I sit here with great anticipation of an amazing season ahead writing about our great sport, comprising of fabulous people who have an immense passion for their horses. The Two Heart campaign launched for the Olympics in Rio 2016 was absolutely befitting but there was a part of me that felt a few more “Hearts” could be included, that of the Owner(s)! Unless you are one, and have experienced what it is like to sit on the side lines with your heart pounding whilst watching your horse and rider compete in any one of the demanding disciplines then I don’ t expect those that aren’ t to understand what it is like. For what it’ s worth, from my own experience, it was less stressful being a rider, albeit ‘ amateur’ than now my current status as an owner.
We now look forward to the season progressing, some changes a foot and we wish both Chris Bartle and Richard Waygood all the very best in their new positions as World Class performance coach and manager respectively. Likewise with other Nations who are currently appointing new performance managers, we wish them all every success and will be following all our Member Owners and their riders throughout the season.
The success of the EHOA over the past years is fundamentally down to the enormous support from our Sponsors. The Association is indebted to them for all they have done to enable us to evolve with the sport and to bring the “Owners” voice to the fore and to be now recognised as a leading stakeholder in the Sport. We thank you for your commitment to us and to the Sport and hope in some way that we have given you something back in return.
Finally, I would like to thank the large pool of stoic volunteers who year on year help us run the hospitality tents, once again without your enormous contribution we would have been unable to expand these Owners facilities across the Country. The EHOA is fortunate enough to have a membership that enjoys the sport at all levels, whether an owner/rider, owner, young rider, competing at the Grassroots level or on the International stage and part of a National Team, I wish you all every success in 2017 and look forward hugely to seeing you at the events and welcoming you once again to the Owners tents.