Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Photo: Ian Childs and Tracy Beleski being photo bombed by Jos Gresham on the left and Andrea Raves on the right

It’s an awesome double act from Dressage Wellington taking out the first ESNZ Volunteer of the Month for 2021 – congratulations to Ian Childs and Tracy Beleski!

Ian is president of the Wellington Dressage Group and acts as area judges’ officer for Wairarapa Dressage. Ian has been a judge for forty plus years. He travels a lot around New Zealand to officiate at both Dressage and horse trials and even slips in the odd carriage driving gig! He enjoys fence judging at horse trials as it gives him a real all-round view of the horses. He has stewarded in Australia, can be wrestled into acting as TD and he is pretty slick on the organising committee breakfast fry-up, so he is a well-rounded recidivist official and volunteer! Ian recently took up riding again after giving up competing across all disciplines when he was thirty.

Tracy is described by Ian as Dressage Wellington’s “most valued but most unassuming of volunteers”. 

“She’s totally unflappable but cares intensely about the group and event presentation,” said Ian. Another of the group’s members called Tracy the “quiet achiever”.

There was much conjecture around how long Tracy has been secretary and we landed at twenty-five years. She first got involved through her friend Jacqui Thompson who asked her to help out. Over the next twenty-five years Tracy has evolved into secretary extraordinaire, winning Dressage’s Volunteer of the Year in 2012. Everyone spoken to at Dressage Wellington gave glowing reports about Tracy’s huge contribution to their group.

Ian is described by ESNZ Dressage’s Partnership Facilitator Celine Filbee as “one of those blokes that you cannot help but like. He is modest, funny, lively and a real energiser”.

Ian said he enjoys leading the Wellington group because they are” cohesive and passionate about getting things done. Wairarapa are also a driven unit and they have a strong leader in Wendy Jeffery”.

Tracy said she very much enjoys the people side of her volunteer role and loves working with the Dressage Wellington committee, who she describes as “hardworking, engaged and passionate about dressage”.

ESNZ Volunteer of the Month receives a gift in recognition of their contribution; Ian’s and Tracy’s are on their way to them.

You can nominate your ESNZ Volunteer of the Month by emailing us at [email protected]  with Volunteer of the Month in the subject line.

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