Turbulent times for equestrian sport in Australia | An Eventful Life

Turbulent times for equestrian sport in Australia



Following the resignations of three board members from Equestrian Australia (EA) last week the board of Equestrian Australia (EA) met on Wednesday 27th February to “determine a way forward and to ensure the ongoing business of EA was not disrupted” and is now calling for nominations for three Casual Vacancies for the position of ‘Elected Director’ on the EA Board.

Alistair MacKinlay, a former lawyer and mediator of the WA Supreme Court elected to the board of Equestrian Australia in November 2018, has been appointed Acting Chair of EA following the resignation of past Chairwoman Judy Fasher along with that of directors David Lindh and Colin Chandler.

Problems within EA have been simmering for a while over an unsuccessful sponsorship arrangement with Zoetis, manufacturers of the controversial Hendra vaccine, accusations of conflict of interest and disagreements regarding State funding.

These were compounded by tragedy within the sport with the deaths of two young riders, Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer in 2016. The Australian newspaper reported in December 2018 that “A coroner overseeing the inquest into the deaths of junior equestrian riders Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer says repeated delays by Equestrian Australia to provide ‘significant’ expert statements has become a ‘point of concern’”.

Today, Thursday 28 February 2019, the Directions hearing into the deaths of Olivia and Caitlyn is taking place before His Honour Magistrate Lee, NSW Deputy State Coroner

Legal action is also pending against Equestrian NSW by Chelsea Higgins, a young eventing rider injured during the NSW Inter-School Championships in 2010