Willinga Park in conjunction with Equestrian Australia (EA) are excited to announce a significant $250,000 donation from Terry Snow, the owner of the Willinga Park Equestrian Centre and Stock and Performance Horse Stud on the NSW South Coast.
The funds will contribute to ensuring Australian safety initiatives in equestrian sport, (particularly Eventing), are recognised internationally.
The funding will initially allow EA to employ a part-time safety officer over the next 3 years, and builds on previous FEI (Fédération Équestre Internationale) initiatives.
The donation will also allow EA to increase its investment in research and development that seeks to reduce the risk of injury to riders and horses during the cross country phase of Eventing.
EA’s safety program is a partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation which is the only sports body where donors received a tax deduction for donations to registered fundraising programs. Donations to EA’s safety program can be made at https://asf.org.au/project/making-eventing-safer
Equestrian Australia Chief Executive Officer, Paula Ward, said mitigating risk within the competition arena was a core responsibility for the organisation, and the donation would have a significant, positive and lasting impact on the sport, allowing us to work towards a true systemic change.
“For the safety of our riders and for the welfare of our horses, risk management is paramount and this is particularly important within the competition environment.”
“I would like to thank Mr Snow for his generosity and support for this very important area. Equestrian Australia is aiming to implement a world class safety program, to ensure everyone involved can compete at all levels in the safest environment possible and this will give us the best possible platform to achieve this.”
Ms Ward said specific projects will be scoped over time and will be targeted to provide research and noticeable outcomes that enable risk management and safety practices for Eventing competitions.
“Projects will be developed by Equestrian Australia in consultation with Mr Snow. We hope to be able to engage with our overseas counterparts, work collaboratively on new initiatives and draw on International expertise as required.”
Mr Snow said serious injury in any sport is a tragedy.
“Sport is a wonderful activity for developing strength and fitness. It provides perseverance and discipline. When associated with horses there is a strong need to understand the horse. Riders value their horses’ health, safety and wellbeing highly”, Mr Snow said.
“Eventing combines all three Olympic disciplines and the Olympic standards should apply for all horse sports.”
“I believe it is important that we make this sport as accessible as possible, to encourage young people to participate, and to feel safe and confident that best practice safety measures are in place.”
Below photo: Paula Ward (EA CEO), Terry Snow and Olympian Chris Burton, Photo credit : Stephen Mowbray.