Who’s running our sport?

It seems Equestrian Sport NZ isn't in line for a new chief executive after Rio, after all

Vicki Glynn, ESNZ's CEO
Vicki Glynn, ESNZ’s CEO is staying on after Rio

Always interested in who is running equestrian sport, we’ve been curious for some time now about who will take over the reins at ESNZ from current CEO, Vicki Glynn.

After all, in February last year she was appointed up until the Rio Olympics, which are in little less than a month’s time. And as we haven’t seen any recruitment adverts, or any official announcements from ESNZ, we went straight to the top: chairman Nick Pyke. We asked him what was happening regarding the CEO position after Rio, and got the following response: “As you are aware, the employment of a CEO is the responsibility of the board and the contractual arrangement is between the CEO and the board. I can’t comment on these arrangements.”

He did, however, confirm on further enquiry, “The current CEO Vicki Glynn will be CEO after the Rio Olympics.”

We therefore sought confirmation from the CEO herself who is busy attending the many AGMs on at the moment all over the country and getting ready to go to Rio.

Her response: “My commitment to ESNZ was that I would stay until Rio to give some certainty and stability. I have no plans to change that in the immediate future.”

She goes on to say: “I am enjoying the role as CEO enormously. It is a pleasure to be dealing with so many talented people in so many different spheres. My passion for the horse and all equestrian sports makes this a very special role to hold and I feel very privileged.”


Eventing has also had a change in its sports manager. Nicola Felton had been filling in while Eliza Reidel was on 12-month maternity leave, but left recently. Gillian Hayes has just been appointed for the next six months. Gillian has been running a riding school in Otaki for the last five years and competes in eventing, show jumping and dressage.

Both Jumping and Eventing have AGMs coming up over the next two weekends. The Jumping discipline hold theirs in Wellington from July 9-10 and Eventing’s is in Hamilton on July 16.

Dressage and Endurance have had their AGMs. The Endurance Board has three new members: Braden Cameron, Kathryn Nicholas and Mark Tylee. They join Ashley Cole, Wendy Farnell, Alison Higgins and Daryl Owen. Alison is the chairperson, and Mark is vice. Louise Muir, the 2015-16 chair, did not stand for re-election. The endurance board has some challenges ahead, with the number of ESNZ registrations and participation declining, a history of conflict within the board, and concerns around the variability of the tracks, terrain and conditions around New Zealand and the effect that this has on combinations achieving the objective qualifying speeds required for high performance selection.

Watch this space

Dressage has elected a new chairperson, Canterbury’s Lynda Clark. Karen Trotter stood down as Chairperson after many years’ service.

Joining Lynda on the new Dressage board are: finance officer: Sara Bright; judges officer: Sue Hobson; rules officer: Genevieve Denize; marketing: Kat Macmillan; training & development: Judy Alderdice (plus Judy is a national selector).

Some of the suggestions coming out of Dressage’s pre-AGM planning workshop included an increase in annual start fees of $10, but no increase in flexi starts.

There is also discussion on whether bitless bridles will be accepted in dressage competitions in New Zealand. There is going to be a clear criterion formulated for bits, so it will be interesting to see what emerges from that. There is also going to be a look at the definition ‘a horse’ in the general regulations. It appears that there are an increasing number of mules being bred, and overseas riders are competing on them in low-level dressage competitions.

ESNZ’s website strikes again

Things must be busy at the ESNZ’s Wellington office. We were intrigued to see this post on the Taupo Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre’s Facebook page, regarding the notorious and much-maligned ESNZ website.

“Some/most of the information for the FF NEC on the ESNZ web page is out of date. I have posted some of the information on to our FB page over the past weeks but am bound to have missed something. I have forwarded all updates and corrections to ESNZ, however I have been advised that addressing our update requests may not be attended to for at least a month. My suggestion in the interim is – ignore the ESNZ NEC web page details. Please email your requests directly to nec.taupo@gmail.com.”