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BLOG: Emma Booth is heading to Equitana!

 

By Emma Booth

Photos courtesy of Equitana

Ok, lets talk about Equitana! This is an event that only comes around every second year and would be our biggest combined equestrian event and expo in Australia. This is a time when riders of all disciplines come together to learn, experience, be inspired, discover new products, watch the elite of each discipline perform, access information from professionals in their fields, and ultimately enjoy the excitement that is ‘Equitana’.

As an ambassador for Equitana Australia 2018, I have discussed with media marketing managers some of the themes and important ideas they want to provoke in audiences experiencing Equitana this year. There has been an emphasis placed on the important question of “Why do we ride?”

Why do we do what we do? Why do we train tirelessly and invest endless funds into our chosen sport? What motivates us? I think these ideas are such important things to reflect on and establish as riders. We sometimes need to pause and reflect on what drives us. We all know we love the sport, but on that deeper level, what is it about equestrian as a sport that we truly love so much.

 



This reminds me of the idea behind the FEI “two hearts” theme. Equestrian disciplines are such unique sports, in that we are the only Olympic discipline in which animals are included, we are the only Olympic sport in which men and women are competing against one another, and these things are something we get used to or take for granted. These are a few things that make our sport so different and special. The “two hearts” sentiment and song produced by the FEI encompasses so much of why it is I do what I do. Passion is what drives us. I am passionate about my horses, the bond we feel, the connections we make, the work we put in and the opportunities we bring forward.

We also shouldn’t forget, that in choosing to take part in this sport, we need to respect our equine partners and not to take them for granted. They try so hard for us when they really don’t have to, and it is the relationships we have with our competition companions that also make this sport so incredible. I think it is for these reasons we love to ride and also a big par of why we get such a buzz out of experiencing Equitana.

 



Often we are involved with the same people at the same shows – that is, dressage riders are associated with other dressage riders, western riders see and know other western riders. It is so rare to have all disciplines associating and being together at the one venue and function. Equitana brings excitement that is different to the normal one experienced at regular events. We love the fact that so many like mined, yet different people come together.

By being involved in Equitana in some way, we are supporting the industry on a whole new level and in a different way, which I believe is so so important. The industry can only give back what we as a community put in. Our sport has come so far in Australia but we still have a long way to go. Whether we attend as viewers, volunteers, competitors, run a trade stand, are part of the organising committee – however big or small our role – by taking part we are supporting the idea that equestrian sport is special and that the “two hearts” sentiment has so positively gripped the lives of many.