We were excited to have the ESNZ Jumping Board together for a face to face planning session after spending the past 12 months meeting online. The ideas were bouncing around and we can’t wait to share more about this at Conference in July.
The collaboration was productive with our two new board members Thomas Gardner and Paxton Conder joining the planning session for the first time. They brought some insightful ideas in the areas of finances, marketing and sponsorship. Their experience from organising committee and rider perspectives, and through fresh eyes, contributed to some good solutions and proactive ideas for our sport.
Things for everyone and assistance for new entrants
Our sport provides for riders at many levels; high-performance to mid-level amateur/pro amateur, grassroots and potentially the woolly ponies still carrying young riders on a lead rein. Ideas for growth and participation include plans to incorporate all potential competitors and provide more assistance to getting into and enjoying both Jumping and Show Hunter.
Exciting new competitions coming this season
Also on the radar is the Secondary Schools Tournament Week which includes Equestrian Sports for the first time. Other exciting news is a teams competition brought to us by a sponsorship deal ESNZ has secured to run through the season. Details will be announced at Conference.
The Biggest Challenge
One of the biggest challenges identified in the strategy session is the lack of officials at all levels, and particularly the lack of new people coming forward. We want to find these people and support them through the pathways. They are our critical backbone. The board has set aside funding to encourage areas to bring in new officials and is developing clearer and more concise pathways through National and into FEI officials lists.
Unfortunately, this has hit our 2022-2023 World Cup League hard. After receiving expressions of interest from eight parties, and much discussion in Technical Committee and Jumping Board, we are only able to resource five of these events which will be spread from October to end of January to manage the load on our officials. Disappointing as this is we want to provide visibility and more understanding to our members.
This year the mandatory FEI requirements for each World Cup include:
1 x Foreign Judge (there are 5 listed in Australia, our nearest source, who are also in great demand within Australia)
1 x President of the Ground Jury, level 3 judge (NZ has only 2 of these)
2 x additional FEI judges (NZ has a total of 4)
5 x FEI Stewards (NZ has a total of 6)
These officials are all volunteers who have done so for many years and reached these skill levels mostly at their own cost while sacrificing time with family or other personal activities. They do it for the love of our sport and to give our riders opportunities. We need to look after these volunteers while we build more behind them. These officials are also required for roles at many other shows on our calendar. Every time they officiate, they are giving up time and, in some cases, losing income. While they may receive a minimal token payment for their day at a show this does not compensate for spending 8 – 10 hours in all-weather volunteering their skills to Jumping competitions.
We are working with the FEI and Equestrian Australia to bring more FEI upgrade courses downunder, and are pleased to say things are looking good for a Stewarding course near the end of the year.
Coming Up Soon
Traditionally this is the last board meeting where we go over the show calendar for the year as well as put plans in place to address challenges and short falls in our sport. The Draft dates card has been released for first review and is already undergoing minor adjustments. Dates will soon be announced for Officials Technical Seminars and organising committee workshops.
Workshop Sessions at Conference
There is much more to come over the next couple of months. We hope to see many of you at conference, or your representative delegate. We look forward to working more closely with you all and have workshop sessions planned to hear your challenges and priorities, as well as feedback on our ideas during the Conference.
AGM Key Dates
A reminder that items for general business, remits, nominations for awards, Board and Show Hunter Executive close on 10th June. All remits and nominations will be available on 17th June as part of the Notification of Business.
Further information about conference and any forms you require can be found here.
6th June 2022