Saturday, February 6, 2016
Jaw^Know Does Kate^Len Know What A Steward Is Should Eh Flight A^Tend^Dent Knot^A^Call The Bends While Going Cross-Country??
How does someone go about becoming a steward?
*National Stewarding has only been part of the stewarding program for the last three years. Prior to that we became stewards after attending an FEI steward seminar and having an assessment. People who went through this process had continued on from some involvement in competition either as an official or volunteer.
A National Stewarding program has recently been developed and this year commences the start of EA steward seminars in all states organised by the Steward Generals. These courses (one will be in NSW - late June and another in Victoria – late July) will cover generic stewarding principles, with discipline specific content and give people the opportunity to become EA accredited stewards in their chosen disciplines. From there a pathway is created to become an FEI Steward.
The next step after some practical experience is to attend an FEI Stewards seminar and following successful examination in both oral and written aspects accreditation to FEI status is awarded.
When did you become a FEI steward?
I became an FEI steward in 2004 starting at Melbourne 3DE that year and by 2008 had stewarded at many events in eventing,show jumping and dressage.
I really enjoyed the stewarding role working with Organizing committees and officials to help riders participate in their sport at International level, ensuring fair play, safety of the athlete, respect for the rules and protecting the welfare of the horse.
I have found my involvement in dressage and para dressage to also be rewarding, working in teams with different aspects of stewarding particularly in para dressage where compensatory aids, timing at practice areas and coaches on horses provide further challengers.
How much work and time (we better not ask you about the money) has it taken you to become an FEI Steward?
Becoming an FEI steward, maintaining accreditation and practical experience now seems to occupy many hours.
In my endeavor to stay informed and continue with education I have attended FEI courses in three disciplines and have had a number of self funded trips overseas to steward at events in England, Kentucky and New Zealand.
From these experiences we can give back to stewarding in Australia and keep those who are not in the position to travel, at this stage, inspired and informed.
We are also fortunate in Australia that four stewards have been given positions in the Global Education Program with appointments in England and Germany last year and Canada and England in 2013. We are very grateful to the FEI for giving us the opportunity to be part of the program.
What could riders and/or organisers do to make your job easier?
Stewards are under the direction of the TD and President of the Ground Jury and their work covers all areas of the competition where horses may be found for 24 hours a day. We are there to help the event run smoothly in all areas so we are often at the forefront of problems and it is our aim to overcome these with the minimum impact on the busy office staff and other officials
Knowing the 'Manual' is vital for an FEI Steward
What are the best and worst things about being an FEI Steward?
The best parts of stewarding are those rewarding times when you actually see that you have helped, prevented, intervened in a situation and produced a positive outcome.
Working in teams with a dedicated enthusiastic team of stewards and other officials is another rewarding feature as is the opportunity to meet up with officials from all over the world. Recently we have had stewards from Japan, Austria, Hungary and Ireland in our teams and these stewards have shared their knowledge and experience with such enthusiasm.
The hardest part of stewarding is keeping up with rule changes, interpreting the rules and assisting riders to stay within the rules with the continual supply of new gear – bits, spurs,*nosebands, dress and bling … we have come along way from traditional dress and snaffle bits!
We are often called upon to make quick informed judgments and to intervene in situations that require an official, authoritative but fair reaction. Experience and commonsense prevail.
When schooling and competing the riders are usually focused and may be under a degree of stress so as stewards we must be tactful when approaching riders and expect that they may not always be polite in their reply.
Worst experiences include occasional lack of respect shown to stewards by a few OC, competitors and other officials who do not value our role in the successful running of a competition. It is a challenge to us to win their respect!
*To read entire article in whole with spelling errors (https://www.an-eventful-life.com.au/eventing-news/how-become-fei-steward) as I have changed article due to the vast amount of miss spelled terrors causing the integrity of the article to be misinterpreted by the layman however I have attempted to honor the grip of the write in and of itself.
EV EVENTING DIVISION