A lot of changes are coming up in the near future. Very soon we should have a new constitution that will make some adjustments to our governance structure and system. More importantly, with the 'retirement' of Mary Seefried and Kerry Brydon from the National Board - under our constitution, both have to take a compulsory break for at least one year - none of the Directors of the 'original' non-representative skills-based Board appointed in 2004 will be there to share their knowledge and experience with the others.
It takes a lot of time and hard work to build something up.
We now enjoy excellent relationships with key stakeholders like the Australian Government, the Australian Sports Commission, other government agencies like Animal Health Australia and AQIS, the Australian Olympic Committee, the Australian Paralympic Committee, the FEI, many National Federations, etc. etc. We have a High Performance Program that has been helping our sport to achieve better and better results, we have National Coaching and Officiating schemes that are steadily growing and are improving the quality of coaches and officials, we have dedicated National Office staff that deliver these and many other services that simply did not exist in 2002.
So I hope that the new Board will get the right people elected to it, people who understand the functions and activities of our national organisation and what is important for the sport as a whole. They must have the required knowledge and experience. The new Directors will learn that what happens at the national and international level is quite different from the activities carried out by and within the Branches.
Club, Association and Coach Insurance
The insurance renewal documentation is now available for download from our web (Club Insurance Pack, National and State Associations Insurance Pack, Coach Registration and Insurance Pack). Our office will also be sending out printed versions to all those coaches, clubs and other member organisations who joined our insurance scheme last year. Please send in your renewal promptly, as we will have to pay a substantial portion of the premium soon.
As in previous years, the club rates are set in a way that is designed to reflect the risk. Organisations with more members, more horse events, more horses at event pay more than those with lower numbers. Because of a greater than expected uptake of insurance last year, we can continue to offer a renewal rebate of 10 percent. Our initiative of rewarding clubs, which meet 'EA Premium Club' conditions, with a further 33 percent discount seems to have encouraged more clubs to pursue these targets and become better clubs in the process. The number is now more than half of the clubs covered. Congratulations!
Other Club and Event news
Our web can now generate Google maps for club addresses and event venue locations provided they are entered into the system properly. Not much use where a postal address is recorded and the club site or event venue is several kilometres away. PO Box addresses direct you to the post office - amazing.
Magic Millions Sport Horse Sale on again in 2010
Organisers of the inaugural Magic Millions Sport Horse Sale at the Gold Coast earlier this month were happy with the response they event received. New undertakings of this nature require some time to develop. It is, therefore, good news that the organisers have decided to continue the sale next year, probably in a different format and possibly earlier in the year.
Kentucky Tickets go on sale this month
Sales will commence 25 September 2009. The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Gems web address is http://www.alltechfeigames.com/
Ticket prices for each of the eight world championships, as well as Opening and Closing Ceremonies, are now available. You can find a detailed pricing list here.
Other events in September
For a more complete list, please check the event calendar on the National or Branch web but I will mention the Sydney International Three-Day Event 11-13 and the first-ever Equestrian Australia Para-Equestrian Championships 23-27 September, both at SIEC.
Very soon, we will have an arrangement with the FEI to have FEI TV shown through our web system. If you subscribe to FEI TV on OUR web (or renew) instead of the FEI web, you are registered as an Australian user and Equestrian Australia gets a small commission. Since this does not cost you any more than it would if you subscribed with the FEI directly, why not help us???? We hope to have some Australian content added from time to time.
Equestrian Australia Web System now regularly records 2 million page views a month
Our web system now has over 60 sites able to access event and horse information. National news items 'cascade' to Branch webs and then with Branch news to Club webs.
We are in the process of a comprehensive Information Technology (IT) review that will lead to major improvements of our database and web functionality. Having to synchronise to different data systems has caused problems from time to time. Better integration will lead to more reliable on-line use of data, including entries and entry checking (financial/qualification) and membership renewals. I sat down on a lazy Sunday afternoon and drew up a chart with options.
Supporters and Sponsors
Before I close, though, I would like to thank our funding agencies, sponsors and supporters for their continued assistance. The Australian Sports Commission is our Principal Sponsor and we hope that High Performance funding and other grants will continue beyond the next funding cycle.
Many thanks also to the Australian Olympic Committee, who apart from organising the Australian Delegation to go to the Games is also involved in securing more funding to guarantee Australia's medal success at future Games.
We are also looking forward to a continued good working relationship with the Australian Paralympic Committee in the management of the Para-Equestrian high performance program.
We hope our partnerships with our commercial sponsors can be strengthened further in this Olympiad.
So in summary, we would like to mention
For more news and other information, please visit our 'new' web www.equestrian.org.au or your 'new' State Branch web (www.[state].equestrian.org.au).
Make it a good day!
Chief Executive Officer