decide. 

The next committee meeting of Jumping Victoria is Tuesday 1st September so if you have any issues, strategies, ideas you would like raised, this is the forum to have these addressed. Each club has a delegate that is invited to attend so if you wish to approach your club or myself your input would be much appreciated. 

Australian Showjumping Championships is looming very near. The acceptance lists have gone out after the entries closed 30th August. We have had a busy month trying to address the numbers that were intending to compete. This has meant class changes in some rings so be sure to check the updated timetable carefully. We would love your help at the event and if you wish to contact Caroline Price, she will be able to allocate you a role. Her contact is   Competitors, especially my young riders in the Hygain YR Squad are urged to put their names down, even if it is only for an hour here and there around your riding. If your company has product that is suitable for the Silent Auction- we would be very grateful for those donations as well!!
We will be building the courses for Aus Champs on Wednesday afternoon and anyone that could help out would be much appreciated. If you could flag you are coming for the build that would be a great help too so we have an idea of numbers.

Pictured are Jasmine Dennison and Matilda Alexander who together with Jamie Priestley represented Australia at the Friendly Games in Germany. They acquitted themselves as expected with skill, aplomb and courtesy both inside the competition arena and out. Fine ambassadors of our sport and this experience will stand them and our sport in general in good stead in the future.


John Barlee retires from The Eventing Committee

The Eventing Committee would like to thank John for his many years of service to Equestrian Victoria. He has been an important member of our committee and has made a significant contribution. We approached his daughter Sue Thompson for a history of his equestrian pursuits.

“Dad has been involved with horses all of his life growing up on a cattle property that had working horses, but he never competed.  Dad first became involved with the Pony Club movement in 1972 when my brother joined & then I joined a year later.  Dad was on the committee for 11 years & was District Commissioner for the last 5 of those years finishing up with Berwick PC in 1984.  Dad has only just retired from being the President of the South Metro Zone this week, so he has clocked up approx. 42 years of committee involvement including being DC of Berwick PC, ZA of the West Gippsland Zone, Chair of the State Dressage & Showjumping Championships, Cross Country Course Accreditor & with South Metro Zone he has been ZA, DCI & President, as well as being involved in cross country course building training with PC.  I know that everyone in the eventing world would know that Dad built the first cross country course at Tooradin (& continues to re-build it!), but some may not know that Dad has been involved in the building of courses at Werribee Park, Wandin & many Pony Club courses over the last 30+ years.

As for EV, I believe it was in 1985 that Dad first went onto the EV Eventing Committee as the Pony Club delegate & it was from there that his love of Eventing continued to grow.  Dad has been a Technical Delegate for many years (I honestly don’t know how many without asking Dad – but is probably at least 20?) at EA Eventing competitions & I imagine would have been at a majority of all EV Eventing competitions for as long as I can remember.

In 2000 Dad was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his services to I believe both EV & PC.

Dad turned 80 on the 9th Sep 2014 & has been heavily involved in Pony Club & EV Eventing for more than half of his life & I am sure even though he is retiring from both the PC & EV committees he will still be involved in some small way as it will remain his passion always.”

Show Horse

August Meeting & Update
Show Horse Nationals Tender

Victoria is very happy to announce that we were successful for the Nationals tender 2016/17/18. We look forward to developing the show over the next few years. 

Show Horse Nationals 2015 Judges

On behalf of Equestrian Australia, The Australasian Show Horse and Rider Championships Organising Committee is pleased to announce that the judges for the 2015 Championships will be as follows:
- Vince Corvi "Queensland"
- James Athanasoff "New South Wales"
- Marlene Hart "Victoria"
- Bernadette Warren "Tasmania"

These judges have been randomly selected by Equestrian Australia National office, these judges also meet the EA National Show Horse eligibility criteria.

2016 Barastoc

Barastoc plans are well in advance of last year’s, the schedule is set to be released in the coming weeks and our judges (randomly selected by EA National office) will be announced with the schedule.

Breeds for this year are Arabians, Buckskins, Palominos, Pintos, Riding Ponies, Shetlands, Welsh and Native Ponies.
There will also be Sporting Horse events (Novelties), Carriage Driving, HRCAV, also Open and Pony Dressage.

Children’s classes will take place on Friday afternoon 12th February and this day will include the Leading Rein Show Pony, Leading Rein Show Hunter Pony (both qualifying events for 2016 Nationals). There will also be childs; pony, galloway and hack classes, all of which will qualify for the Children’s Classes at the Nationals in December 2016.
The prestigious Peter Gahan Memorial Trophy Rider class will also be hosted on Friday.

Newcomer classes and Show Hunter state title classes will be held on Saturday 13th. State Title Rider and Hack classes will be on Sunday 14th February, as well as Working Hunters.

The extra Children’s classes are an excellent addition to our programme, we are very pleased to provide our future riders the opportunity to compete at our HOTY and possibly qualify to represent Victoria at Nationals 2016.
Evidently, with these new class additions the organizing committee have had to factor additional costings, therefore we are actively seeking sponsors for these particular sections.

If you would like to support our classes at Barastoc 2016 please contact Helen Heagney:

Sponsorship Prospectus’ for Nationals, Barastoc and Amateur Show

We are actively seeking sponsors for our shows, if you would like to get involved and help out with sponsoring at our events no matter how big or small we welcome your support.
Sponsorship prospectuses are now available for Nationals 2015, Barastoc HOTY 2016 and Amateur Show 2016.  These packages offer great exposure for individuals, businesses and companies looking to advertising through sponsorship, please request one of these packages today from the EV office Ph: 9013 0707

Measuring Day

We have successfully hosted two winter measuring days, we thank all of those whom attended and supported these days. Our next measuring day will be at Nationals in December.
These measuring days have also been very productive for training our new measurers who we hope to have fully qualified and accredited as EA official measurers in the near future.

Show Horse Clinics

We have facilitated three winter show horse clinics, providing members with an opportunity to get out and about through the winter months. It was great to see so many riders in attendance and we thank them for their recurring support. We are exploring more options for future clinics and are dedicated to providing our members with the opportunity to further their riding tuition.

Social Media Policy

We are happy to announce that EA have finished reviewing our Social Media Policy. We invite all members to read this policy and keep it in mind when using social media.


Dressage Levy supports Officials

It was drawn to my attention recently that some members were unaware that the increased Dressage Levy of $1 per test went directly to support the training of the Officials in our sport in Victoria.

The education of Judges and Stewards is a time consuming and costly business willingly undertaken by DJEP and Senior Stewards. In the last couple of years Equestrian Victoria has needed to rein in costs in all aspects of its operations including the education of Officials. Many Educators have donated their time and money to continue this important work. We are very grateful for their generosity.

Earlier this year Dressage Victoria increased the Dressage Levy to $2 per test so that this important work can be funded directly by the activity they serve. So each time an EA accredited judge scores a test in a DV competition they are earning the funds to directly pay for the education of more judges. When an EA Steward is helping the smooth operation of an event they too are contributing to their own further training.

That extra dollar per test will pay for approximately 4 Judges Seminars, a Stewards Seminar and a small number of random swabbings, all of which are designed to improve the quality of our Dressage events.

Out and about in NSW

My regular trip to Sydney to meet with the other State Dressage Chairs and the ADC can be a tough job. It is always a very full day of reports and rules, rules and more rules to be considered. Of course this is an essential task, but not much fun.

This year I allowed some extra time to inform myself about what was going on in the NSW Dressage scene. I did coffee with Dressage NSW, chair Prue Spurrett, who clearly reinforced my growing belief that all in EA need to focus on looking after the “grassroots”. Many leaders in our sports have paid lip service to this area but few have delivered. 
With this thought in mind I ventured outside the city limits on Sunday, to visit Alexander Park Dressage Club just north of Newcastle. In recent weeks I have visited the new Elmore Equestrian Centre and Tatura Park and on each of these occasions I have enjoyed a “can do spirit” and enthusiasm for the task of running their events.

Alexander Park DC won NSW club of the year a few years back and for good reason. As a Dressage Club event organiser of 30+ years’ experience, I thought I could instantly identify a happy event as I drove in the gate. What caught my eye? Well I saw plenty of floats and horses waiting in yards. Six arenas operating all day with horses warming up in abundant space. Clearly identified stewards ensuring smooth operations and scores going up quickly. Lions Club volunteers were selling food and coffee to add to the country spirit. But hang on, there were also 2 riders proudly wearing their Australian representative badge while many others had their NSW representative emblem on show. This show was sweet and bucolic but it was also the home club of many highly competitive Dressage riders. All the levels from Prelim to GP were contested and not all the winners were called Ryan.

One local FEI rider (not Ryan) told me that the Sydney riders didn’t come to APDC for fear of not winning against the hot local competitors.

On the Saturday the focus was on encouragement classes of all levels, while Sunday was an official Championship.

What may surprise many Victorian competitors is that at such a high quality event there were no stables, 4 of the 6 rings and all the warm ups were on grass and the majority of rings had only one judge.

But don’t take my word for it that it is a great club championship, I asked all the riders and judges I could find. The first comment a number of competitors made referred to the OC’s preparedness to bend over backwards to help the riders. They loved the grass surface and the club insisted on inviting fair and generous judges.  These comments came unsolicited from every rider with whom I spoke. I sensed that the local competitors were proud of the spirit at their local club. The president of the Alexander Park D C, Bruce McVey said they have always had a customer focus philosophy and it clearly showed.

At this event the “Tall Poppies” were flourishing in a symbiotic relationship with the “Grassroots”. 

Thanks to Bruce and his team, I gained important insights from this visit.

Michael Bragge
Chairman, Dressage Victoria


Freestyle Seminar

On the 12th of September 2015 at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre, Virginia Creed, FEI 3* Judge and A Level Judge Educator will be hosting a Freestyle Seminar open to all Dressage Judges, Riders, Coaches and anyone in between!

Starting at 4:30pm with a video and slideshow presentation including the theoretical aspects of judging freestyles and a video of some famous Grand Prix freestyles.This will be followed by a selection of local riders including freestyles at all levels. We are privileged to have Diamantina and Maree Tomkinson attending to inspire us.

It will be a fantastic afternoon, to express interest or to book please Click Here

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