A beautiful lunch at the lovely Oakfields Farm saw a line-up of South African educators coming together to pay tribute to Charlotte Stubbs’ vision of this, the 40th anniversary of the birth of the SA National Instructors Plan.
Charlotte’s protégé, now-chairperson Di Pieterse, reminded us of how far education in the equestrian industry has come in that time. Annually we are performing around 560 assessments around the country. There are now over sixty direct vocations involving horses. We are undergoing huge growth, with the government recognising our EQASA (Equestrian Qualification Association of SA) instructors’ qualifications. This means that qualified coaches can now register under a professional body of their own, CEPSA (Council of Equestrian Professionals in SA) overseen by the supremely dedicated Shelley Beckbessinger.
The ramifications for this are huge, from the assurance that children are being trained by only competent instructors, equipped with skill sets from first aid to specialised training in over twenty disciplines, to those same instructors being protected legally in both employment situations, and cases of liability.
In order for horse sport in our country to continue to grow, the continued evolution of our own education – and educators – is imperative.
Yesterday, we remembered that we were all bound together: by our gratitude for a life with horses in it, and a gratitude to Charlotte in her huge absence for her foresight of constantly uplifting the standard of education for both coaches and riders, especially in a country of turmoil. As David, a master himself in our industry and Charlotte’s long-time husband said, Charlotte was an excellent tutor… just look at him!
Thanks as well to the indefatigable Di and her team from around South Africa, and as Shelley said, may we all be coming together to celebrate YOUR legacy in another forty years!