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Equestrian VIC

Equestrian VIC Newsletter

February 22, 2016

General News

Online Horse Registrations

Equestrian Victoria has now added an option for members to register horses online. This is a simple and quick way to have your horse registered. Your horse registration will still be approved by the office before the registration is completed. This horse registration option is now added to our website. Please go to our website, selected how to register a horse and follow the link, or select the link below.
Please Note: You must have Java to complete this application.

To Register Online Please Click Here

Chairman's Chat

The year is flying by and it is hard to believe Autumn is already just around the corner. 

Events are in full swing and there was little breathing time for many event organizers during the Christmas / New Year break.

Eyes in all sports are starting to turn to Rio and the selection trials for most sports are coming to a head. It is interesting talking to coaches and parents of elite athletes in the various sports about the similarities and differences across the sports. Some of our riders and horses have already left our shores in the next stage of their Olympic bid. It is a very tough road and we wish everyone the very best of luck. 

The 47th Barastoc Show and State Titles was held in glorious weather and the set up looked spectacular and earned many a compliment from sponsors, spectators and competitors. This year saw the addition of an extra day of competition with the very successful inclusion of many children’s classes.  The very elegantly dressed judges complimented the immaculate horses and combined with the white picket fencing and lush grass made for perfect viewing. It was wonderful to be able to meet and talk with members of the inaugural committee who started this prestigious event 47 years ago. Congratulations to the great team of volunteers led by the Chairman of Show Horse Mitch Fox who worked so diligently to provide our members with such a fantastic event. 
Coming up in early March is the Amateur Show and also keep an eye out for the winter clinics.

Welcome to Nina, our new Showjumping Co-coordinator. Nina has hit the ground running and some of you will have already had contact with her. Nina represented Equestrian Victoria at the Interschool Showjumping Competition at Ayr Hill last Friday where 260 children competed.

Dressage and Jumping with the Stars, Young Rider Dressage Championships, and the Interschool Championships are all in the final stages of organization.   These events can only run with the help of volunteers and if you would like to be part of a fun enthusiastic team, even if only for a few hours, we would love to have you as a part of the team. Dressage held a working bee to tidy the edges and clean up Arena Three last week however there are still more arenas to go. There are quite a lot of jobs, big and small, that we would love some help with. These include things like some garden tidy ups and painting that includes rails for our squads. Final set up for DJWTS will commence on Monday 14th of March and help would be very appreciated by the small group of volunteers who organize this amazing event.

Please contact me if you would like to join us at any stage or if there is anything thing you would like to discuss.
0488 398 053


E.S.I. Victorian Young Rider Dressage Championships

Friday 4 March is the closing date of entries for the E.S.I. Victorian Young Rider Dressage Championships that will be held on 31 March to 2 April 2016.  Young dressage riders from both Victoria and Interstate will gather at the Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre to compete in an event that first was held in the 1990s.  Equestrian Victoria has been proud to promote competition specifically for young riders, initially up to 21 years and in 2016 classes for riders up to 25 are included.  This reflects Equestrian Australia’s Youth Policy and allows our younger riders to compete at the highest level against their peers.   There are classes from Preliminary (the first level test) to Grand Prix (the highest level test).  There will also be FEI Junior, Pony and Young Rider tests, together with Freestyles to Music, and for some fun, a Pas de Deux. 
There will also be incentive classes at the lower level for riders who may not necessarily have the performances or experience for the State classes so there will be something for everyone.

Historically many successful young riders have made the transition to senior ranks developing talent and confidence through competing at their own Championships.  There will be riders at the event who are on National and State Squads, and also some riders who have a World Ranking.

This is a wonderful opportunity for a ten year old Preliminary rider to share the arena with our top Australian Young Riders - a golden chance and a “dare to dream” moment for many.

The event is wonderfully supported by parents together with established sponsors, and in 2016 we also welcome new sponsors who can see that the future of our sport is vested in these talented youngsters.

The history of the event is also mirrored in the many perpetual trophies, with emotive memorial trophies for young riders Briana Judge & Tayla Farley, tragically lost to us while pursuing their dream.  Talented and much loved horses are also celebrated with perpetual trophies and one very lucky young rider will go home with a valuable piece of hand made jewellery to reward their talent and hard work.

There will be a select Trade Village, a welcome Bar-b-que and a VIP Dinner together with three days of intense competition.  

More information can be found on the event website

or Jan Smith 0417527412
Nerida Sadler  0419336191

Facebook Victorian Young Rider Dressage Championships

Pic:  Tayla Desmet & Morgan Duell at the 2015 Championships

A perfect time to help

As we begin to move out of summer and into autumn, we have been blessed with some great riding weather. Over the last weekend, two days of competition at WPNEC were conducted in ideal conditions.

The Dressage Festival Fundraiser took place on Saturday and a number of riders made a weekend of it by also competing on Sunday at the 29th Skye Park Rugs Classic.

The Fundraiser event was low in numbers because its date had been changed without sufficient advertising to that effect. That was my mistake. None the less it was a very pleasant competition in a calm and friendly atmosphere. Many thanks go to Sue Smith, Iole and Katrina for making the event possible. Sunday was a real success for Berwick & District Dressage Club. The Skye Park Rug Classic had great entries (175 tests), fabulous prizes and perfect weather. While the event has been going for 29 years, there were several firsts on the day. Tayla Desmet rode brilliantly to score 66% in her very first Grand Prix. The Elementary Champion was Phoebe Cohalan who was taking part in her first EA events over the weekend. Both these girls are still at school.

Members may have noticed some frantic messages seeking helpers being posted prior to the DF Fundraiser event. We found it very difficult to get any Dressage members to offer to help. Right to the last minute we were asking riders as they finished, to collect sheets and pencil for judges. If it had not been a small competition it would have been cancelled.
Our sport has a problem.

Next week end, VDC has a major competition at WPNEC and as of yesterday they were seriously struggling to get pencillers. While this has been an issue for many years it appears to be reaching a critical point. Do we need to have major events cancelled before Dressage members take this issue seriously?
Some people suggest compulsory duty for all members as a solution. Others say we have to educate all riders so that they appreciate how many hours goes into our 65 Dressage events each year.

Let me highlight the work of just one of our volunteers, John Nevett. During the last Saddleworld Dressage Festival John spent several days erecting signs and preparing arenas prior to the event. He then groomed and watered almost every arena non-stop for 4 days and then helped pack it all up. John has done this for the last 3 years. We have a small number of people like John who give up way more than their fair share of time to keep the shows going. People like John need the support of every single Victorian Dressage rider.

This is probably the most commonly discussed topic around all the many Dressage committee tables. Some riders believe that they give back to the sport in other ways. Some say that they will do it later when they are not riding so much. Some have told me that they ride as a business and can’t afford the time. And while I know all these views are genuinely held, they do not solve the problem.

I rarely talk or write in negative tones but this is becoming a crisis. Some older members have noted that the problem is generational. They have observed that the few remaining helpers are old and the non-helpers are young. While there are exceptions to this generalisation, it does describe the problem pretty well.

Two possible solutions appear to lay before us…

  1. A message like this becomes a “call to arms” and Dressage members pickup their phones and offer to help at forthcoming events. OR
  2. Dressage Victoria develops a draconian system of “compulsory volunteering” (excuse the oxymoron)

To help turn this problem around, act now and offer to help at the following events.
VDC 28th Feb WPNEC contact Allan Bruno

Victorian Youth Dressage Championships  March 31st- April 2nd contact Jan Smith

Dressage & Jumping With The Stars contact Georgie Strayches


Officials exchange to TWC Springbush Horse Trials, Hunua, New Zealand

Wonderful people, a stunning venue and great competition.
My first foray to experience life as a TD overseas was a tremendous experience. Sue Nevett my travelling companion from Victoria, and I  were made welcome from the moment we arrived and I thank Angela LLoyd, Event Director and her hard working Committee for making us so welcome.   Just like in Australia the event was run by a small team who all knew their roles inside out and the event ran seamlessly, however we were all expecfted to muck in which was great.

The FEI CIC  sections were at 2 & 1 Star level with 95 and 105 classes at CNC. The Courses were set over 80 Acres of beautiful  rolling country, split at one point by a river which formed an interesting feature and had to be crossed by all competitors. (Unflagged) They were a mixture of bold and technical fences similar in many ways  to the terrain we see at Wandin. Tich Massey, who interestingly will be joining us in a few weeks time as the course designer for Wandin, skillfully using the country to create positive questions that kept the riders on their toes.. The courses rode well and suited bold positive riding mixed with control and accuracy for the more technical questions. The standard of competition was comparable to our own events with a mix of very experienced senior riders and a wealth of talented up and coming stars from the younger ranks.
It was interesting and rewarding to work with Sue and other ground Jury members from NZ and to hear their perspective in regard to the standard of competition and running of the event. I had a chance to work with International 3/4 Star TD, Neil Mackenzie-Hall who will travel to Rio with the NZ Eventing team as Technical Advisor. Also Julie Prebble, who like me is coming up through the TD ranks. Neil is a very positive mentor and encouraged  decision making and implementation in respect of the challenges we faced during the weekend, but always created time for reflection and ideas how to improve.

We stayed with Angela and Tich at the event and they made us very welcome in their home and set us to work as part of the team. I found the trip extremely rewarding and look forward to using the experience gained to good effect to continue to enhance the running of the sport here in Australia.

To Equestrian Victoria and Victorian Eventing, thank you for having the faith in Sue and I to represent them and our sport and for creating the positive opportunities that the Officials Exchange Program brings.

To my fellow officials, I would thoroughly recommend the experience! Be prepared though to step out of your comfort zone a little, out of the confines of the specific role you have as an official, helping wherever you can. In doing so you will learn so much more about how the events run and earn the respect and friendship of the Organizing Team as a real contributor.
Go for it!

The New Zealand (Springbush HT) – E.A.Vic. Event Committee Eventing Exchange 13/14 Feb 2016

I arrived in the dark at Angela Lloyd and Tich Masseys’ farm. So when I stepped out to the terrace, in the hot sun last Friday morning I saw just about the most perfect venue for a horse trials.
Springbank H.T. at Hunua is about 40 mins from Auckland.
Tich (Richard) is the course designer. He is obviously passionate about his cross country and designs/builds courses all over the world.
He sends his cattle to market in December and cuts hay from the lower paddocks, so no stock, just manicured grass with hardly a leaf out of place!
The Hunua pony club help tidy and paint the cross country fences and use them for their event late January. (I think they know how lucky they are).
T.D’s Neil MacKenzie-Hall and Carl Parkin (Aus) walked co-judge Judy Alderdice and myself around the course. The going was the best I have seen for ages due to 169 mls of rain in January, and so green!
The courses for 95, 105, and FEI 1, 2 star were beautifully built, varied and safe, the fences were challenging enough for each level.  The 1 star 2900 M, 20 fences 28 efforts.
The courses started and finished on the flats alongside the river with steep pine forests dotted with huge tree ferns and buzzing cicadas on the other side, but climbed up the hills in the middle.  All the more picturesque as riders for spectators as riders cantered through the creek winding through.
There were no yellow cards issued. Car access and views for everyone were excellent.
In their national classes they may have 4 stops, as we do, but can have one fall also.
I am 1/2* level and judged the dressage for the 1 star class of 37 riders, dripping over the sheets in the hot and sticky air!
Angela is an experienced rider and coach, who was giving a young horse a start in the 1*YH class (which I couldn’t judge as I was staying in her home).
All the horses were beautifully prepared and most were supple and responsive. The eventual winner of the 1 star, Dannie Lodder, finished on her dressage score.

The jumping arena had plenty of space over on the river flat. It rode well.
Angela and her committee had a large marquee providing lunch and a view of a group of cross country fences for the sponsors and I observed a wonderfully united and enthusiastic group of eventing enthusiasts volunteering for this popular event. There were 247 entries overall.
Interestingly I see a note on the programme- absolutely no dogs allowed  = E from the event.
…and there were none! Can we Victorians be that disciplined??

Thank you to Judy Croagh and the Victorian eventing sub-committee for giving me the opportunity to judge overseas, and meet really wonderful people, who were clearly pleased to have Aussie officials. Some of us also found other common interests like husbands who love (live) for fishing! I would love to go back again and I have sold Victoria and esp. Ballarat (Judy C) so well that at least two judges can’t wait!

Regards, Sue Nevett


Hello EV Jumping enthusiasts,

There has been much activity in the past month with Jumping in Victoria.  There has been a focus on  officials and the re-accreditation deadline before 31st March.  Some officials advised they have not had the opportunity to re-accredit in this current period, due to various reasons.  As Jumping Vic did not have any clinics planned in February/March this year EA has, as a once off gesture, extended the re-accreditation deadline to the end of this year.  This has given Jumping Vic the opportunity to schedule dates for 2016, we have a number of dates from May to August.  Please click HERE for details, further information will be released in the coming month. 

We will have a list of current officials linked to the officials tab on the EV Jumping website this week.  Further to this, to ensure all shows are aware of the current list of officials, advice will be sent to jumping clubs, show societies and Pony clubs for reference.  If you have any feedback or queries as an official, please contact myself to discuss.  We are focused on ensuring all jumping officials have sufficient opportunities to training clinics and currently reviewing the program on availability of resources, training, updating and promotion.  Stay tuned!
Officials and show committees please note the following advice from the National Jumping Committee;

  1. Wording for Junior riders has been updated now no minimum age limit; Aged 18 years and under is the requirement.
  2. Young Rider and Amateur classes will qualify for points as long as the standard  requirements are met. i.e. minimum height 1.05m/ 10 riders or more and prize money $100 or more.

On an event note… the preparations for the Australian Show Jumping Championships 2016 are underway, this is a fantastic event held at Werribee Park NEC in September.  An Expression of Interest for committee members was posted last week.  If you are interested please CLICK HERE for further details.

Continuing on the topic of events, last week I visited Ayr Hill Equestrian Park to watch the First Round of the 2016 ISJ Series with around 300 competitors.  I was very impressed with the quality of the junior and young rider competition.  This show is also Round 1 of the VEIS Qualifier Series where riders can earn selection in the Victorian State Interschools team, which will compete at the National titles at Sydney late in September. Great job by the organisers, for running such a successful day! For information on future ISJ events please CLICK HERE 

As mentioned last month, the nominations are open for Hygain Junior and Young Rider Squads 2016.  We have a new look uniform this year..Very exciting!!  We have a host of quality guest speakers to compliment the jump training program with our professional coaches.   We will also be introducing a new group to the training weekends for our members 11 years and under.. The ‘Squadettes’ .  It is exciting times for our training squads this if you haven’t put your nomination in..please CLICK HERE and submit your form by 15th March 2016.. 

Are you going to the South Australian State Show jumping Championships being held on 8-10 April 2016?  Jumping Vic are looking for Junior, Young Rider and Senior members to compete in the Teams events at the SA Show Jumping Championships.  We have a few nominations to date, if you are interested please email or contact Nina 0432 077 028. Confirmation will be advised shortly after 21st March 2016.

Finally, it is great to see preparations for our Rio Olympic prospects overseas are going well.. The Australian team placed 4th in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping 2016 series at Ocala on the weekend.. Great effort by ex-Victorian riders Matt Williams and Harley Brown. 
And wishing Steven Hill all the best with his campaign in Europe for Rio…

The excitement is building for Rio as the countdown continues, with only 165 days to go…

Looking forward to a busy month of jumping competitions around the state including DJWTS,



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