From the Chair | June 2016

MI3DE was a spectacular success and congratulations go to Janet Houghton and her hard working team of amazing volunteers who created and orchestrated this highly complex event. Cross country day was magnificent, with beautiful weather making the viewing of this Olympic selection event quite spectacular.

MI3DE is the last of the autumn events. The discipline squads are in full swing with eventing, jumping and dressage all holding regular squads. A variety of guest speakers and highly experienced coaches have imparted their knowledge to the squad members.

Eventing Victoria embarked on a program to develop officials in 2015, under the leadership of Judy Croagh. This year Eventing has hosted Christoph Hess for a judge's clinic, and officials Michelle Debenham, Carl Parkin, Chris Wallis and Sue Nevitt have officiated at international events. Judy Croagh and Viv Stephens will add to their extensive experience at Rio, where they are jump judging and Deb McNicol will also be there as an official.

EV also received funding from the Australian Sports Commission to host a series of Come and Try Days. Come and Try interschools, eventing and showing clinics have been enjoyed by a large number of participants. Dressage protocol days have been running on Wednesdays, and Jumping Victoria launched The Squadettes, a program for children aged ten and under, where they have enjoyed five days of jumping, flat and educational games. The jumping and eventing sessions ran alongside the regular squads, so participants were able to watch the experienced riders and wonder at their skills and proficiency.

A training day for the top ten Young Riders in the disciplines of eventing, jumping, showing and dressage will take place on Sunday 17 July with the Awards night being held at Mooney Valley on Saturday 30 July. Nominations for all Awards are also open. Please nominate your officials, coaches, administrators, clubs and athletes whom you feel deserve this recognition.
Eyes are turning to Rio with the opening ceremony not far away.

Jumping Victoria Chair Paul Williams recently headed over to Poland where four Victoria riders were competing for Australia in a Nations Cup. The four riders - Matt Williams, James Patterson Robinson, Jamie Kermond and Stevie Hill - were all members of the Victorian Young Rider Jumping Squads.

Sam Griffiths on Paulank Brockagh from Victoria are one the more experienced combinations on the Rio long list as they won Badminton in 2014 and competed for Australia at WEG in France.

Dressage selections are in the final stages, with Victorian's Mary Hanna and Marie Tomkinson both in Europe contending for a place. Emma Booth riding Zidane has posted some amazing scores this year and has been nominated for the Para Equestrian dressage team. Emma recently attended the Australian Para Olympic Team official launch, which was attended by the Prime Minister and also assisted with the launch of the team uniform.

Two of our interschool riders, Lucy Moate and Natasha Moody, had the honour of bearing the Olympic flag at the Prime Ministers Olympic Dinner.
The EA Annual Awards were also recently hosted at the MCG. Olympian, coach and judge, Barry Roycroft was honoured in the 'service to sport' category and joins his father Bill and brother Wayne in the Hall of Fame. Barry competed for Australia at three Olympics in two disciplines of eventing and showjumping. It is understood there are only two Equestrians who have achieved this – Barry and Vicki Roycroft. Barry was also member of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games Jumping Team, which was inducted into the Hall of fame in 2015.

We wish our Victorian riders and their equine partners the very best of luck during these final stages as they head toward Rio. The dedication and hard work it has taken to get to this stage is enormous and to be admired.

Ingrid Green