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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

New show group turns event organisation on its head

THE Equestrian Federation was once the only group running show horse events, but in the way of things over time, there are now several.

ABOVE: The logo to look out for.

Most of these focus on running a few high-level shows and training days, but the latest one formed recently has decided to offer a lot more than that and by doing so is succeeding in creating a format that is new, different and inclusive.

Equine Events Australia Limited (EQEAL) is a not-for-profit organisation founded at the beginning of 2021 by a group of seven Victorian volunteers: Tony Norris, Diane Spiteri, Nicole Morrison, Lisa Dainty, Lynn Milburn, Stephanie Powell and Diane Worboys. Between them they have more than 250 years of experience competing at, delivering and supporting both local and high-profile equine events such as royal shows and state and national titles.

They are committed to delivering affordable equine events and educational activities where everybody is treated equally and with respect.

The announcement of their new organisation was made just prior to the start of the COVID pandemic. But experience and innovation is the group’s main aim so although this brought its challenges, they created new events able to meet the ever-changing government requirements and shutdowns.

They ran an online in-hand horse show, online junior fancy dress and online colouring competition, which all attracted great entries from across Australia and New Zealand.

Several master classes were also held, providing an opportunity for people to sit and watch some of top Victorian riders while maintaining safe social distancing.

With the support of the off-the-track community, the group also hosted an online short story competition and Thoroughbred master class with Russell Johnstone (showjumping), Amanda Ross (eventing) and Dale Plumb (showing).

ABOVE: Stewie Robinson has been enlisted to provide tuition. Picture: GLENYS LILLEY

There are big plans for the remainder of 2022 with a number of events in the pipeline.

A clinic with Greg Mickan and Stewie Robinson was held at Tatura, and the 2022 EQEAL Equine Youth Festival for competitors aged three to 19 years will be held at Werribee Park on November 26 and 27.

EQEAL has been fortunate to partner with complementary therapy training provider Hi Form Australia in producing and promoting a series of online equine and human nutrition training modules that cover such topics as inflammation, digestion, food and medicine and how to detox a feed room.

Pay-to-view educational videos on a range of subjects have been produced by EQEAL and can be rented for 24 hours with unlimited viewings. Topics include how to correctly tie a stock and Garryowen, senior and junior turnout guidelines, with the video library to be added to over time.

A novel but very popular initiative to come out of the pandemic was the social media group “Gardens by Equine Enthusiasts”. The private group of more than 1200 members can be found on Facebook and is open to anyone with a combined passion of horses and gardens.

The group organised a private garden tour of “Sunnymeade Garden” at Kithbrook,Victoria, in May, with another planned for October 23 at “Wingspread”, Toolangi.

EQEAL is committed to helping other organisations so you will often find a member helping at an agricultural show or volunteering at the big events. Calling on its considerable experience, the group also works with various groups to help them organise and host events.

To find out more go to the group's website at and subscribe to their regular updates. EQEAL can also be found on Facebook.

ABOVE: The group even organises garden tours for horse lovers.

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