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Equestrian Australia 'Code of Ethics'

© 2017 .........


marvelous desires but sadly, only words.


At the twilight of my Career, forgive me for writing Articles to give those entering the Industry, an opposing view to the norm. I have been thinking of writing such an article, to inject into Google, to warn the vulnerable, for some time, now decided by the results of a Court Case that ended just recently.



A Lady ( approaching retirement Age) decided to "give it one last shot" and came up with a Plan that "if she spends big money, she will get a good Horse"....and so it was that she paid $50,000 for a Horse from Interstate.

It arrived but turned out to be not suitable and two Coaches advised Her to get a Horse Dealer to sell it. The Owner decides to send the Horse to Canberra Performance Horses, the Owner asked how much this would cost and how long to sell the Horse? 3 Weeks assessment of suitability to sell and then,

The Dealer advised that it would be $550 per Week, plus 10% of the Sale Price and when asked how long it would take to sell the Horse, she replied that no Horse had ever taken more than 3 Months. The Owner therefore, decided to go ahead and even if it took 3 Months, she would have lost 12 x $550..... + 10%, however.......the Dealer (in Her wisdom) decides to put $70,000 on the Horse...........the Owner wants $50,000.

and so the Months Roll on.....................

5 Months out ( THE HORSE STILL HASN'T BEEN ADVERTISED - other than a Facebook mention of an outing with Riders using the Horse as a 'School Master' and the Cash Register is ringing. The Owner starts Messaging the Dealer. This goes on for Months but still the Horse isn't advertised.

12 Months out and lot's of excuses,

Finally, the Owner complains more strongly and wants the Horse back, to which the Dealer sends Her the following Invoices

Invoice No. 2723 dated   2 /12/2015   - 10/8/2015 to 5/12/2015   total amount $13,224.20

Invoice No. 2861 dated   12/12/2016   - 5/12/2015 to 17/12/206   total amount $47,190.00           


The Dealer, ignored the Court Documents, the Owner wins by default. The Dealer enlists a Barrister and goes to the Supreme Court. The case re-opens. The hard bargaining takes place. A second Invoice and then a Third are sent to the Owner,

The Final settlement, the Owner gets $25,000 and the Dealer got the Horse  ( could have cost $100,000) and pays their own Lawyer Fees. It's a sad World. I saw the Owner at the Dressage recently. Sitting, watching and Dreaming Another one 'bites the dust'. If the Dealer loved the Horse so much on Day 1, wouldn't it have been great if they had purchased it , looking after the Seller, the 'Code of Ethics' and saving $50,000 in the process.



A serious percentage of EA Coaches, double as 'Dodgy Horse Dealers' and fund their Career that way. Their prime target is the Young Rider, entering the Industry, many of them highly talented with promising Career's. They continue to get driven out of the Industry, robbing it from another source of income for all. This is one of the reasons why the Equestrian Sports stagnate.


Does the EA care??????/......obviously not for it has been going on forever and despite many complaints to them, from Victims of Coaches, nothing has ever happened.



So who are they?.......You could imagine that they may be the bottom of the Pack, those needing money the most, wouldn't You?....but no, it is across the board. In fact, the higher the level of Coach, the greater the amounts of money, the worse the damage.

MOST of the cases I see, involve Level 2 and 3.



Yes, they too are involved, so don't think You can trust all, just because of performance, profile or status.


Young Riders are very impressionable, with a thirst to succeed. They want to emulate those that they look up to, so they 'hang off every word' of the Coach and take it all as Gospel. Let me give You an example.


  1. Young 'Para Rider' goes to Sydney  and is recommended by a Level 3 Coach, a 'Green' 3 Year Old as being the perfect Horse for them. $50,000. The Horse goes Home and petty soon breaks the Ribs of the Rider, moved onto a Senior Rider and then sold on Interstate, at a big Loss.

  2. Young Rider goes to look at an obviously unsound Warmblood, being sold by an Olympic Representative. The Horse is a Prelim Horse. The Horse is unsound in the right rear. The Coach teaches the Rider for some time, "COUNTER CANTER' with the incorrect flexion, to hide the problem. Sold!!!!!!!!!!!! . We took a 5 Minute look at it and it went to Stud as a Brood Mare. Did I hear You say 'Money back??????" Don't be stupid, they never give the money back, at the most, they sell the Horse to some other 'Dummy' and supply another Horse instead.

  3. Young Rider agists at the Home of a Level 3 Coach. The Coach is dealing. They have a suspect Horse there for Sale on Commission. The Coach asks the Young Rider to ride it on the flat, for a Photo opportunity, to impress Purchasers. She does of course. Having got away with that, the Coach asks if she will 'pop it over a few Cross Country Jumps", which of course she does. The Horse rears over with Her and she is seriously injured. She is in a Coma.  She leaves the Industry with a broken Heart and a permanently disfigured Leg.

  4. Level 3 Dealer sells dodgy Horse to Learner Rider. Gets nailed in the NSW Courts.

  5. Coach takes on new Slaves and sells them all a questionable or unsound $30,000 Horse for the privilege.

  6. The Coach sells a dodgy Horse. It get's dropped back at the front Door after Bolting. The Coach applies to change the name of the Horse and on the market it goes again.

  7. Coach sells Buck Jumper. Buyer forces it to be sent back. Coach sells it to a Young Rider. Young Rider leaves the Industry..........,

and I could go on all Night..........




So how can Coaches and other Professionals, become so confident, that they can play with the financial security of Riders' and their Family?...........because almost ALWAYS, those entering the Industry, with a burning desire to succeed, are for ever fearful of upsetting the 'Names'. Mainly, their logic is that they just cannot upset them, because of who they are but more, that should they complain or go to Court, they will be back listed, not chosen, judged poorly, etc, going forward.



or "Crash Test Dummies', highly necessary to leap upon all the 'Green', newly started or suspect Horses that come through the Camp. They take all the risks and generally don't get paid, other than the odd Riding Lesson and the experience of having a ride on Senior Horses now and again. Risking their lives, often on poorly started Horses and with a lack of the 'Horsemanship' necessary to protect them. Coaches even attempt to 'Poach' good Young Riders', from other Coaches, swooning them with charm.


A top Young Rider is with a Victorian level 3 Coach. The Rider meets a NSW Level 3 Coach. Within Minutes, he tries to Poach Her out from beneath the Victorian. He knows little about Her but saw Her ride for 5 Minutes.

So I hope that some of Young or their Parents, will take Head of this and become more discerning about the various deals put their way by Coaches in the future. All is often not what it seems



Over the Years, many people have complained, the Players have operated in the open, all Officials know what goes on but nothing is done.  Yes, it's a wonderful 'Code of Ethics" but not carried out. There is little wonder the EA is on it's knees right now.



John O'Leary
Horselaw Australia







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