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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Breeders unite, ENSW chief steps aside and WA interschool results

ABOVE: A new organisation will represent Australian horse breeders.

A NEW organisation representing Australian horse breeders has been formed.

The Australasian Horse Breeders Federation (AHBF) is the result of a recent call for more recognition for horses bred in Australia and now competing overseas in a number of disciplines, often under new names.

The group is now calling for anyone interesting in becoming a foundation member at no cost to come forward.

Inaugural chairperson Ulrich Klatte said the mission was to “do everything possible to unite and globally position Australasian horse breeders by promoting Australian breeding and performance excellence”.

“This will be made possible by sharing horse data and recording performance data digitally to our horses amongst many other initiatives the group have in mind,” he said.

“United we are strong; single we are nothing.”

Membership is open to all breed societies, individual breeders and studs. It is recommended that breeders who are registering also ask their breed society to also join.

The aim is to have all Australasian Breed societies (small or large) on board, which is why it has been decided to make initial membership free of charge.

The seven board members are: Ulrich Klatte Qld (Chair), Vicki Roycroft NSW (Vice Chair), Rory Hovell WA, Suellen Saals ACT, Robin Potter NZ, Jody Hartstone NZ and Ike Baker NZ. Bianca Dubber from Tasmania is the secretary.

To join, simply send your name, address, email and, if a company or society, ABN or ACN, to Ulrich Klatte at email or phone/text 0408 453 804.


THE chief Executive of Equestrian NSW Bruce Farrer has stood aside from his role while the findings of parliamentary investigation into the awarding of a contract for the resurfacing or arenas at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre are investigated.

The inquiry found the tender process was flawed and that “robust probity standards” were not applied.

It also found that Mr Farrar should have reasonably foreseen that his involvement in the tender process for contract number OoS17/18-02 would “give rise to a perceived or actual conflict of interest, and that this conflict should have been disclosed”.

It has recommended that concerns that evidence provided to the inquiry by three witnesses, including Mr Farrer and ENSW board member Alexandra Townsend may have breached the Crimes Act 1900 should be referred to police for further investigation.

Ms Townsend, whose term on the board was due to conclude next month, has also advised of her intention to step away effective immediately.

ENSW Chair Brad Frankum said the report was with the NSW Government to consider its response.

“It should be noted that the report itself has no legal standing and will now be considered by the government, which will determine if any further action will be taken,” he said.

“While these are difficult matters, Equestrian NSW is committed to adhering to principles of good governance and with the best interests of the sport.

“It is very important to the Board that both Bruce and Alex are afforded due process and I ask for your support in this regard. While not seeking to pre-empt the government’s process, we have no reason to believe that Bruce or Alex acted in any way other than with the best interests of our sport in mind.”


THE NSW Endurance Riders Association is hosting a workshop in November to brainstorm new ideas to rejuvenate the sport.

It will be held in Bathurst on November 26 and moderated by past president Tony Marshall. Organisers are hoping riders will be able to attend in person but there will be limited places available to take part via online streaming.

Anyone is welcome, with RSVPs required as soon as possible so plans can be made. For further information or to register message the NSWERA Facebook page or phone 0499 777 912.


LIKE many other events the Melbourne Show jumping Club’s championship at Werribee Park was wiped out by the wet weather, but they are back on track.

The committee has been working hard behind the scenes to find another date to reschedule their event to. It will be now held on November 12 and 13 at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre as a “pop-up” event. More details including an updated program and entry details will be communicated once finalised.

All entries from the cancelled event will be fully refunded via Global Entries (minus the global fee). Entries for the new event will be open to all, no entries from the weekend will be carried over.


THE NT Interschools team was not the only one to make a big trip to get to the national championships in Sydney recently.

Western Australia also sent representatives and they were one of the most successful WA teams to ever compete at the event.

Members were Abby Green, Alivia Coppin, Alyssa Scott, Amelia McDonald, Amy Lethlean, Amy Lockhart, Bianca Ettridge, Chaise Fowler, Chloe Gee (captain), Ella McCrum, Erica Bell, Erin Greenwood, Isabella Day, Isla Bolton, Krystina Bercene, Lateesha Coppin, Meg Fowler, Mia Avila, Noah Woodyer, Reagan Hughan, Ruby Rae, Shania Benbow (vice captain), Sophie Morrison, Uma Sky Fisher and Zoe Purser.

The highlights of our tremendous campaign saw Noah Woodyer (Combined Training 60cm Primary) and Ruby Rae (Combined Training 95-SEC) become National Champions in their respective classes. Ruby’s achievement was made more extraordinary by the fact she claimed the title on a pool horse.

In other amazing performances, Sophie Morrison was Reserve Champion in Combined Training 60cm Secondary and Shania Benbow finished as Reserve Champion in the Secondary Elementary, with both competing on pool horses.

The Senior Combined Training Team consisting of Ruby Rae, Sophie Morrison, Erin Greenwood, Erica Bell, Bella Day and Lateesha Coppin finished as Runners Up, the first time WA have been runner up in this event.

The majority of the 26-strong squad competed on pool horses.

Behind the scenes of the event, it was a remarkable effort and journey from a number of people to make Team WA’s attendance possible.

Depending on the circumstance, some team members and their families flew over, while others chose to make the trek across the Nullarbor via road. Team WA also sent six horses.


IN other WA news, Kaeleigh Brown has joined Equestrian WA in the role of Sport Development Manager.

Kaeleigh is originally from Capel and has a strong family background in equestrian (her aunt is WA Paralympian Sharon Jarvis). She began riding in competition at just four years of age.

Kaeleigh’s role encompasses operational delivery of the Interschool State Championships, the Off-The-Track Program (OTT) and coordination of the EWA High Performance Pathway, including Rising Stars.

Kaeleigh’s love for horse sport and community sees her fulfilling a multitude of roles helping equestrian to continue to develop and grow across WA. She is currently vice president of the Capel Horse and Pony Club Committee, the chairperson for their event committee, an active member of the Pony Club WA State Dressage Committee and recently became an Australian representative on the Pony Club International Alliance Youth Advisory Council.

Her contributions to the sport have seen her awarded the Volunteer South West Youth Volunteer of the Year and also receiving a Pony Club WA Citizenship Award.

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