The 68th Annual General Assembly was held on Wednesday, September 25th at the West Plaza Hotel, Wellington with the following key outcomes:


  • Patron – Mrs Jennifer Millar, CNZM
  • President – Mr Richard Sunderland
  • Vice-President – Mrs Lynda Clark

A big thank you to all those members who got engaged in this year’s election and behind the candidates and voted.


Honorary Life Membership Awards – Honorary Life Membership is granted in recognition and appreciation to outstanding service by a person for the benefit of ESNZ and or equestrian sport in New Zealand.  The recipients of Honorary Life Membership for 2019 were:

Sir Mark Todd

He is celebrated the world over for his incredible athleticism and ability to ride at top level at an age when many are considering more relaxing pastimes.

He is New Zealand’s most capped Olympian, having been selected for nine and ridden at eight – twice in both eventing and showjumping. He has won five medals but the most special and memorable for many New Zealanders were back-to-back individual golds aboard the mighty Charisma at Los Angeles and Seoul in 1984 and 1988 respectively. He has also won two team and an individual bronze and was the flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

He has also ridden for New Zealand at six World Equestrian Games winning two team golds in 1990 and 1998, an individual silver in 1998 and a team bronze in 2010.

Throughout an illustrious career, he has won nine CCI4* titles, including victory at Badminton in 2011 at 55, making him the oldest to have done so. He has won Burghley five times, followed closely by four victories at Badminton.

He has won the Supreme Halberg Award and been inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. In 1999 he was voted Rider of the 20th Century. He retired after Sydney 2000 but came back to compete at the London Olympic Games where he was a member of the bronze medal-winning team. As well as eventing prowess, he is a celebrated racehorse trainer with a number of top wins to his credit.

He became a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1985 New Year Honours, a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1995 and made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013 and was inducted into the ESNZ Hall of Fame in March of this year.

Wallie Niederer

Wallie was first selected as the NZ Team Veterinarian for the Los Angeles OG in 1984 and went on to be the Team Vet at many Olympics, World Equestrian Games and Trans-Tasman Events.

In 2002, he was appointed to the position of Chef de Mission for the NZ Team at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez and went on to hold that position at the 2004 Athens OG, WEG, Beijing Olympics and WEG at Lexington.

Wallie has held several positions at FEI Level and was appointed to the FEI Veterinary Committee from 1994-1998.He has also been an FEI Course Director.

In 2009 he was made a member of the NZ Order of Merit for his services to Equine Medicine and Equestrian Sport.  In 2011 he joined the ESNZ Board as an appointed member.

Wallie became the Convenor in 2009 of the NEC Taupo Committee. He then became the driving force to implement the long term plan requested by all disciplines in 2007.  After ticking off most of the requests which included covered yards, accommodation for Officials and others, all weather arenas, new Managers house and irrigation it was time to look at the possibility of building the Indoor Arena as requested by all disciplines.

In 2013 the first sponsorship money and was received and ever since then Wallie has been the driving force raising over two and a half million dollars in funding to make the project a reality.  Apart from that Wallie has sent his bulldozer, tractors and machinery down to the Center at no cost.

The NEC’s were established for the benefit of all members of ESNZ be they high performance or grassroots.  Wallie together with his Committee has certainly achieved this.  Wallie has proven that you can give back to the sport that has given to you.

Peter Morris

Peter Morris is one of the most respected technical officials across all Equestrian disciplines in New Zealand; although he is best known in recent years for his dedication to Showjumping.

He has officiated in the sport at the highest level for over 40 years; is admired by riders, officials and other volunteers alike for his calm approach and has perhaps the best understanding of anybody of the rules of our sport.

He grew up in the Wairarapa and rode from a very young age, competing in riding classes and progressing through to Pony Club where he gained his B Certificate in 1954, before becoming the first winner of the Dorothy Campbell Cup in 1955.

He last competed when he was 21 years old and gave up riding shortly after, to turn his interest to the rules of the sport and to start a long and prestigious judging career including becoming the youngest Showjumping judge ever to gain full international status.

His judging career has seen him officiate in many countries across the globe with a favourite moment being his invitation to judge the water jump at the first Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Canada in 1990 in the presence of HM The Queen.

What is less known, is that Peter started his officiating career as a Dressage judge and was for many years a chief Eventing cross‐country judge. He was responsible, as Chairman of the then NZ Equestrian Federation’s rules committee in the early 80s, for all rules of the sport including what we would now call general regulations and discipline rules.

He served on the ESNZ Showjumping Committee for many years, and as Chairman from 1992‐96. He served on the Showjumping technical committee and helped to deliver the annual judging seminars around the country refreshing, teaching and mentoring current Showjumping judges as well as bringing on the next generation. He has been president of the ground jury at every major NZ showjumping show, including the Horse of the Year Show, for many years.

He is renowned for his quietly spoken and considered approach, his calmness under pressure, his willingness to share his knowledge, his unfailingly high standards and infectious humour.

Above all, he has throughout his judging career been a friend to generations of riders, helping them to understand, and occasionally to comply with, the rules.

In March 2014, at the Horse of the Year Show Hall of Fame Gala Dinner, Peter was awarded the Pilmer Plate, ESNZ’s Volunteer Lifetime Award which is awarded to a volunteer or technical official who, throughout his or her career, has exemplified the highest ideals of good sportsmanship through commitment, dedication and the pursuit of excellence in the service of ESNZ.

And lastly in 2015 he was made a member of the New Zealand order of merit for this services to equestrian Sports.


The Chris Hodson Scholarship was established in 2015 in recognition of Chris Hodson’s outstanding

service to ESNZ as an ESNZ Board Member from 1998 to 2015 and President from 2011 to 2015.

The Scholarship was for $10,000 ($2,000 over 5 years) to be awarded to an aspiring New Zealand FEI Official. The first scholarship was awarded in 2016.

The recipient of the Chris Hodson Scholarship for 2019 is Linda Warren-Davey.  Linda is currently working towards progressing to an FEI 4* Dressage Judge and will be attending a four day course an exam in Stuttgart, Germany in November this year.


A special presentation was made to outgoing Vice-President and Chairman, Nick Pyke in recognition of this six years of leadership and contribution to ESNZ.  Nick was elected a Vice-President in 2013 and when on to become the Chairman of the ESNZ Board from September 2015.  Prior to that he was on the Eventing Board and was the Chair.  A particular mention was made of his great support to ESNZ Chief Executive, Dana Kirkpatrick and ESNZ staff.


The draft minutes of 68th Annual General Assembly will be available in due course under the Board Summaries section of the website.