Return to news index

Message from the EA Board

In the lead up to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is exciting to confirm that our athletes have secured team places in all four Olympic and Paralympic disciplines - Dressage, Jumping, Eventing and Para-Dressage. We are told preparations of the venue at the Palace of Versailles are well progressed and with its beautiful lakes and woodlands, no doubt it will be a most spectacular and memorable setting to hold the equestrian events. Over the coming months, we will see the best of our best striving to gain a coveted place to represent Australia as part of those teams and we wish them the very best of luck.

Thinking about Paris 2024 brings to mind our own backyard and what we need to do here. We have the Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics in 2032, and the opportunity to make our sport better between now and then is one we must take advantage of. As a country, we have some natural advantages, including relative space, and although our sport is becoming more costly, it is still more accessible than in many countries. However, our organisational structure limits our ability to deliver to the sport. To advance our sport over the next decade we need to focus on our national restructure. Over the past few years, we have sought input from stakeholders at all levels. The issues that many members raise on a regular basis, such as having a nationally consistent and logical fee structure and shared resources for services that all members need, are where our focus is right now. We are working to establish the foundations to give the disciplines the resources to run and develop themselves, which will deliver directly to the organising committees and volunteers who make the sport happen. In addition, the need for digital transformation and an IT platform that provides a positive member experience to deliver the sport, has regularly been raised and is an important part of our strategy.

Where we have identified one part of the country delivering a service as best practice, that is being adopted as the national standard. An example of this is in rider and horse safety, one of our strategic pillars. We now have a national team which includes an advisory committee incorporating expertise in medical, veterinary and safety specialists who work closely with our staff team which draws on EA and state branch staff working as one entity. As members, we should expect to receive the highest level of service and expertise, which should not depend on where we are located, and this is the model that we want to build.

The model also recognises that the people best equipped to deliver the various disciplines are those who are involved in that discipline. While all our sports involve horses, the knowledge and experience to run a Jumping competition is different to that needed to run Dressage, Vaulting or Driving. We need to empower and resource those specialists to run and grow their disciplines and to do this requires reallocation of limited resources.

We know if we can do this that there are partnership and media opportunities in the sidelines waiting for us. After all, there are several hundred thousand horse enthusiasts in Australia, some as participants, but also many who are supporters, volunteers and keen spectators. We, as a Board, are committed to ensuring the future sustainability of our sport for this and the next generation and we have a plan to do this. We are always keen to hear from you, our members. Please don’t hesitate to contact us or approach us for a chat when you see us out and about participating and supporting our sport.

Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia

Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now