Emergency service equestrians gather for annual games
WHEN you think of emergency services, the average person thinks of police, fire and ambulance, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
At least 20 organisations qualify for the title and make up those eligible to compete across 45 sporting disciplines at Police and Emergency Services Games held annually across Australia.
Bob Powles, who came up with the idea of adding equestrian events to the competitions, was present at the recent Victorian games held at Lara.
Bob was a police sergeant and equestrian was always his hobby. In 1983 there were seven sports in the Police Games but no equestrian, so he approached the games committee and the first equestrian games were held indoors at the Police Academy at Glen Waverley.
The now renamed Victoria Police and Emergency Services Games, Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games and the World Police and Fire Games have been running since then, with Bob as coordinator for many years.
In 2020, Bob suffered a life-threatening injury after falling from a horse and is now confined to a wheelchair, but he has continued his interest in the games.
He attended this year’s event with Neil Pollock, who was with Victoria Police for 46 years and rode in the first Victoria Police Games in 1983 and every games after that for more than 15 years.
They presented the showjumping winners with their medals.
Robyn Reed took over as coordinator from Bob in 2013 and Carmel Rogers and Tash Fyfe jumped on board to assist in 2020.
“We are just really lucky that Robyn has created a really relaxed, fun event, ensuring that emergency service workers from across Victoria can have a great couple of days with friends and colleagues,” Tash said.
“Although in uniform, it just takes away from the everyday stress and trauma that many of our competitors see at work – that’s our normal.
“Our competitors are amazing, they all pitch in to help and the competition just seems to run so smoothly.”
The equestrian games featured six different sections of competition: dressage x two, derby, showjumping, showing and combined training. The derby consists of six show jumping efforts and 6 cross country elements.
Winners in the Derby section were Kim Andrew from Fulham Correctional Centre on Kiandra Infiinity, Emily Havard on Phoenix from Parks Victoria, Tracey Gorick riding Callanish Lochbuie from the Country Fire Authority and Debbie Baker riding Charlie from Corrections Victoria.
The dressage results shows the state has a lot of talent among the people who protect us.
Winners in the dressage included Gemma Kyte and Renee Gietman from Victoria Police, Emily Campbell and Sadie Powers from Ambulance Victoria, Kobi McLachlan from Fulham Correctional Centre, Bianca Franklin from the Country Fire Authority and Janelle Miller, Jodie Thompson, Erin Field and Clare Fox from Corrections Victoria.
(Click on any image to expand)
ABOVE: Some of the action from the games. Pictures: ONE-EYED FROG and SUPPLIED
Do you qualify to compete?
Agencies eligible to compete in these games and who are affiliated with the Victoria Police Games Federation are: Victoria Police including Protective Services Officers and Police Custody Officers; Ambulance Victoria; Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission; Australian Border Force; Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; Australian Federal Police (including Australian Protective Service Officers); Australian Volunteer Coast Guard; Corrections Victoria; Country Fire Authority; Dept of Jobs, Precincts & Regions; Dept of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; Dept. of Immigration; Dept of Justice (Sheriff’s Office); Dept of Transport; Emergency Management Victoria; Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority; Fire Rescue Victoria; Life Saving Victoria; National Heavy Vehicle Regulator; Parks Victoria; Royal Flying Doctor Service; Safe Transport Victoria; St John Ambulance Victoria; Victoria State Emergency Service; and Victorian Fisheries Authority.
Other emergency service agencies can apply for eligibility and if successful are able to compete upon invitation to attend these Games.
More information here: Victorian Police and Emergency Service Games
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