VALE - Remembering the contribution of past members.

GILLIAN ROLTON 0AM – 3rd May 1956 – 18th November 2017

The Australian Equestrian Community is deeply saddened by the passing today of Gillian Rolton at the young age of 61 years.

Whilst Gill's name is synonymous with her famous horse Peppermint Grove aka “Freddie” her equestrian life and contribution extends much further than her Olympic achievements.

Not born into a “horsey” family Gill England worked very hard and her early riding was mainly on other people’s ponies and horses where she achieved considerable success in the Show Ring and Dressage, including Champion Equestrienne and Champion Lady Rider at the Royal Adelaide Show.

However this was not enough for Gill and at the relatively late age of 21, Gill started Eventing and Show Jumping. Her first serious jumping horse was Saville Row who rose up the ranks so quickly that he and Gill were long listed for the Los Angeles Olympic Games. This was not to be, as unfortunately Saville Row sustained an injury in the final selection trial but Gill’s dream of representing her country on the International Level was born.

In 1985 Gill married Greg Rolton. Greg has been alongside Gill all the way through her competition career and beyond and has been an outstanding sounding board and support for Gill in all her many equestrian endeavours and achievements. For the past 2 years he has devoted his life to supporting Gill in her courageous battle with cancer.

With Benton’s Way Gill achieved her aim to ride in an International Event by competing as an individual at the 1986 World Three Day Event Championships at Gawler. She was long listed on “Ben” for Seoul in 1988 but again missed out due to injury, to herself this time, but did win the prestigious Australian Championships Advanced Class at Gawler that year.

In 1987 Gill bought Peppermint Grove (Freddie) and quickly developed a partnership that proved to be unstoppable and by 1991 they had been chosen in the Australian Team to compete in the Trans-Tasman Event in New Zealand which was the start of their International career together, finishing as the highest placed Australian rider in the event. With that performance and subsequent good results back in Australia Gill and Freddie were long listed for Barcelona in 1992 but the deal was that they had to fund their own way to England for the lead up events. Hurriedly a group of friends organised a huge fundraising evening and enough was raised to get Gill and Freddie to UK.

After a strong performance at Saumur in France and the final selection trial at Savernake in England, Gill was finally rewarded with a place on an Australian Olympic Team. At the Barcelona Olympics the Australian Team of Matt Ryan, Andrew Hoy and Gillian Rolton (One rider had been eliminated) were in second place behind New Zealand going into the final phase, the show jumping, All Australians show jumped well and came from behind to win the Gold Medal. Gill became the first Australian equestrian woman to “medal” at an Olympic Games. This was the start of the Australian Golden Era of 3 consecutive Olympic Gold Medals in Eventing. Gill, along with the other Team Members, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for this achievement.

In 1994 Gill and Fred represented Australia at the World Championships in The Hague where the Australian Team finished fourth. Then in 1995 Gill and Freddie won the Australian Championships at Lochinvar in NSW and were subsequently selected as part of the Australian Team for the Atlanta Olympics.

Australia won the Gold Medal again with the Team consisting of fellow South Australian, Wendy Schaeffer, Andrew Hoy, Philip Dutton and Gill. Gill will always be remembered for her courageous ride at Atlanta where she fell twice, firstly on the flat where she sustained a broken collar bone and broken ribs and then at a very difficult water fence due to the fact that she now had no feeling in her left arm, only to remount and finish the gruelling cross country course. Gill will always be remembered for her gallantry in this ride which served as an inspiration to her fellow Team Members and to her adoring fans She and Freddie returned home as heroes.

In 1997 Gill and Freddie competed in the inaugural Australian Three Day Event in Adelaide. He was retired at the end of that competition to spend a happy retirement with Gill and Greg at their Clarendon Park Equestrian Centre.

At the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics Gill had the honour, with 7 other outstanding former Olympians, of carrying the Olympic Flag into the Main Arena. A fitting tribute.

Gill’s sporting achievements have been interspersed with very many contributions to the sport in the Administrative, Coaching and Judging fields, in South Australia, Australia and Internationally. She is widely recognised as an accomplished trainer, judge, coach and administrator.

Gill was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2000.

Previously both the 1992 and 1996 Australian Eventing Teams had been inducted into Equestrian Australia’s Hall of Fame which recognises the achievements and efforts of its members in equestrian sport.

She was an inaugural inductee into the SA Sport Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2016 Gill was elevated to the Status of Legend. She is the only female to hold this honour alongside Sir Donald Bradman AC, Bart Cummings AM, Barrie Robran MBE and Victor Richardson OBE.

From 2001 to 2007 Gill initiated, co-ordinated and coached the Mitsubishi National Young Rider Squad to support talented young Eventing Riders in their transition to senior level. It was a time when the Australian Young Rider Eventing team was undefeated in Trans-Tasman Events. This was a very proud accomplishment for Gill.

She has held key administrative positions in the sport she is passionate about including National Selector, Chair of Equestrian SA and Chair of the National Eventing Committee, SA Eventing Committee as well as a 4 year appointment to the Federation Equestre International (FEI) Eventing Committee, the controlling body of the sport world-wide.

Gill stood down as a National Selector in 2007 to continue judging at FEI 4* Level internationally. She was honoured to be one of the Eventing Ground Jury Members at the London Olympic Games in 2012, followed by her appointment as President of the Ground Jury at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France in 2014.

She has also been Chairman at Blenheim, England, Blair Castle Horse Trials, Scotland and on the Ground Jury at Malmo , Sweden, Punchestown, Ireland, South East Games in Thailand and many other major events in Australia, New Zealand and overseas.

Gill is also Patron of the Pony Club of Australia and Patron of Riding for the Disabled SA.

In 2016 Gill was inducted into the Equestrian Australia Hall of Fame for Service to Sport. Previously, in 2007, the 1992 Olympic Team had been inducted into Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Her impact on the sport has been far reaching and she has served as a role model to many up and coming riders. She was probably at her happiest on her arena at home helping these riders achieve their ambitions. As an EFA NCAS Level 3 Specialist Coach her knowledge and insight into riding is very well regarded.

But probably one of Gill’s proudest achievements is as Event Director for the past 10 years of the Australian International Horse Trials – this year the Mitsubishi Motors Adelaide International Horse Trials, the much needed major sponsor in place for the next three years. Gill has worked tirelessly and passionately to ensure the success on not only a local and Australian level for this event but also its standing as an International Event. Her world-wide contacts and experience have ensured the continued success of this event and all Equestrian enthusiasts in Australia owe her a huge debt of thanks for her devotion to the event. Long may it continue.

Gill was given the Key to the City of Adelaide. This is the highest honour a City Council can bestow upon an individual or organisation and the Adelaide City Council was absolutely thrilled to be able to bestow this great honour on Gill in her hospital bed.

As a fitting tribute to Gill, Equestrian South Australia has named the Annual Youth Development Scholarships for all Disciplines the Gillian Rolton Youth Development Scholarships. Gill was very proud and honoured by this fitting tribute. She will be greatly missed.

Gavin Ramsey

Equestrian South Australia extends our condolences to the family of Gavin Ramsey, who passed away suddenly.

Gavin was a member of the South Australian Police Force Mounted Cadre for 7 years.  Gavin was also a lecturer with the University of Adelaide and at Roseworthy.

Gavin was both a competitive and successful eventing rider through 1981 – 1995, and a member of the State Eventing team periodically through this period, long listed for the World Championships 1986.  Gavin competed in numerous 3 day events including Gawler (SA, Worrigee (NSW), Koralbyn (Qld) and Werribee (Vic).

In 1986, Gavin achieved his Coach Educator qualifications as well as being a Level 2 NCAS Eventing and General Coach.

Gavin was passionate about the industry and a dedicated coach.  His legacy will be seen for many years to come.

His passing is a sad loss to the equine industry.

 

Robert Haynes (Bobby)

The SA Show Horse world has lost a long standing volunteer of the Show scene in the passing of Bobby Haynes, husband to Sandra and father of Margot and Richard, on 10th August 2017.

Bobby had been a stalwart in the equestrian world contributing to various major horse events in South Australia over many years.
Many interstate competitors would also have seen Bobby in his capacity as a steward at the Royal Adelaide Show, a position he held for many years.
He will be sorely missed by the Show Horse Community.

 

Jill Mosey  

It is with sadness that we advise of the passing of Jill Mosey, whom many Equestrian SA Members, particularly in the Show Jumping community, will remember with much fondness.

Jill was a very active and staunch supporter of Show Jumping in this State, an interest shared with her family.  She was a regular volunteer and hard working Committee Member for the Northern District Show Jumping Club for many years.  Always dedicated to the task at hand and would get the job done on time with a smile, nothing was too much trouble.  

Jill’s passion was extended to the wider Equestrian community through her business Just Ribbons supplying beautiful quality ribbons, rosettes and sashes for the many Equestrian and Agricultural Shows and events held in South Australia. 

Her attention to detail and can do attitude, made Jill a pleasure to deal with and she will be very much missed.

 

Natalie Chisholm

Natalie Chisholm was a founding member of the Dressage Club of South Australia and subsequently became a Life Member of the Club.  Like many of her generation, she trained with Franz Mairinger, Tom Roberts and J J Pearce and was a contemporary of Marian Malecki, all well known names in the history of dressage in South Australia.  

A stickler for doing things the correct way, she was very supportive of her great nieces with their riding ambitions.  She was a well known judge and instructor over many years and riding, especially dressage, was her enduring passion.  

She died in late January 2016 after long years of ill health and will be remembered by many for her contributions to the development of dressage in this State.

 

Graham Parham

In September 2015 we lost an equestrian stalwart in Graham ‘Kanga’ Parham.  

Graham ‘Kanga’ Parham was a lifelong servant of Equestrian Sport and his contribution to the equestrian community in South Australia. In 2013 he was honoured for his services to equestrian sport receiving an Order of the Medal of Australia.

Best known as the founder of the Gawler Three Day Event (which moved to Adelaide in 1997 and is now known as the Australian International Three Day Event), Graham’s desire to bring high level eventing to South Australia inspired a new generation of eventers.  

 “When asked what he considered to be his greatest achievement, Graham said he is most proud of his appointment as one of the Chief Technical Officers for all equestrian disciplines at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.”

Graham dedicated his life to providing opportunities for emerging riders to reach their potential. He was also an accomplished rider and was considered for selection to Australia’s trailblazing eventing team that competed at the 1956 Olympic Games.  

In later life he served the sport as a high ranking FEI official as an FEI Course Designer, FEI Technical Delegate and FEI Chief Steward. He played a key role in bringing FEI World Cup Show Jumping to the Gawler Show which continues to attract Australia’s leading riders and was held in 2015 the day before Graham’s passing.

Please take a moment to remember “Kanga” as we honour him tonight

 

Karina Laudato

It is with great sadness that we advise the Equestrian Community that Karina Laudato sadly lost her five and a half year battle with breast cancer on August 9th, 2015 aged 44 years young.

Karina had a great talent for choreographing Dressage freestyle music with many riders both SA and interstate utilising her talent.

On behalf of the Equestrian SA Board, Equestrian SA staff and members across the disciplines, we would like to extend our sincerest condolences to Karina's husband Clem, daughter Isabelle and her many friends.

 

John Patterson

The South Australian Show Jumping Community and Equestrian SA has lost one of its most charismatic and memorable members.

John Patterson passed away in the early morning on Tuesday 22nd June 2015, at the age of 71.

Horses were a big part of John’s life and riding was his passion. John commenced his show jumping career at the age of 10, and his love of horses continued onto a career in the SA Mounted Police.

John represented the SA Mounted Police Department at Royal Shows and the many Country Agricultural Shows, not only in the show jumping arena, John also rode in the Section 4’s, and tent pegging events in both SA and Interstate.  And if that wasn’t enough John also competed at the Gawler 3 Day Event.

Those who knew him, would know he had a sparkling wit, a great sense of fun, intelligence, resolve, energy, a great work ethic and loyalty. With anything that John undertook there were no half measures. He was never satisfied with what he had achieved and always looking to improve.

John was valued course builder and judge, who took his role very seriously, he willingly gave his time to many riders and clubs for their competitions.  His contribution was significant and he will be sorely missed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with John's family at this sad time.

 

Cath Brennan

8 Oct 49 - 24 May 14

Cath was taken from us suddenly, without warning, on May 24 2014. 

Cath’s passions in life were her family (which includes the dogs), her garden -which was extensive, meandering, interesting and full of unusual plants, from rare natives to delicate bonsais, and of course her horses and her riding.

Those who knew her would know she had a sparkling and sometimes cutting wit, a great sense of fun, intelligence, resolve, energy, a great work ethic and loyalty.  With anything that Cath undertook there were no half measures.  She was never satisfied with what she had achieved, always looking to improve.

Mother to 2 daughters, grandmother to 2 boys. A nurse for more than 40 years. She gained her Bachelor of Arts degree as a mature aged student, whilst working mostly night shifts, continuing her commitments for riding, gardening and a full-time mum.

Horses were a big part of Cath’s life. Riding was an unrealised childhood passion that the move to SA from Sydney in 1973 allowed her to take up with vigour.  She bred and showed Arabs in the early years. Her riding progressed from hacking to dressage.  She was later President of the Dressage Club of Reynella. She rode a little bay gelding called ‘Pekoe’ to FEI levels. She worked her way up to B level dressage judge and Mentor, regularly travelling interstate to improve her ‘eye’, and was for a while on the SA Judges Working Party. Judging and mentoring helped to fill the gap when she had to give up riding in late 2013.

A valued judge who took her role very seriously, she willingly gave her time to many clubs for their competitions.  Her contribution to dressage was significant and she will be sorely missed.  

 

Dennis Bowden

Veterinary surgeon Dennis Bowden was known to many throughout South Australia, particularly in both the Equine and Racing Industry.

He was a vet that treated all manner of animals both big and small, but his love was horses. Dennis was based at Oakbank in the Adelaide Hills and from there made many visits to clients, contacts and friends throughout the many years he was in veterinary practice.  

When he was not working as a vet, he was avid horse racing fan and could be seen working at the races, socialising and having a punt or cheering his own horse onto the finish line.  

In the eventing world, Dennis, together with his wife Jill, were owners in an eventing horse ridden by Jaimie Stichel.

Dennis was diagnosed with Cancer and fought a long and hard battle, but sucumbed in 2014.

His equine expertise will be missed and we remember him with a smile.

 

Gemma Loechel

Gemma Loechel had a great impact on the Show jumping community in her short life. A passionate competitor, Gemma's greatest achievement was at the 2013 Australian Championships where she won the leading Thoroughbred Amateur Horse riding Jeff Evans’ 'Bradley', but spent her junior years doing the rounds within SA before moving into senior ranks.

Gemma spent the latter part of her life tirelessly organising and driving the SA Showjumping Club's Winter Series and Cygnet Rambler Show, as well as pioneering the Fieldbrook Newcomer's League which was implemented throughout shows in South Australia. 

Further to this, Gemma gave her time each month to be the minutes secretary for the Showjumping SA Committee, a position which proves to be hard to replace.

A friend to many & partner to Jeff, she is greatly missed and never forgotten.

 

Jo Edwards

In July 2014 the South Australian Equestrian community lost a favourite member in Jo Edwards.

Jo was a great supporter, volunteer and dedicated to all things Equestrian, and in particular, to her favourite sport of eventing.

Jo was a founding member of the Mylor Pony Club and also officiated at the Sydney Olympic Games as a technical officer.

In her 30 year involvement in eventing, Jo obtained many qualifications as an Equestrian Official. She was a Cross Country Course Designer, a Technical Delegate and an FEI Chief Steward.

Jo also served on the SA Eventing Committee and as a past Board Member for Equestrian SA.

Many will remember Jo best for running Kirkcaldy Park Horse Trials on her property, together with her daughter Karin. Kirkcaldy Park Horse Trials is one of South Australia’s biggest and most popular Horse trials that is held on private property for the benefit of our eventing riders. This is a favourite on the SA eventing calendar. 

Jo is very much missed.

 

Joe Cooper

Joe Cooper was a founding member of Emu Pony Club with Dominie Wyntie and Helen Traeger. He was also a founding member, Life member and patron of the Eyre Peninsula Showjumping Club.

He was twice State Champion bull rider in the 50's, and Founding member, Life member and Patron of Southern Eyre Hunt Club. Joe has been inducted into the SA Hunt Club Hall of Fame for his contribution to hunting in SA.

Joe raced and trained thoroughbreds, and for 25 years Joe was Clerk of the course at Port Lincoln races. He also spent some years as an official starter.

Joe is a life member and patron of Cummins Show Society where he continued as grounds keeper in his retirement.

In addition to Joe’s significant contribution to equestrian sports on the Eyre Peninsula, he was also a Foundation and Life member of the Coffin Bay Pony conservation society.

We remember Joe and thank him for his commitment to the Equestrian Community.

 

Caitlin Forrest

In October 2014, the South Australian equestrian and racing community had to say goodbye to a much loved young lady in Caitlin Forrest, after a tragic race fall.

Caitlin was a happy, fun loving person who commenced her equestrian career at Pony Club moving through the ranks to the Hack and Show Jumping rings and then on to a career  as a jockey within the thrilling sport of kings. 

Caitlin was a very talented rider and excelled in not only show jumping, but also as an outstanding jockey with the world at her feet and always a smile on her face and a kind word for others.

Horse Racing was in her blood and she loved to ride horses.

She loved the people that she met along the way in her career with horses. 

From her first ride to her last ride – she loved every minute.

Farewell Caitlin.

 

Pat Roberts

Pat Roberts was a quiet achiever. She was born at Hindmarsh Valley in 1924 and was surrounded by horses.

Her favourite horse was her beloved Kirrup and she could be seen riding her horse delivering refreshments to the men working in the paddocks.

In 1943 Pat moved to Adelaide being appointed as a stenographer for the Rationing Commission SA. In the following year her life would change when she overheard a group of people asking “Who could they find to ride a horse? ”

Pat, missing her beloved horse Kirrup, piped up, ‘I can ride!!’

Pat was introduced to Dorothy Mansom, being one of Adelaide’s leading Equestrian riders at that time. Pat and Dorothy rode together every Saturday from the city to Glenelg. It was during this period she was first introduced to Tom Roberts (OAM) who was an expert horseman. Tom took over the horse Pat was riding, and eventually her heart.

Pat and Tom were married in 1952 and during this time Pat helped Tom film his training techniques.

Together they toured the country to solve various horse problems. These documented sessions became an integral measure of teaching.

Pat helped Tom in 1972 prepare and publish the first of his four ‘The Horse Control’ books.  Pats amazing positive and happy personality as well as her infectious laugh brought many people together; we will miss her influence and support.

 

Arthur Whyte

In December 2014 we lost a founding member of Equestrian South Australia.

Arthur Whyte spent a lifetime with horses. He rode horses to school until the age of 13 when he became a stockman where he also broke in horses for various clients. He remained a stockman until World War 2 when he became part of the 2nd 48th and took part in the Battle of El Alamein and was a Rat of Tobruck. He lost an arm in the war but three months after his hospitalization became overseer at Moonarie station in the Gawler Ranges. He then purchased land at Kimba and became a successful farmer grazier as well as spending over twenty years representing country SA in the Legislative Council; 10 of those as President of the Legislative Council.

Arthur continued to ride horses, breaking in, shoeing and showing them. He also supported his family in their horse pursuits. 

He was a founding member of ESA, Life member of Eyre Peninsula Show Jumping Club, Life member of Pony Club, Life member of Country Racing Club, Committee member SAJC, and Winner of the ESA John Sheeky award in 2008.

He will be missed. 

 

STATE BRANCHES