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Posted by on Nov 22, 2018 in Newsflashes |

The Total Package – Discipline and Federation working together for you

The Total Package – Discipline and Federation working together for you

It is important for every athlete and every official to understand how a discipline association, such as Dressage SA (DSA), and a Sports Federation, such as the South African Equestrian Federation (SAEF) fit together and support each other in order to deliver the foundation upon which our sport is built.

The SAEF is the overreaching Equestrian Sports Federation which is in pace to fulfil very specific functions on behalf of all equestrian disciplines in South Africa. These Disciplines as are follows:

Dressage Carriage Driving Equitation
Eventing Endurance Mounted Archery
Showjumping Reining & Performance Riding Mounted Games
Para Dressage Vaulting Polo
Saddle Seat
Western Mounted Games


In order to keep this communication short and readable, we have only addressed the highest level issues.

Now although it is true that each discipline needs to administrate its own affairs related to issues such as managing rules, training and grading officials, managing calendars and regulating the sport in general, (see our email on Monday in this regard), we have to work as a collective when it comes to dealing with other National and International bodies such as the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), The Department of Sports and Recreation, The National Lottery Fund, and the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) and very many more. It is not only the correct protocol but it is also legislated that loose standing disciplines and organisations are not able to efficiently interface with these bodies without working through a national Federation such as SAEF.

The benefits that can be gained from maintaining open, healthy and solid relationships between a sports discipline, such as Dressage, and our federation, the SAEF are enormous as they are the key influencer in the most important national and international bodies. If we just look at the benefit of LOTTO funds made available to Dressage over the last few years and the adversities we faced when such funding dried up at the time of the SANEF problems, the point is very well illustrated. This year alone, SAEF has provided Dressage with funding from Sports and Recreation for coaches training (used to hugely subsidise coaches first aid training nationally) as well as other ongoing coaches projects. Arranged for two separate 5 day Coaches Development (train the trainer format) courses which were presented by the top international FEI solidarity training team to assist us in lifting the level of equestrian sport and many more related benefits. SAEF has also ensured the implementation of a two year programme (2019/2020) which is specific to Dressage and which is funded by FEI Solidarity and managed by Dressage SA aimed specifically at our young Dressage riders. This programme alone is worth about R 400 000 and we remain hopeful now with a better funded and solid team at SAEF that LOTTO funding will start to again become available to us. Much of this work sits on the shoulders of the SAEF EXCO (all volunteers) as well as the SAEF Secretary General and his staff.

The costs related to the administration at SAEF are much larger than the costs of DSA as they need to travel a lot more both locally and even internationally as their functions are very diverse, they require a larger permanent office staff and their financial controls are much more complicated. The SAEF receive their funding from athletes  from annual subs but in their case, you only pay once, no matter how many sports disciplined you belong to. Remember that SAEF also require specific provincial Sports Federation functions (e.g. Western Cape Equestrian Federation) but also confederations covering all sports (e.g. Gauteng Sports Confederation) which are tasked with interfacing with Provincial and Municipal counterparts in local government and other civil organisations. Keep in mind that the Department of Sports and Recreation is decentralised and works at Provincial and Municipal levels like almost all other government departments.

Lastly, the support given to our international Athletes across the world by the SAEF office is nothing short of miraculous.

DSA prides itself on an excellent relationship with the SAEF as well as a 100% record of membership and sports administration compliance.