Some interesting news came through yesterday…
Is this out of the blue?
Well, probably not so much…
The Board of EA has been going through a tumultuous… err… number of years. People are constantly stepping up and then resigning. Claims of misspent funding, blockades to progress and denied requests for transparency are rife.
In April 2019, Ricky MacMillan (a previous Olympian and WEG rider for dressage) was appointed to the board and it seemed like member prayers had been answered. Ricky had been a dedicated and involved member of horse sports for so long and had shown true commitment to getting the organisation running in support of the members it so willingly takes money from. By November 2019 she had been appointed to Chair of the EA Board.
She was the third chair in 18 months to resign from the board.
It took 6 months for them to squeeze her out.
What is going on up there?
Well I guess this sentence probably gives it away…
“This follows the withdrawal of funding by Sports Australia, which had formed a view that, until the organisation is both representative of the membership and stable in governance and operation, they could not in good faith continue to contribute public funds”
I have to say, though… they’re spot on.
Equestrian Australia doesn’t seem to be serving much purpose to anyone at this point in time.
Grass roots riders are frustrated at the ever escalating cost of events but are not being afforded the transparency as to why these costs are escalating. If you then compare this to the average cost of HRCAV run events (which are both numerous and well supported in numbers) it is safe to say people are getting pissed.
The assumption was long held that the bulk of the funding was being committed to elite riders until the elite riders have then stepped forward to say they also aren’t receiving funding unless they are considered to be in medal contention. Yet Equestrian Australia was apparently supposed to receive $3.2M in taxpayer money to support the High Performance program.
So, where is this money going?
And then, next thing you know, the state branches are getting involved and saying this doesn’t effect them as they are separate entities.
What the dickens is happening here?
So, apparently we have an overarching governing Board which is facing solvency issues and yet our state bodies are stable? A similar statement from Equestrian Victoria has also been issued to members.
Our high performance riders are now being overseen by the AIS, so hopefully this won’t effect what is happening in the pursuit of Tokyo 2021 but I honestly don’t know what is going to happen from here.
Members rely on insurance to ride, coaches rely on insurance to teach and apparently this is going to be handled and yet our National Body may be going under or heavily reconstructed for… who knows how long?
I thought I had a relatively solid understanding of the relationship between the overarching body and the state branches but guys.
I am CONFUSED.