Photo – Eventing stewards in Tokyo in August 2019 at the Equestrian test event for the Tokyo 2020 (now 2021) Olympics. Susan is four from the right.

Congratulations to Susan O’Brien who is our fantastic ESNZ Volunteer of the Month for March 2020!

Celia Grant nominated Susan because she gives an extraordinary amount to every equestrian discipline and has done so for more than 40 years!

Susan volunteers at numerous events, where her roles vary from secretary to TD to steward. On her FEI profile she has 10 pages of roles from FEI events – which is super impressive! She is an FEI steward and TD for Eventing (both level 3), level 2 steward for Jumping and Dressage and in 2019 added Endurance to her portfolio so is a level 1 steward as well.  She is the overall Steward General for ESNZ so is also on the ESNZ Technical Committee. Phew!

Stewarding is definitely her passion and she is a great example of an excellent steward – there for the health and safety of the rider, the welfare of the horse and plays an important role in ensuring rules are adhered to and the playing field is level for all.  She is a great communicator and, as she has also ridden, can see things from the rider’s point of view.  Empathetic but also fair and strong when needed.  She always gives at least 100%, travelling the length of the country to ensure events can be run, and working long days, probably with very little sleep, along with partner Kevin Sapsworth (also a steward).

A thousand times “thank you” Susan for your commitment and invaluable service and for the countless hours of work you do. Your contribution ensures the future viability and ongoing success of all disciplines and the sport generally.

Our sport is in safe hands with Susan and our other wonderful volunteers like her who quietly go about the business of sustaining the sport. Next time you are so lucky to be on the receiving end of our volunteers’ generosity, please take a moment to thank them.

ESNZ Volunteer of the Month receives a gift in recognition of their contribution; Susan’s will be on its way to her as soon as we can get back into the office.

You can nominate your ESNZ Volunteer of the Month by emailing us at nzef@nzequestrian.org.nz  with Volunteer of the Month in the subject line.

Please provide this information along with a photo of your nominee:

Who are you nominating?

From what discipline?

From what area?

Why are you nominating them?

Your name

Your contact phone number and email