The seeds of WEDU were sown in early 2018 when five like minded Working Equitation enthusiasts met and formed a steering committee. WEDU was incorporated as an Association on 12th June 2018. It was originally started in order to have a Working Equitation association that was run by a democratically elected committee, rather than a corporation with a Board of Directors. There was a very encouraging response, to the formation of the association and in the first year had over 190 members, 15 affiliated clubs and 20 plus WEDU accredited judges. By July 2018 an Australian based Rulebook and full set of Dressage tests had been written and published. Several competitions were held over the next few months by various NSW W.E. Clubs with great response and success.
In April 2019 WEDU ran its first very successful National Championships with international judges including, WAWE judge Antonio Vicente, one of only 12 WAWE Accredited judges. It was here that Australia gained its first Internationally ranked Masters rider, Mark Mason on CONDAMINE PROSPECT.
More generally in W.E. in Australia has been established for over 10 years. In 2007 Gillian Kennerley brought the sport to Australia after having discovered it herself over in the UK in 2001. Very quickly several clubs were established and today WEDU Inc. is one of two specific W.E. Associations in Australia. Additionally a form of 3 phase W.E. is run through AHRC in Victoria. In Australia W.E. has clubs along the Eastern States of Australia and also in Western Australia.
As a governing association WEDU aims to be supportive and encouraging of both their entry level riders, who come from many different equestrian backgrounds, including non-competitive, with 3 walk trot levels and also its highest level riders by providing international standards of competition. It has progressive levels which give horse and rider the confidence to have a go at competition without feeling pressured and out of their depth. The Australian based rulebook and unique levels support members to reach their goals with smaller steps between the levels and minimal disqualifications in the lower levels.
WEDU is affiliated with the International Cross Nations Cup, which consists of four countries - USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Being part of the CNC ensures that our members who qualify will have the opportunity to participate in international competition. In 2018 the first Cross Nations Cup was held in the USA, Canada in 2019, 2020 in Australia (cancelled due to Covid Pandemic), Oregon, USA in 2021, Australia in 2022 and New Zealand in 2023.
2020 was a challenging year for everyone across the entire globe. Many W.E. enthusiasts have been sharing their knowledge in innovative ways in the online space which has created connections with the wider W.E. community. On a more local and focused level WEDU understands that to support its members it has to ensure its affiliated clubs are also supported. It is the hardworking committees of these clubs that are the ground force of action. Without them there would be no training days or competitions. With this thought at the forefront of each WEDU committee member the current focus of their energies and efforts is to update and create support systems and accreditation workshops to support affiliated club committees.
WEDU welcomes all those that want to try something different with their horse and hopefully have the chance to dance together.
"WEDU it fun, WEDU it friendly and WEDU it for everyone!"