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Posted by Andrea Webb on 22/02/2018.
Stephen Mowbray Photography and Allira Fontana

Equestrian Stars and Inglis Venue Shine

The Big Barn located at the William Inglis Stables in Warwick Farm was the venue for the Equestrian NSW awards evening to recognise the outstanding contribution made by athletes and horses of 2017.

The awards were the first external function to be held at the Inglis venue which provided the perfect back drop for the Equestrian awards.  Nearly 250 guests sat in an elegantly dressed room surrounded by state of the art stables that are usually housing the best yearlings Australia has to offer.

Tim Gilbert from the Channel 9 Today Show took the microphone for the second year in a row to guide the awards through the night.  Each of the disciplines committees presented their awards to the best of their best.

The ever popular Interschool Champions collected their awards from Matt Miller, Chief Executive of the Office of Sport with a smile.  For the first time this year, Equestrian NSW has recognised the NSW Team Captains who provided support to the 2017 NSW National Interschool Team. 

Will Macarthur from Gow Gates was next on stage to present the Gow Gates Service to Sport Awards.  This is a wonderful tribute to those who have tirelessly given to their sport over many years.

The Dressage awards followed with the individual discipline presentations. Helen Lawson congratulated the athletes/owners on stage.  Equestrian NSW added another Lifetime Achievement award winner to the prestigious list.  Toni Venhaus graciously accepted her award from Helen Lawson, President of Dressage NSW and Bruce Farrar, CEO, Equestrian NSW for her tireless contribution to the Sport of Dressage.

It was then on to the popular Show Horse awards presented by Robin Bland, President of NSW Show Horse Committee. The glamourous recipients had certainly taken time out to present themselves in time as most of them had travelled up from the Canberra Royal Show to attend. 

Tim then announced the names of the talented Vaulters and as they came to the stage they were greeted by Dr Gillian Burns President of Vaulting NSW to accept their award.

The Discipline and Overall Volunteer of the Year nominees were presented their awards by Ms Anne Gripper, the Executive Director of the Office of Sport.  Volunteers are vital to our sport and Equestrian NSW thanks all of the 2017 Discipline Volunteers.  Congratulations must go to Wendy Cotton, who was the recipient of the overall NSW Volunteer of the Year.  Wendy will now be put forward to the Equestrian Australia Awards.

With a small but increasing number of competitors, the sport of Driving is starting to see an increase in popularity on the back of Boyd Exell’s achievements.  Jennifer Nichols, President of Driving NSW presented the awards this year to the worthy recipients.

After the recent success of Jamie Kermond overseas, there was much applause for the Jumping winners.  Jane Frankum was on stage to hand out the awards to the accolades of guests as each winner presented on stage.

There was a solemn mood in the room when Judy Fasher, President Equestrian Australia dedicated a remembrance to Wyatt “Bunty” Thompson who sadly passed away in December last year.  Bunty was a fixture of the Equestrian NSW Awards evenings and looked forward to attending each year.  Judy spoke eloquently about Bunty’s achievements and was assisted on stage by Neale Lavis OAM who shared a story about the Olympic days.  Equestrian NSW thanks Judy and Neale and all members will fondly remember Bunty.

The NSW nominees for the Equestrian Australia awards were presented with their trophies by Judy Fasher. The three award winners of Administrator, Official and Event of the Year will be NSW nominations for the national awards to be decided in April following a public vote.

Two hardworking coaches of 2017 received their awards from Darren Crumpler, Director of Olympic venues.  The Community Coach and High Performance Coach of the Year awards are a popular category.

Neale Lavis OAM, took to the stage for the final awards of the night, the Eventing awards.  Once again the winners were very popular as guests acknowledged their achievements.

The 2017 Award Winner are listed on the attached document.

2017 Award Winners - Web.pdf


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