2023 Annual General Assembly Wrap up

The 72nd Annual General Assembly was held on Thursday, September 21st 2023 at the James Cook Hotel, Wellington with the following key outcomes:


Patron – Mrs Jennifer Millar, CNZM

President – Mrs Sue Hobson

Vice-President – Mrs Lynda Clark


Don Robertson                  –              Convenor

Glenda Jones                     –             Dressage

Sue Billingheimer              –              Endurance

Nick Pyke                             –              Eventing

Gus Taylor                           –              Jumping

Andrew Bruce                    –              Appointed and Treasurer

Tony Roberts                      –              Eventing Canterbury

Sam Pascoe                       –             Jumping Canterbury

Cherie Pearson                  –              Dressage Canterbury


Toni McIntosh                   –              Convenor

John Williamson               –            Dressage

Kate Honour                       –              Endurance

Jenny Draper                      –              Eventing

Paul Croucher                    –              Jumping

Mark King                            –              Co-opted and Treasurer

Cathy Vennell                     –              Co-opted

Debbie & Peter Barke      –              Co-opted

Colin McIntosh                  –              Co-opted


The AGA adopted the proposed new Constitution.

The ESNZ Board now has 60 days in which to register the new Constitution with the Registrar of the Incorporated Societies.

Click here to view the new Constitution.

A special acknowledgement was made to the Constitution Working Group and staff that had been working on this project.


Honorary Life Membership is granted in recognition and appreciation of outstanding service by a person for the benefit of ESNZ and or equestrian sport in New Zealand. 

The recipients of Honorary Life Membership for 2023 were:

Tim Pearce

Tim is very passionate and has given his heart and soul to our sport.  In his 40 years servicing the equine industry, Tim has been extensively involved with Show Jumping teams internationally. He’s been the Show Jumping Vet to Team New Zealand, and he’s been to the Olympics three times.  He has spent a lot of time overseas in the roles of team Show Jumping vet and taking individuals to World Cup Final.  Tim travelled with Catrina McLeod to Stockholm for the World Cup Final.  He has also been an international selector for many years.

He has been on the Jumping Board.  He has been Chair and a very active member of the Central Districts area group for decades and has done lots locally for the sport.  Tim has given many hours to both his area show, and the Manawatu A&P, including when it held a World Cup in Palmerston North at the show grounds. He has competed to World Cup level and had several wins at Grand Prix level. 

Tim has also been ESNZ’s representative of the NZ Equine Research Foundation since 2008 and is the current Chairman.

This year Tim has been celebrated for being an equine vet for 40years and was awarded the Brian Goulden award for outstanding NZ equine veterinarian.  Tim develops close relationships with his clients, and he’s passionate about helping them achieve on-going high performance of their horses.

Tim is married to Trish who is also a vet and a keen equestrian. He spends most of his spare time with his family, training, riding and managing their own racehorses, show jumpers and hunters.  They have been big advocates for our sport all their lives.

Tim Pearce is presented his Honorary Life Membership by ESNZ Chair, Lynda Clark.

Ross Coles

Ross has been a steward at Ellerslie Racecourse since age 14, was a champion show jumper, has managed Olympic eventing teams and is head of the Pakuranga Hunt, as was his father. 

Ross has been a Chef d’Equipe for several jumping teams to Australia, both senior and young rider teams, when there were a number of teams travelling across the Tasman.  Ross was team manager when the New Zealand team of Mark Todd, Blyth Tait, Andrew Nicholson and Vaughn Jefferis won gold at the World Championships in Rome.  He was also team manager at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000.

Ross has been a World Cup course designer, and latterly a TD, a role he still fulfils.

Ross is still very active with organising the Horse of the Year, both setting the schedule and running the show and loves solving a good RAS issue as part of the appeal committee. In 2018, he was inducted into the Horse of the Year Hall of Fame.

Ross Coles is presented his Honorary Life Membership by ESNZ President, Sue Hobson.

Leicester Jarden

Leicester is a long-time supporter of ESNZ and has worked from grassroots level through to a high level of administration and course designing.

Leicester’s passion for the sport started at Waikanae Pony Club where, with his wife Joy, he supported the riding careers of his four daughters.  Leicester instilled an enthusiasm in not only his daughters, but also other members of the Pony Club. 

Whilst Chairman of Waikanae Pony Club Leicester ignited his passion for Course Design.  It was with a group of the Waikanae Pony Club children that he started designing and making his own set of show jumps.  In 1974, Leicester became a registered course designer with ESNZ and with his beautifully crafted set of jumps he started to travel the country.

In 1983, Leicester was nominated as an International Course Designer and for 30 years has been building a high standard of courses for International Competition including FEI World Cup Events.  In 1993, he became the Showjumping Director at the Horse of the Year and remained in this post for five years. 

His International Course Designing has also taken him around the world to Spruce Meadows in Canada in 1987, the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 where he was assistant course designer, and the Adelaide Royal Show in 2004.  Most importantly, Leicester has been instrumental in bringing on new course designers to the sport through his willingness to mentor and impart this knowledge to others.

Leicester was the Vice President of Equestrian Sports New Zealand from 1987 to 1990 and was also a Director of ESNZ Jumping from 1992 to 1998.

Leicester was an active member of the Wellington/Horowhenua Showjumping Group and rarely missed a committee meeting.   Leicester was the Ring 1 (main premier arena) Course designer for this group for over 30 years. 

In 2012, Leicester was awarded one of ESNZ’s most prestigious awards, the Pilmer Plate Volunteer Lifetime Award.  He then went on to be awarded the David Ross Memorial Trophy at the 2014 Horse of the Year Hall of Fame Gala Awards for his dedication to being a long-time volunteer at the Horse of the Year Show.


Heather McDonald and Fiona Bentley accept the Honorary Life Membership on behalf of Leicester Jarden. Leicester was Heather’s mentor in Course Designing.

Jane Robertson

Jane’s passion for Stewarding has been a major contributor to the status of Stewarding, as an Official’s role.

Her impetus to become an FEI Steward can be attributed to the input of Alan Hampton, who told Jane to “get on with it, you can do this, and you’d be good at it!”.  The rest is history, a four-decade journey!

Jane first became involved with Pony Club when her two sons became members at Springston Pony Club in the mid 1980s. During her time at the Club, Jane was a great Pony Club Mum, eager to help wherever required, as a committee member, scorer at Events and any other role required, including Club Office Bearer.

Jane’s role as a Steward began in the late 1980s to early 1990s.  This was at the time of the inception of the roles of Stewards as Officials. She was heavily involved in writing manuals, developing protocols for Stewarding as a response to the sport recognising the need for Stewards at events. Her input related to both ESNZ systems and at FEI level. She personified the Stewards motto; help, prevent, intervene. She is always calm, knowledgeable, and fair in her approach.

Jane has served as NZ Steward General for both Dressage and Eventing. FEI records are only available from 2010 to present day. Jane is listed as Dressage Steward General from 2010-2019 when she stepped aside. I am sure from my conversations with her that she was in the role prior to 2010. A similar situation exists with the Eventing Steward General role. Jane retired from the Eventing Steward General role in 2014.

Her role as Steward General for both disciplines encompassed not only officiating at Events, but also as a facilitator at many NZ national and FEI Officials education seminars. Her contributions also extended to the process of revising and updating ESNZ sport rules for both Dressage and Eventing.

She had a passion for supporting, developing, and growing the Stewarding fraternity, and gave generously to that end. There are many Stewards who are privileged to have had Jane as a mentor.

Jane has also long been involved with stewarding at Springston Trophy, a Pony Club teams Eventing competition, held annually by South Island Pony Clubs and also NZPCA Eventing Championships. She contributes at grass roots level as willingly as she does at the top FEI level!

Jane has been Chief Steward many times at ESNZ national championship events in both Dressage and Eventing.

She has travelled the world in her role. She was a Steward at the 2010 WEG in Kentucky. She has stewarded at major events, Kentucky, Badminton, Burghley, Blenheim and others. Her work is held with respect and high regard by many in the world equestrian community.

At the recent 2023 ESNZ Dressage AGM, Jane was presented the Kay Fissenden Award, in recognition to her outstanding contribution to Dressage.

Janet Robertson accepting the Honorary Life Membership Award on behalf of Jane Robertson.


 The draft minutes of 72nd Annual General Assembly are available here.