How delighted we were on Sunday to be granted the most perfect weather for our final horse riding meet for 2018 – the Upper Hunter Working Equitation Christmas Bash! And Oh! What a Bash it was!!
Come dressed up or come as you are – all made an effort to make the day as fun and fabulous as possible with horses and riders both donned in everything from Tinsel and Baubles sewn on caps, saddles and saddle cloths, to Deer Horns and Santa Caps and Santa Socks on furry forelegs!
Our very spectacular Secretary ran the day with great success, doing all the legwork (as always!) and guiding our girls as we mastered the Working Equitation Obstacle Course set up by all who attended under the newly finished, now fully covered (and very schmick, we must say!) Muswellbrook RDA Riding Arena.
Many thanks to the RDA once again for the use of their grounds and our heartfelt thanks to Jude for giving up her own ride to make ours happen! We would be lost without both of them!
We would also like to extend a very big thank-you to Mr Phillip Haggarty of Parkville, who volunteered his time, skills and donated the materials to mount our Working Equitation bull, which we blooded in a big way on our last gig for the year! (Not Literally!!) Such a big, ‘spooky’ obstacle, a challenge to all and very well handled by both horses and riders.
Our Christmas Champagne Obstacle Course was a laugh and a half as all ladies exercised (some for the first time!!) their yet to be fully mastered (for some), one handed riding skills, making their way from one end of the arena to the other, horse in one hand, glass in the other as quickly as possible, without spilling a drop! (Plastic glasses – and water for champaigne – but still loads of fun and lots and lots of laughter as Tilley did a series of donut burnouts in the middle of the arena (having never ridden one-handed), followed by a wild gallop to the finish line with, needless to say – a then empty glass. Round two saw Robyn cross the finish line first, riding like the pro that she is, with barely a drop spilled, only to have her girl shudder and shake off the flies – and empty her glass at the critical moment of truth!
It was a photo finish (serious business – our girls are a highly competitive bunch!!) with Kel winning both her heat and the final by a nose – actually a drop – to take out the much coveted prize of… a Cattle Ranch, erm – empty plastic cup!
Best dressed rider, best dressed horse and best dressed combo was voted for over a smorgasboard style lunch. Congrats to a very shocked Sandra who won best dressed rider, Anita with best dressed horse & rider combo and Cindy with best dressed horse!
A massive spread of assorted platters and the popping of non-alcoholic sparkling fizz ensued, with prizes (lovely diffusers and scented candle!) given to our category winners as lunch was ravished by a very famished hoard of exhausted, but very satisfied ladies!
A great day was had by all who were able to attend and those who couldn’t – we missed you ladies!
Our little club has gone ahead in leaps and bounds this year and we aim to continue this trend well into the future, all of us setting our sites forward to the coming year with great enthusiasm and anticipation for a productive and enjoyable year to come!
Our final club meeting for the year will be held this Thursday at the Denman Bowling Club at 6.30 pm, where we will set our riding day dates for 2019 and iron out anything we each feel needs attending. See you all there!
Meanwhile, we wish you all and each other a very Happy Christmas and may the coming year be a fun and fruitful one full of fab times and new friendships!
As all of our members are aware UHWEC commenced our maiden year as a club under the guidance and tuition of ANWE (Australian National Working Equitation) and it’s trainers/supporters with a handful of our members competing (and most successfully!) at every level from Introductory to Debutante W. It has been a fun-filled, at times stressful, but mostly satisfying and fun year for all involved!
As those invloved with Working Equitation are aware, every club must renew it’s affiliation yearly and the vote was put to our members as to our club’s Working Equitation Affiliation selection for the 2018-2019 period at our AGM in July. It was decided that the club will make the shift from ANWE for the coming year and give the ‘new kid on the block’ a roll! We are tucking our wings under the newly founded umbrella of Working Equitation Down Under (WEDU) and look forward to seeing what fabulous delights they deliver, with our sights ferociously set on a fruitful year to come!
We would like to thank ANWE for their support in launching our little club into the industry and we welcome aboard our new overseer for 2018 – WEDU. May the coming year of riding be a fun and fulfilling partnership for all involved!
The Upper Hunter Working Equitation Club’s AGM will be held at 6.30pm on Thursday July 26th 2018, at the Denman Bowling Club. Not the change of venue! All Office Bearer and Committee positions for 2018 will be opened for re-election at this meeting. With eleven positions open, all members are encouraged to attend!
Do ensure that your 2018 Club Membership is current/renewed before the AGM, particularly if you wish to stand for election, elect another member for a position and vote!
See you all there!
Most involved with Working Equitation in Australia will be aware that the principal overseer of Working Equitation in Australia for some many years to date has been ANWE (Australian National Working Equitation). In recent months the newly founded Working Equitation organisation, WEDU (Working Equitation Down Under) has been formed separate to and alongside of the ANWE organisation; giving an alternate option for those seeking to pursue working equitation outside of the ANWE umbrella. WEDU has formed its own Working Equitation rules, guidelines and competition structure and aims to carry the sport forward in a positive way for all involved.
WEDU is a member-led, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the sport of Working Equitation throughout Australia. Their stated purpose is “…to promote the sport of Working Equitation in Australia through educational initiatives and the organisation of Working Equitation competitions throughout Australia. WEDU believe in positive inclusion and development of riders and horses at all levels, and from all backgrounds….” and have developed their own Working Equitation Rulebook which they hope “…will help our members reach their goals by providing a clear pathway up the levels with minimal disqualifications. This is our “have a go” spirit and direction, and our pledge is to treat all members ethically and with integrity…”
With the introduction of WEDU, individual riders and Working Equitation Clubs Australia wide now face an important decision; having two choices now for Working Equitation affiliation; either WEDU or ANWE; each club will now choose which organisation they wish to have overseeing their working equitation riding into the future. This applies also to individual hobby and competitive riders.
Each organisation, WEDU and ANWE, runs a separate agenda and carries their own set of rules and guidelines and neither is in any way involved with or affiliated with the other.
Ultimately it is up to the individual to decide which organisation they wish to be supported by and involve themselves with overall. By extension, it is up to each Working Equitation Club as a whole to choose their own elected affiliation/overseeing organisation.
The only way for any individual or club to fairly and succinctly make this rather hefty decision is to read and research thoroughly into each organisation. A good starting point is to read the 2018 Rule Book for each organisation. Downloadable links to these can be found on both our Documents and Useful Links Pages. Further reading may possibly be found on each organisation’s website; WEDU – www.wedui.com.au & ANWE – www.anweltd.com.au .
As an individual rider, one may choose affiliation with either WEDU or ANWE; one is permitted to be affiliated with both organisations, regardless of the elected affiliation/loyalty of the Working Equitation Club/s with whom one is a member.
Many riders are of the belief that becoming (or already being) a member of a club which has affiliation with one organisation will prevent them from being involved with the other organisation. This is not the case. Being a member of a club which is affiliated with ANWE in no way precludes members from being able to participate in events, competitions and training days being hosted by WEDU affiliated clubs and/or members; being affiliated with WEDU in no way precludes members from being able to participate in events, competitions and training days being hosted by ANWE affiliated clubs and/or members.
Affiliation with either organisation comes down to individual choice and the overall choice of each Working Equitation Club in Australia. Clubs as a whole will elect only one affiliation; either with WEDU or with ANWE; and it is up to each club how they choose to go about this decision making process. Riders and competitors as individuals, may if they wish choose affiliation with either or both organisations, regardless of their own club’s chosen affiliation.
To affiliate as an individual with WEDU, simply pay your yearly WEDU fee which is also a nominal cost of approximately $10.
To affiliate as an individual with ANWE, simply pay your yearly ANWE Levy fee which is a nominal cost of approximately $10.
These fees can be paid on the Nominate website. Click on the CLUBS link and select Join A Club on the Nominate Clubs website page.
To affiliate as an individual with both organisations, simply pay both annual fees. Another way is to become a member of two separate working equitation clubs; one club affiliated with WEDU and one club affiliated with ANWE.
Either way, there is no doubt that the Working Equitation Industry in Australia will continue to flourish and expand as well and as rapidly as it has to date and that progression forward will be harmonious and positive; that all riders who harbour a passion for the sport will surely continue their ongoing dedication to and enjoyment of same into the future!
As for our little club, the decision for our next twelve month affiliation interval has been placed in the hands of individual members and put to a member by member vote. The results are being tallied and our affiliation for 2018 will be announced at the next AGM on the last Thursday (26th) of July.
*WEDU quotes, courtesy of Nominate.com.au/clubs and WEDUI.com.au
What Is Working Equitation?
Working Equitation is a sport which offers a fun and creative alternative to the more traditional equestrian disciplines; challenging and training both rider and horse in multiple riding skills and techniques. Acting as a showcase for traditional riding costumes and equipment, the sport is non-discriminative, welcoming competitors from every breed and discipline and encouraging all riding levels and ages.
The sport is a representation of the working horse; developing and advancing the training of both horse and rider. It draws on all the basic skills required to work a farm, ranch or livestock, yet still encompasses the fundamentals of traditional dressage, but done in a working style which requires riders to demonstrate their horsemanship capabilities by showing off their skills and developed riding techniques.
Founded in Europe and overseen by the world regulatory body, WAWE; World Association for Working Equitation; Working Equitation as a competitive sport has taken hold on a worldwide scale and is rapidly becoming a popular preference for riders throughout Australia.
Competition events may be individual or for teams, and are in three or four phases. All Phases are designed to test the attributes and correct training of horse and rider. At lower levels, all phases can be ridden using two hands. The long-term objective however; and a requirement at higher levels; is to ride all events one-handed and 100% accurately!
The Four Phases consist of;
Ease Of Handling (with obstacles – known also as Style, Manageability or Maneability)
Speed (with obstacles)
The Dressage Phase is a working dressage test which requires horse and rider to perform a sequence of specified movements. They must maintain regularity and correctness of movement and pace, whilst giving attention to impulsion, roundness, lightness of aids and the subtleness of relaxation of both rider and horse. This is performed in a 20 x 40 Dressage Arena.
The Ease Of Handling (EOH) trial can be compared to a gymkhana-type event in which horse & rider must tackle a course filled with obstacles similar to those which are likely to be encountered in the field, or day-to-day work on the farm; e.g. bridges, gates, barrels, variant surfaces etc. Obstacles are numbered in order of execution and markers, known as ‘transition markers’, are placed a little apart from each obstacle. These must be passed by horse & rider and indicate the start and finish of the obstacle. Each obstacle must be completed accurately and in order and no obstacle may be omitted. The obstacle course is designed to demonstrate the harmonious partnership and physical mastery of horse and rider in a working environ. This is not done ‘at pace’ and indeed it is advisable to take one’s time and maintain fluidity, whilst preparing in advance for each obstacle as you choose the smoothest lines possible.
The Speed Phase, is generally a similar obstacle course to that found in Ease Of Handling, but usually shortened. This must be completed in the quickest possible time. There are no transition markers in the speed trial. This phase is judged solely on the time taken to complete the course, however it must be ridden as accurately as possible, while demonstrating the skill of horse and rider at speed. Time penalties are given for errors of course. Time bonuses are often granted for the showing of certain more difficult skills, such as the knocking of a ball or collecting rings at pace with a garrocha stick.
The Cattle Phase is designed only for team competitions. It is a timed event and consists of a team of four riders. Each is required to separate a specific numbered cow from a herd of cattle. The rider must then herd it across a marked half-way point, and may only then draw on the assistance of fellow team members as they attempt to fulfil the objective of herding only that cow into a designated pen. All other cattle must be prevented from crossing the half-way markers. The successfully penned cow is then returned to the herd and so commences the next riders turn. This is a timed event and the quickest overall team is the winner. An overall individual fastest rider score is also recognised. A dismount by any rider, for any reason, will result in instant elimination of the team. All riders have a maximum of three minutes to pen their designated cow.
There are 8 Competition Levels in Working Equitation, ranging from Lead Line to Masters. Each Level encompasses 4 Divisions; Child, Junior, Youth and Open.
Being the addictive and super fun sport that it is, Working Equitation is growing rapidly in Australia and there is no greater growth than right here in our very own Upper Hunter Working Equitation Club, which harbors over thirty members to date – and growing!
This weekend saw another successful Competition held at the Gulgong Showground, hosted by the very tight and ‘über organised’ club that is the Mudgee based ‘MUDWEQ‘ clan; who always hold a fun-filled, smoothly run and high-spirited competition!
Not as cold as expected, but certainly cold enough as our six excited UHWEC members came together with all good intentions to ‘kick butt!’ at the Mudweq Three Phase Competition this weekend. And kick butt they did!
Journeying from as far and wide as Broke, Muswellbrook, Denman, and Aberdeen, the girls set up camp ready to brave the elements and battle the other forty plus competitors representing five fellow Working Equitation Clubs.
Congratulations to all our girls, who kept their spirits high, focus forward and attitudes tight, as they ventured through the weekend with several hiccups, a few frustrations, lots of laughter, and even some tears!
Four of the five members who competed took home home first, second and third place ribbons with at least one win in every phase!!! Our very own Kerry Balmer-Smith lapped up two first and one second place, winning overall Introductory Champion!
We cannot wait for our next competition and indeed are looking keenly ahead as we strategically set the wheels in motion to host our very own Three Phase Working Equitation Competition! Watch this space!
We’re passionate about the development of our club, we love what we do and we’re here to enjoy ourselves and support each other in doing what we love. If you’ve any queries at all & want to chat with any of us – please don’t be shy!
Happy Riding until our next meet!
Our very first Upper Hunter Working Equitation Club meet was a fabulously fun and informative day, enjoyed thoroughly by all as we acquainted ourselves with the working equitation obstacle course, as well as each other and each other’s horses! “Getting to know you… Getting to know all about you…!” That about sums it up! The weather was kind and the turn-out was great with thirteen of our already enlisted members rocking up to have a crack at the course. The day commenced at 8.30 and we finished up at around two-thirty.
Lunch was a fulsome banquet fit for medieval royalty, with fruit platters, salad platters, cold meat, sandwiches and homemade quiches, sweet custard tarts and an assortment of other yummy dishes – too many to list! An impromptu meeting as we munched our lunch served to sort out our shirt sizes, next meet and nut out where we are at as a club and where we are headed.
Our enormous thanks to Kerry Balmer-Smith who hosted the day on her lovely property ‘Kevarty Oaks’ in Wybong, and to her and her team of helpers who put in the tremendous effort required to set up the course; an excellent job, really well done and much appreciated by all who participated. Also a big handshake to all available hands helping to pack-up, which made for an easy and pleasant end of day.
Overall it was a successful, informative and fabulously fun day which we are all keen to repeat again in the very near future!
Our next meet is a Working Equitation Clinic with Kim Peterson on September 24th. This Clinic is now fully booked! For further information regarding this or anything further details about our club please contact our Secretary, Judy Anshaw at email@example.com .