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Equestrian Sports

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Horsing Around in WA
By: Madeleine MASIH

Published: 27/04/2012

You may not have heard of Equestrian WA, but its team of enthusiastic coaches and promoters are keen to have equine sport re-energised and enjoyed across the state. On April 29, Equestrian WA will be hosting the EWA Autumn Hack & Hunter Show, and if you're new to equestrian sports you might be wondering what that actually means.

Equestrian Australia was founded in 1951 and now, 61 years on, has established branches all around the country, as well as achieving sponsorship by the Australian Sports Commission.

What exactly do equestrian sports horses do?

"There are eight different disciplines," said Peta Gallagher, a long-term member of Equestrian WA, "eventing, show jumping, endurance, para dressage, dressage, driving, vaulting and reining." Some of the horses have also been flown to the United States for the World Equestrian Games, where three Western Australian riders have competed.

3rd Degree asked Ms Gallagher what the terms hack and hunter meant in regard to horses, and learnt that the hunters are horses that have their stamina and discipline tested through being ridden in mock fox hunts. The term hack refers to the admirable qualities of a horse: its manners, eloquence, stride and beauty.

Ms Gallagher added that the reason behind the obscurity of this sport in comparison to other sports in Australia is that "horses are expensive to keep, there are the vet bills and the cost of belonging to an association".

Equestrian WA is actively seeking new members and is offering a range of discounts to those who join. Benefits of membership include opportunities to enrol in certificate courses, coaching and to participate in official and associate competitions. This year the club is offering a $50 rebate of fees for parents enrolling more than one child.

For information about the EWA Autumn Hack and Hunter Show, visit the organisation's website.

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