On 30 May, AERA met to consider a proposal to run a Tom Quilty Gold Cup event at Stirling’s Crossing Endurance Club (SCEC) in October this year. The proposal followed the cancellation of the TQ20 event scheduled for Collie, WA in September. The Collie event was cancelled due to uncertainty surrounding the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

AERA declined the Stirling’s Crossing proposal on the basis that the uncertainty around the ongoing impact of COVID-19 remained. Horse welfare concerns were also a factor in the decision. Stirling’s Crossing appealed this decision and AERA met again on 18 June to receive further information from SCEC and to consider the appeal.  The appeal information was disseminated to all Division Associations for their SMCs to consider and seek comment from their members.

At a meeting on 24 June AERA considered the feedback and made a determination on the appeal.  AERA would like to notify the members of all Division Associations that the appeal from Stirling’s Crossing EC was declined as it was not supported by a majority of the AERA management committee (MC). 

This matter has been discussed exhaustively over the past few weeks at both a national and state level and AERA would like to express its thanks to SMC members and MC members for their diligence and consideration of the matter.

The reasons for this decision incorporate concerns over the ongoing uncertainty of the effects and impacts of the COVID-19 situation.  This includes the status of state borders being and remaining open at the appropriate times for all states,  particularly in light of the increasing number of cases now manifesting in some states and the ability of the states to get endurance rides re-started.  In addition, the horse welfare issues considered, including the risk of underprepared horses competing, remain. 

A number of other major events, equestrian and other sports, have been cancelled over similar concerns. 

It was also felt that the spirit of the Quilty, our national championship, would be difficult to uphold if all members did not have the same opportunity to prepare and travel to the event.

AERA understands that this decision will be disappointing for those members who were keen to compete in a Quilty this year and shares that disappointment.  This has been a difficult and, at times, a very emotional process for all concerned and we seek your understanding of this decision.