MARCH 2021

EO Update

It has been a very challenging year for sport due to the pandemic and bush fires.  We continue to adapt during these times in the pursuit of providing opportunities for our members.  We hoped 2021 would bring some relief to the unpredictability caused by the ever changing environment from the pandemic.  It appears we may have to wait for a little longer for this to happen.  No doubt some of the adjustments will change the way work and play, it is inevitable.  With change comes a challenge that we will need to overcome if we are to remain relevant.
It’s been almost four months since I started with ESA, during which time we have conducted four Board meetings, three Multidiscipline meetings and one Finance Risk and Audit Committee meeting.  The progress we have made from these meetings has been encouraging. I want to acknowledge the work of the Board, Discipline Committees and the ESA team during this transition period as there have been a number of challenges that have required our resilience and patience. 
There were a number of significant events during this period, the Horse of the Year, the Jumping State Championships and the Gillian Rolton Youth Development Scholarship Program.  Congratulations to the organising committee, working party, Discipline Committees and the participants in being part of these events and programs.  Great effort.
Many of the participants in the Gillian Rolton Youth Development Scholarship Program were recognised at the recent ESA Awards Night.  I had the opportunity to meet a number of the Equestrian community at the Awards Night from the 214 people that attended.  It was a great way to acknowledge the aspiring young riders and the longevity of our volunteers including our members that are no longer with us.
As you may be aware Robyn Berwick departed ESA after a number of years in the Finance role, we wish her good health and all the very best for the future.  We are currently reviewing the functions and strategic priorities of ESA before we determine how best to fill this position.
I look forward to working with all of you.
Julie (EO ESA)



The Gillian Rolton Youth Development Program was held on the 16th and 17th of January at Mallala Equestrian Centre. 
The Successful Applications who participated in the weekend were: Hannah Conlon, Sophia Craddock, Maisy Davies, Lisa Dewhurst, Abigail Lewis, Alexandra Morris, Regan O’Brien, Millicent Quigley-Smith, Brooke Spencer & Chloe Wedd.
Congratulations also to Harry Beckel and Kate Crauford, who were successful in application but withdrew from the weekend. 


It was an informative weekend that was well received by all finalists.  We were fortunate to have World Cup rider Paul Brent make the trip from Victoria to coach the riders for the weekend. The riders gained a great deal of new knowledge and experience under his guidance all of whom taking advice and things to work on away from the clinic.  With such an accomplished and hard-working group of young riders it was a difficult decision for the state selector Michelle Clark and Coach; Paul Brent.

Abigail Lewis  - MEC Gossip at the Gillian Rolton Youth Development Weekend

Abigail Lewis was awarded the scholarship on the basis of both performances over and prior to the weekend as well as knowledge and overall presentation. Thank you also to Mrs Rae Brice and Michelle and Tim Clark providing the use of the Mallala Equestrian Centre facilities for the weekend. We thank everyone involved with running this event including Michelle Clark, Paul Brent and guest speakers Conor Reed and Sarah Wigney, past recipients of the award. 


The South Australian State Championships were held over the 30th of October to the 1st of November at the picturesque Wirrina Cove Holiday Park a change from its usual venue of the Wayville showgrounds. Despite a smaller event than usual, due to the absence of interstate riders under COVID-19 restrictions, it was a successful weekend of competition. The Senior State Championship was won by Anthony Thomas riding SL Donato and the Junior and Young Rider state championships were won by Regan O’Brien and Conor Reed respectively. We look forward to the 2021 State Championship to be held later this year. 
For up to date information, please like and follow the Jumping Facebook page.

Congratulations to all the 2020 Interschool riders who won awards at the annual ESA Awards presentation night.
Interschool Dressage
Primary - Harry Manning - Rivington Posy
Intermediate - Jess McCleave - Langtree Shiraz
Secondary - Maddison Collins - Hyalla Autumn Night
Interschool Eventing
Chelsea Clarke - Highfield Chiquita’s Chico’s
Interschool Combined Training
Primary - Rivington Little Bird
Secondary - Amelie Morelli - Wes
Interschool Show Horse
Primary Show Horse - Harry Manning - Rivington Posy
Primary Working Hunter - Harry Manning - Rivington Little Bird
Intermediate Show Horse - Ella Manning - Ettrick Nightingale
Intermediate Working Hunter - Ella Manning -Wychwood
Secondary Show Horse - Kate Kyros - Kolbeach Holly’s Diamond
Interschool Show Jumping
Primary - Ella Beissel - Pretty Hill Hazelwood
Secondary - Maisy Davies - Tik of Approval
Interschool School of the Year : Pembroke

Pembroke School Riders - Winners of the Interschool Schools Award 2020
Image credit: Keryn Stevens Photography - ESA Awards night.

Interschool provides an excellent starting platform for grassroots riders to experience and compete in a variety of disciplines.
It is pleasing to see that Interschool have a large number of new combinations registered and out competing for their respective schools for the first time on 2021.  Interschool has nearly double the registered riders compared to the same time last year which is proving very exciting for the upcoming season.
The season has kicked off with our first Dressage competition held at Danson Dressage and a combined training event kindly hosted by AHDC at Strathalbyn.
The show jumping, show horse and eventing calendars begin shortly with several interschool events being hosted at Lucindale, Angaston and Mundulla Ag Shows.
Good luck to all the competitors. If you have any questions, please contact the committee via email:

For up to date information, please like and follow the Interschool Facebook page.
Show Horse

It has been  busy start to 2021 for ESA Show Horse. Commencing the year with our Gillian Rolton Youth Development Weekend and a Paul Austin Clinic. For the first time in many years the YD weekend was oversubscribed and we were thrilled to see 11 talented upcoming show horse riders participate in the lessons and off horse learning experiences. Similarly the Paul Austin Clinic was well received by those who attended and we look forward to bringing more interstate coaches to provide training opportunities to our members throughout the year.

Many Show Horse representatives were present at the ESA Annual Awards Dinner and we were very grateful to have Paul Austin in attendance to help present the Show Horse awards. Congratulations to all our Show Horse and Rider of the Year recipients and our Gillian Rolton Youth Development winner, Ella Manning.

In February, the first Gala Show of the season was held at Mt Pleasant, with overwhelming numbers showing the strength and quality of Show Horse in South Australia. The judges were kept busy trying to separate what they described as the ‘very best quality that South Australia has to offer’. We were excited to see many promising newcomers, ‘Track to Hack’ thoroughbreds and some of our most decorated Royal Show Champions out competing. We gave away over $1600 in cash as well as prizes, garlands, sashes and rosettes. The media wall once again proved a hit, with many gorgeous photos taken by the talented Kerri Afford.

Lucy Potter & Argyl Fine Art and Shanae                           Eloise Giustozzi & Belarusian 
Richards & Lawral Park Harry Potter  

Orleans Graetz & Carona Park Victory                   Keeley Menadue & Thorne Park Dance All Night             

Brodie Kittel & Treelea Park Elite                                             Lesley Burrows & Torque

Acacia Hryhorec & Jettyjettybangbang and                  Lauren Thomson & Differing Fortunes
Gayle Manning & Mint Lad     

Jacki Anderson & Poitier                                                  Nyah Clark & Anjara Park Euphoria

Amy Shadbolt & Zabeelionaire                                Shanae Richards & Lawral Park Harry Potter 

Melissa Harding & Danson Dakota, Sienna Nordhausen & Rivington Pop and Heidi Niejalke & Ariston Liaison
All images above have been supplied by professional photographer Kerri Afford. 

Planning is well underway for our September Horse of the Year, which we anticipate to be ‘bigger & better’ than ever. If you are interested in the future of Show Horse in South Australia and feel you have the skills to join a positive, progressive working party team please email

For up to date information about Show Horse, please follow and like the Equestrian SA Show Horse Facebook page.



Naracoorte Horse trials incorporating SA State Championships, 
November 14-15

Having been unable to run in May due to Covid, riders of all levels were delighted when the Naracoorte Horse Trials committee went the extra mile to run their event in November instead. It was a somewhat bittersweet weekend, with many lamenting not being at the Australian International Three-Day Event which was originally scheduled for this date, while at the same time rejoicing to have an event including all the star classes to attend at all.

Thankfully they just managed to pull it off with a hard lockdown declared the day after Naracoorte’s conclusion. 

The weekend itself was enjoyed by riders and horses alike, with the polo-grounds and Strathyre providing excellent ground for all three phases despite running six months later than usual. Particular thanks to the owners of farming property Strathyre for accommodating the disruption of the cross-country phase to their seasonal harvest. With extreme heat and storms set to roll in on the Saturday, the more demanding star classes were moved earlier in the day to minimise risk to all horses’ welfare. State Champions of 2020 were eventually crowned despite a significantly disrupted year, a much needed morale boost for the SA eventing community.

Our Eventing State Champions for 2020 are:

  • EvA 65 Div 1 Leigh Beissel on Kirby Park Cherry Blossom
  • EvA65 Div 2 Eliza Spears on Rhesa Spears
  • EvA 80 Claire Nitschke on West Side Vision
  • EvA 95 Chelsea Clarke on Highfield Chicota’s Chico
  • CCN1* Audrey Simon -Nicolai on Insidious Ghost
  • CCN1* Junior Courtney Munroe on Belrieve Squeak
  • CCN2* Megan Jones on Toulando
  • CCN3* Sarah Clark on Cassage S
  • CCN4* Megan Jones on Kirby Park Impress

Photo credit: Naracoorte Horse Trials
Di Schaeffer presenting the 2* State Championship rug to Megan Jones and Toulando.

Wallaby Hill International long and short formats, December 3-6

None were more pleased the hard lockdown ended early, than our SA riders with their sights set on Wallaby Hill International. The organisers of the New South Wales event and the owners of the idyllic property were never in doubt that Covid restrictions would yield to their schedule and seemed prepared to combat any potential imposition, even going so far as to issue all attendees with Wallaby Hill brand face-masks. 4* course designer Mike Etherington-Smith was (like many in 2020) working from home, collaborating remotely from the UK with the on site course builders. 

Armed with government travel permits, South Australian riders started in all the available star classes from 1* to 4*, ultimately with Sarah Clark on Cassage S and Wendy Schaeffer-MacDonald on Sun Quest finishing just outside the final placings in the CIC3*S, at 8th and 11th respectively. While in the 4*L Megan Jones on Kirby Park Impress finished 6th with Sarah Clark on LV Balou Jeanz finishing just behind on 7th

It was a world class event, the standard of competition in no way diminished by the year of Covid. Appropriate too, that stalwart of the sport Di Schaeffer was in attendance, to all appearances as robust, insurmountable, and as valued a presence as ever. 


Camperdown Horse Trials, December 12-13

Our Victorian counterparts, having endured the most severe national Covid restrictions, leapt at the opportunity to run their Camperdown Horse trials as soon as government regulations allowed. Two SA eventers took the chance to attend one last event before the Christmas Holidays. For Danni Hampton and Wynara Bronze Medal the journey (and government travel permits) proved worthwhile, finishing in the top ten in the CNC2* and bringing a bizarre 2020 eventing season to a close. 


The ESA Awards Night gave us a chance to celebrate eventing successes for the 2020 year.

Chelsea Clarke took the Gillian Rolton Youth Development Scholarship.
Congratulations to all the young riders who participated.

Audrey Nicolai-Simon & Insidious Ghost, 1* trophy for combination of the year.
Horse of the year went to Kirby Park Impress piloted by Megan Jones.
Tasha Khouzam Memorial Trophy for young rider of the year went to Chloe Jong.
 Anna Savage Memorial Trophy for rider of the year went to Sarah Clark.

1* Combination of 2020 - Audrey Nicolai-Simon and Insidious Ghost

Horse of the Year - Kirby Park Impress piloted by Megan Jones

Rider of the year 2020 -  Sarah Clark     Image Credit: Manning Photography

Young Rider of the Year - Chloe Jong

Chloe Jong - Winner of the Tasha Khouzam Young Rider of the Year Memorial Trophy with Helen & John Khouzam

We can’t conclude this review without mentioning Di Schaeffer, who posthumously won the Jim Dunn memorial Trophy.

Di’s energy, passion, knowledge, sheer hard work, and tenacity will be greatly missed in SA eventing. She certainly met all the criteria for a Jim Dunn Memorial Trophy winner. She surely will continue to watch over eventers and be critiquing from above.

Image credit: Keryn Stevens Photography - ESA Awards night.
Bob Schaeffer and Wendy Schaeffer McDonald receiving the Jim Dunn memorial Trophy on behalf of Di Schaeffer.

For SA Eventing updates and latest information, please like and follow the Eventing Facebook page.


Evolution Animal Care SA Dressage State Championships will be held on March 27th and 28th at Mt Crawford Dressage Club.   
April 17 Judges Jackpot—This competition is designed to get judges their much needed shadow judging and prerequisites done to help with the upgrade process and with a cash prizes and limited numbers  its  likely  to be popular will with riders as well as the judges.

April 18—After having to cancel in November due to COVID the much anticipated ‘A judges view’ masterclass with Mary Seefried will be held at McLaren Park starting at 1.30pm.
April 23 FEI and Freestyle Friday—Starting on Friday afternoon at the picturesque McLaren Park       Equestrian Park  this boutique competition will start  with  an FEI HOTY round and feature freestyles into the evening. 

Just a quick reminder that the new rules are now out! If you wish to update yourselves, please follow the link below.
Of particular interest are the new helmet rule (5.2.h) and spur colours have changed slightly (5.10.1.a).
After all it’s the riders responsibility to be aware of the rules, so please have a read so we are all up to date.

The next HOTY event in the calendar is Dressage @ Dawn and Dusk followed closely by the State Championships at the end of March.
After much deliberation and collaboration  DSA have been hard at it to come up with a wonderful competition for our AOR riders!
AOR riders now have 2 Horse and Rider of the Year awards. These are annual awards where riders gain points at different competitions through out the year. The new Foundation Horse and Rider of the Year has been designed expressly for our grass roots AOR riders at the Preliminary and Novice levels while the AOR Horse and Rider of the Year is for the more experienced AOR's in elementary through to Advanced. Entries to the 2021 HOTY awards is via nominate.


For all the latest in Dressage, please like and follow the Dressage Facebook page.



Vaulting has been at a standstill since Covid hit due to the high contact nature of our sport. In the past few months we have finally been able to return to group events with a successful Youth Development Scholarship. A great weekend packed full of intensive coaching for our 5 participants. Congratulations to Lily Moore for winning the scholarship. 

Winner - Lily Moore with Skye Barrowcliffe & Sophie Thomson (Coaches)

Lily Moore: Gillian Rolton Youth Development - Vaulting Winner 2020

Vaulting - Gillian Rolton Youth Development Scholarship Finalists - 2020 

With things slowly starting to get to normal we have our first competition on March 28th at Danson Dressage. This will be our first competition to be held in SA in over a year and we are all looking forward to it. We encourage anyone who would like to see what vaulting is all about to attend. Follow our Facebook page for more details in the lead up to the event.

The committee has lots of events planned throughout the year to help our sport grow with a focus on new membership. 
If you have ever wanted to give vaulting a go or find out more about the sport then get in contact with us at

For all the latest on Vaulting, follow and like the Vaulting Facebook page.

Carriage Driving

Several Ag Shows are coming up in the next few weeks which will have Harness classes- Angaston ,Mannum and Tanunda. EA affiliated club Angas are hosting a Harness show at Mylor Oval on the 28th March . This will include Heavy Horse classes.

Two Awards for Carriage Driving were awarded at the ESA Awards Night in January.
Anne Lindh and Acrobat -  Show Pony and Driver of the Year
Lisa McDonald and Lochsloy Lucien - Dressage Pony and Driver of the Year.

Lisa McDonald & Locksloy Lucien            Photo Credit: Georgina Downey

Lisa McDonald & Anne Lindh - Awards Night Winners   
Photo Credit: Keryn Stevens Photography

For information about Angas Harness show at Mylor contact Jackie Boyd on 0439894544

For all the latest on Driving, follow and like the Carriage Driving Facebook page.

Dressage Judges

The following seminars are planned for 2021 and hopefully there will be no program changes due to COVID19! Judges at all levels, coaches and riders are all welcome to attend.  Seminars are a great opportunity for everyone to learn about how dressage training is assessed. If you are interested in becoming a dressage judge and can attend the seminar on 13th March, please contact the Dressage Judges Subcommittee via our email  For more details see the Dressage SA Facebook page

  • F/G Seminar – 13th March with Barrie Stratton at Cromwell Park, 9:30am registration for 10:00am start.   For new G, current G and current F.  To help this group of judges progress we will also work with AHDC on the following Sunday at Strathalbyn to help with coordination with Sit-in and Shadow-Judge opportunities.
  • A/B Seminar – 24th April with Maria Schwennesen – at McLaren Park Equestrian Centre
  • Young Horse Seminar – 25th April with Maria Schwennesen – at McLaren Park EC
  • E/F/G Regional Seminar – 22nd May with Felicity Yuncken – MCDC at Naracoorte.
  • D/E Seminar – 12th June – details TBA.
Each year a new version of the Dressage Rules is released and it is important for anyone involved in the sport to download and check on changes.  The Rules and a summary are available at

Coaching Committee Update

Coaches, Coach Educators & Skill Specific Trainor Assessors:
 A reminder to Coaches, Coach Educators and Skill Specific Trainor Assessors that they will need to attend their mandatory updates before the end of June 2021.  As we receive information from EA National office, we will advise dates ASAP.   The proposed dates for these updates will be finalised before the end of March so that all Coaches, CE’s and SSTA’s are able to organise to attend.

We are encouraging all coaches to complete their ‘Coach Profile’ for the ESA website.  This is a fantastic opportunity for coaches to have their coaching information on the official ESA website and it helps to promote the wealth and depth of knowledge, experience and diversity of coaches we are lucky enough to have here in South Australia.  Email your profile or any questions to the ESACC at

New Coaches, Fast tracking to Level 1, Upgrading Coaching qualifications:
Are you interested in becoming an ESA coach, upgrading your coaching qualifications or fast tracking your coaching pathway to ESA Level 1?   We are trying to encourage coaches to continue on their EA Coaching journey and increase their qualifications and skills.  The ESA Coaching committee are in the process of organising opportunities for all coaches to upgrade, fast track or commence their coaching training.  Stay tuned for dates coming soon.
ESA Coaching Committee:   Are you a coach or working towards become one? Would you like to become a part of a small and friendly committee, committed to everything coaching?  Come and join us and become a member of the ESA Coaching Committee.
For more information email the ESACC 

If you have read the November/December 2020 “In the Arena” EA National Coaches Newsletter, then you may be asking questions about the removal of the EA “waivers”.  We are asking questions on your behalf and are endeavouring to get more information on the “Waiver” situation so that we can keep you all informed.  If you are unsure how this will affect you, please contact the ESACC or EA National. 

Incident & Concussion Reporting: 
Every coach should have by now received information regarding the new EA Incident and Concussion reporting process.  Training and support using the new reporting process will be available for all EA coaches in early 2021 from the EA National office. 


Gillian Rolton Youth Development Scholarship Programme 

Equestrian SA is proud to present the Gillian Rolton AM - Youth Development Programme for 2020 in honour of South Australian Dual Olympian Gillian Rolton AM. 

The Board of Equestrian SA is delighted to continue to honour Gills courage and dedication through this scholarship programme and giving all our young riders the opportunity to further their knowledge and ability through their chosen discipline.

Although a challenging year, the following disciplines held a very successful weekend of fun and learning, with the attendance of some very high quality Interstate and local coaches. 
We would like to especially thank Paul Brent - Jumping, Sam Lyle - Eventing, Sophie Thomson & Skye Barrowcliffe - Vaulting, Tamsin Adcock & Julia Weir - Dressage and Paul Austin - Show Horse

Congratulations to all the Winners of the Gillian Rolton Youth Development Scholarship 2020

                 Eventing - Chelsea Clarke              Dressage - Keeley Menadue

                     Vaulting – Lily Moore                      Jumping – Abigail Lewis

                                Show Horse – Ella Manning & Paul Austin

Job Vacancy - High Performance Dressage Manager

The EA High Performance Program (HP) is currently seeking a knowledgeable High Performance Dressage Manager to join our team.
The High Performance Dressage Manager is a part-time role and will be responsible for jointly leading all aspects of the HP Dressage Program, relevant to the preparation and performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the World Equestrian Games 2022; including the management and maintenance of key stakeholder relationships.
Click on the link below for a full position description, that is listed on the EA website 
or on LinkedIn here: 
Applications close Friday 19th March 2021 and resumes should be sent to the HP Sport Manager, Dianne Saunders  
Please feel free to share this information with those you think may be interested in applying.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me,
Kind regards,
Kirsty Pasto
High Performance Media and Communications Manager 
Equestrian Australia
+33 6 47 05 20 26 
Sports SA Hall of Fame Night

Members of Equestrian SA recently attended the South Australian Sport Hall of Fame to celebrate the unveiling of the HOF wall at Adelaide Oval, a prominent position for public viewing. 

The HOF included inductees Wendy Schaeffer and Gillian Rolton. Membership of the South Australian Hall of Fame represents the highest level of recognition.

The Hall of Fame recognises and promotes the outstanding achievements of this State's greatest athletes and general members who have made significant contributions to South Australia. 

We congratulate Wendy and Gillian once again for this recognition.



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