Announcing the winners of Equestrian Australia’s annual Sport Achievement Awards and Hall of Fame inductees
Equestrian Australia is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Sport Achievement Awards.
More than 200 guests gathered at ANZ Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park this evening to recognise the sport’s highest achievers of the past 12 months.
Former Equestrian greats and current heroes were on hand to celebrate Equestrian’s night of nights which also saw some of the sport’s all-time greats inducted into Equestrian Australia’s Hall of Fame. A full list of this year’s inductees is available here
Congratulations to this year's Hall of Fame inductees (Click on the recipients name to read more about their achivements)
Founding Fathers award – Tom Luxton, Alec Creswick and Jim Barnes
Equestrian Australia was founded in May 1951 by Samuel Horden, Tom Luxton, Alec Creswick and Jim Barnes.
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2011 Sport Achievement Awards. More information on each of our winners is listed below.
Event of the Year (Joint winners)
Australian International Thee Day Event
All Reef RM Williams Endurance Festival
Official of the Year
Club of the Year
Eyre Peninsula Showjumping Club
Owner of the Year
Linda Spratley & Beau Dowsett
Administrator of the Year
Coach of the Year
Volunteer of the Year
Young Athlete of the Year
Domestic Horse of the Year
International Horse of the Year
Cevo Itot du Chateau
Domestic Athlete of the Year
International Athlete of the Year
Detailed information on the winners of the 2011 Sport Achievement Awards:
Event of the Year - Al Reef RM Williams Endurance Festival
Al Reef-RM Williams Endurance Festival, featuring the FEI 3* National Championships, attracted a record number of entries from several countries and was the largest endurance ride in Australia in 2011. The event doubled as a qualifier for the 2012 World Endurance Championships in Euston Park, England and nationally was a Tom Quilty cup qualifier. It successfully showcased endurance riding and equestrian sports to a broader audience through a live webcast which broadcast competition to a global audience.
The event was held in conjunction with the Australasian Endurance Forum and offered international officials a unique opportunity to facilitate or participate in an educational Forum and the exposure and experience of officiating at a 1, 2 or 3 star event in Australia.
Event of the Year - Australian International three day event
The 2011 Adelaide International thee day event attracted 19,000 spectators from across Australia and was the year’s best attended equestrian event. It is the only event in the southern hemisphere to host a four star class – the highest level of eventing.
There was a record number of competitors who contested the four star class and there were 97 competitors across all levels of events.
Last year’s event was included in the prestigious FEI HSBC Classic series for the first time, bringing the highest ever prize money and unprecedented media and TV coverage to Australian Eventing
It was also the setting for the Equestrian Australia hosted FEI eventing officials seminar.
The Australia International three day event is an EA sanctioned event run by the Adelaide horse trials Management.
Owner of the Year – Linda Spratley-Dowsett & Beau Dowsett
Linda and Beau Dowsett’s involvement with horses began ten years ago when their daughter Danielle started attending the local pony club. The couple own five imported warmbloods which have collectively enjoyed much success on the Australian competition circuit last year winning a multitude of accolades including 16 regional titles, nine state titles, 1 Reserve State Title and an Australian Title. Two horses are on the National Futures quad, two on the QLD state squad and one on the QLD state young rider squad.
The Dowsetts travel vast distances to support their horses and regularly attend events outside of their home state of QLD to watch them compete. In addition to being exemplary owners, Linda and Beau are passionate supporters of Dressage, sponsoring regional events and training clinics. The couple are great supporters of the sport and they work tirelessly behind the scenes at shows and events.
Sue Austin – Administrator of the Year
Sue Austin is the President and chair of the Queensland Interschool committee. The voluntary role asks much of Sue and she graciously dedicates her time and skills to the program. Sue is dedicated to the growth and development of the Interschool competition. She is a mentor to her fellow committee members, school representatives and parents and oversees five official interschool competitions per year as well as numerous other interschool and club competitions. In 2011, Sue assisted with the formation of a central Queensland Interschool committee, offered Para-Equestrian classes in two regional championships and at the state championships and formed a committee to organize the 2012 National Championships which QLD will host.
Young Athlete of the Year – Tom McDermott
This is the second consecutive year Tom McDermott has been named Young Athlete of the year. 18 year old McDermott who hails from Wagga Wagga NSW keeps re-writing Australian show jumping records. He is the current Australian National Junior Champion and Young Rider Champion - a feat that has previously not been achieved. McDermott is also the current NSW state champion and was named National Young rider of the year and is enjoying much success on the senior circuit winning his first Jumping World Cup qualifier at Gawler, South Australia, in what was just his third CSI-W outing.
Club of the Year – Eyre Peninsula Showjumping Club
The Eyre Peninsula Showjumping Club has overcome the ravages of drought and a falling population in recent years and remains a prominent presence in the local community. The club continues to actively promote equestrian to the region and actively encourages new membership to its ranks. In addition to managing events at local shows, the club convenes numerous club competitions including the Eyre Peninsula Championships and the Yeltana Championships. The club lends its ground to other equestrian organisation such as Pony Club and show horse and regularly provides clinics for judges and accredited coaches and course builders
Coach of the Year – Megan Jones
Already a world class eventer, Megan Jones is also a well-respected and highly sought after coach, mentor and role model of many of Australia’s young elite athletes. Megan displayed her world-class coaching skills and versatility when she trained Para-Equestrian athlete Grace Bowman ahead of her 2010 World Equestrian Games campaign. She is also the South Australian State Interschool’s team coach. Megan is passionate about youth development and also coaches at the grass roots level. She is a popular coach and has students based across Australia.
Volunteer of the Year – Rob Leishman
Rob Leishman wears many hats – As well as an official Showjumping course designer who has helped to build courses, Rob is one of Victoria’s most valued officials. He is a member of the Victorian Jumping judge’s official panel and has mentored and trained many of the state’s judges. Rob acts as a measurer within the Show Horse discipline and works at most major events including the Royal Shows. He also acts as a starter at International three-day events. Rob’s service to the sport spans decades and has seen him work within many Equestrian organisations including Equestrian Victoria and Pony Club of Victoria. Rob built courses and rode at some of the first horse trials in this country.
Official of the Year – Kerrie Robbins
Kerrie Robbins is a Technical Delegate – FEI Level I, TD EA Level E, FEI I Level Jumping Judge and Level 1 Course designer.
Kerrie is a fully accredited FEI international jumping judge who received an invitation to officiate at the World Equestrian Games. Kerrie officiates at most of Western Australia’s top jumping events and In 2011 travelled to Sydney to officiate at the Sydney International CCI* and CCI*. Kerrie has worked diligently to attract international officials to Australia and in 2011 organised a judge from Belarus to officiate at the international three day event in WA. Kerrie is also the Vice Chair of Eventing WA and the Event Director of the Perth Horse Trials.
Domestic Athlete of the Year – Rachael Sanna
Rachael Sanna’s most exceptional performances came in the latter part of 2011 and earned her the two most coveted crowns in Australian Dressage - Australian Grand Prix Champion and winner of the FEI World Cup Pacific League final. The latter awarded her one of just 18 starting positions at the World Cup Dressage final in s’Hertogenbosch. Sanna also achieved firsts at Sydney CDI3* in the Grand Prix and Freestyle, Sydney CDI-W in the Grand Prix and Freestyle and the Werribee CDI-W LF, Grand Prix and Freestyle.
Domestic Horse of the Year – Jaybee Alabaster
Jaybee Alabaster returned to form in 2011 and enjoyed a very successful year winning the Australian Championship Grand Prix and the Pacific League Final of the FEI World Cup, which earned him a start at the World Cup Dressage Final in s’Hertogenbosch. The 13 year old chestnut gelding, who is owned by Bev Edwards also finished in first place at Sydney CDI3* in the Grand Prix and Freestyle, Sydney CDI-W in the Grand Prix and Freestyle and the Werribee CDI-W LF, Grand Prix and Freestyle.
International Athlete of the Year – Edwina Alexander
As the 2011 overall winner of the Global Champions Tour, Edwina Tops-Alexander proved herself a formidable contender on the world Show Jumping stage. 2011 saw Edwina climb as high as sixth position on the Rolex FEI world ranking, which is the highest ranking ever achieved by an Australian rider. On her way to winning the multi-million euro Global Champions Tour, Edwina placed first in the Cannes Grand Prix CSI5* and Chantilly Grand Prix CSI5*.
International Horse of the Year – Cevo Itot du Chateau
Cevo Itot du Chateau is one of the world’s top Show Jumping horses. As the overall winner of the 2011 Global Champions Tour, 16 year old ‘Itot’ - as he is often referred, last year enjoyed his most successful year to date. Wins at the Cannes Grand Prix CSI5* and Chantilly Grand Prix CSI5*and a second place at the Rio de Janeiro CSI5* helped the chestnut gelding secure the title of overall winner of the Global Champions Tour. Among some of his other highlights are a second placing in the Rio de Janeiro CSI5* and third placing in the Zurich CSI5* FEI World Cup qualifier. ‘Itot’ is owned by Edwina Tops-Alexander and Stal Tops.