Equitana Melbourne


COVID-19 UPDATE – EVENT POSTPONED: EQUITANA Melbourne has now been postponed to 8 July to 11 July 2021. Further updates via social media and email.

Equestrian Land Developments Pty Ltd (ELD) was established in 2000 for the sole purpose of bringing quality arena design and construction to the working horse person.

Todd Cunningham, founder and director of ELD, has spent most of his life around horses. Todd’s father was a Master Farrier, and he grew up on a horse property with spelling stables accommodating up to 120 horses at any one time. On leaving the farm, Todd pursued a career in earthmoving. Today, with almost 30 years of earthmoving experience, Todd has supervised a wide spectrum of construction projects both in Australia and overseas. These include some of the largest and most complex earthworks projects in South East Queensland, underwater excavation in the Torres Straight and Road Construction worldwide. After a family friend asked Todd to build an Arena for them, through word of mouth, the business grew and for 20 years Todd has built on average one arena per week. CONSTRUCTION ELD caters specifically for equestrian needs, bringing intricate knowledge and years of experience from both the earthworks and equestrian fields to each project.

Our goal at ELD is to provide affordable and durable equestrian facilities for those who have a passion for horses. These include but are not limited to: Dressage arenas, Jumping Arenas, Western Arenas, Competition Arenas, Round Yards & Walker Pads, Polo fields, Stable pads,Land levelling, Dams, Fencing and driveways, Sheds, Stables & Arena Covers.   REBUILD/RESTORATION – In addition, ELD provides a restoration service for existing arenas. This can include partial or complete reconstruction, resurfacing and/or improved drainage systems.

Dr. Raquel Butler’s passion for horses began at 1 year old when she sat on her first horse. She has had a number of difficult horses throughout her life who have inspired her to search for answers and enhance her understanding of the underlying potential physical issues that affect horses’ performance and behaviour.

Raquel graduated from BVSc Melbourne University in 2004. She worked in mixed practice in Australia and overseas for 10 years. In 2012 Raquel started her own business ‘ Integrated Veterinary Therapeutics, treating horses and dogs with Muscle Release Therapy (EMRT & CCMRT) and completing a Graduate Diploma in Animal Biomechanical Medicine, encompassing chiropractic, osteopathic and rehabilitation techniques in 2016.

She is currently the President of the Animal Biomechanical Professionals of Australia. Raquel has studied many therapies including the Masterson Method, CranioSacral, Kinesiology Taping with Equi tape and Vetkin, Saddle fitting, Laser (Photobiomodulation) therapy and recently Acupuncture Oriented Energetics and Fascial kinetic lines. In 2015 she began teaching clinics in Equine Anatomy and Palpation, Equine Biomechanics, Equine Veterinary Biomechanical Assessment and Equine Vetkin taping, to practitioners and horse people in Australia, UK and Holland. Raquel has worked closely with and assisted Sharon May-Davis in numerous whole horse dissections and has run them herself, learning from the textbook on the table.

Raquel has worked alongside classical horse trainer Thirza Hendriks to promote correct biomechanical training in rehabilitation. Raquel is very passionate about Equine biomechanics, injury rehabilitation and bridging the gap between Equine therapists, trainers and Veterinarians to improve the health and wellbeing of the horse. She currently works at Charles Sturt, Wagga Wagga, NSW, lecturing and researching in Equine Science in subjects incorporating rehabilitation, biomechanics and Equine athlete training and management.

Georgia has been clicker training horses and other animals since 1997. She has worked with exotic animals at a zoo in far north Queensland Australia for a number of years where she was the senior animal trainer. Georgia predominantly specializes in horse training and is an accomplished equine trainer and competitor. She is a qualified Equine Behaviour Consultant with the IAABC (International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants). Georgia is also a qualified Equestrian and Dressage Coach with Equestrian Australia.

Georgia has worked and trained with thousands of horses of all ages, breeds and disciplines. Her experience includes working with young horses, wild horses and horses with problem behaviours through to advanced performance in dressage, western, liberty and trick training. Georgia Bruce has represented Australia in dressage on 12 occasions including 2 World Para dressage championships, (Belgium 2003, UK 2007) and 2 Paralympic Games Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. Georgia won two bronze medals at the 2008 Paralympic Games Beijing riding an 18hh Warmblood gelding called ‘Victory Salute’. Georgia has worked for and trained with many high level dressage trainers in Australia and Germany including Hubertus Schmidt, Kim Weston, Christine Doan and Stephan Keisewetter.

Georgia has a unique approach to horse training that combines horsemanship and classical dressage with the positive reinforcement based method known as clicker training. Georgia has been teaching horse training and clicker training for over 20 years and teaches people from beginners with their first pony through to Grand Prix riders. Georgia is currently competing regularly in Medium level dressage with her horse Red Phoenix. Georgia also has Rumba the Wonder Horse who performs Grand Prix dressage under saddle & also at Liberty. Rumba also does tricks and has many viral trick/liberty videos with more than 100 million views. His most recent “Git Up Challenge” video has 3.9M views.

Jessica started her working life with a science degree and love of horses, and a passion to combine them both into a career.

After completing a horse massage course to help her own competitive horses she was hooked and studied a number of different therapies and started working as an Equine Sports Therapist. A gap in the industry (combined with a business degree), led her to develop Equestricare and the equine sports therapy educational courses it offers including certification courses in sports massage, tissue mobilisation and photonic therapy as well as online courses, books and dvd’s. Jessica has multiple qualifications in the Equine therapy field (Sports Massage, Bodywork, Myofascial Release, Red Light Therapy, Tissue Mobilisation, Biokinetics, Laser Therapy, Taping and Reiki) and has also done extensive study in Biomechanics, anatomy and exercise physiology.

She has been fortunate to have trained under some of the worlds best including: Dr Barb Crabbe, Dr Eleanor Kellon, the late Dr Kerry Ridgeway, Gillian Higgins, Ruth Mitchell-Golliday, Sharon May Davis, Di Jenkins and more. Jessica has been a full time professional equine therapy practitioner since 2005 utilising not only her hands on techniques but also a range of other tools including ultrasound, laser, photonic therapy, microcurrent therapy, taping and more. She has been teaching since 2008 and has guest lectured at many events. She was commissioned in 2012 to write the new manual and online course for Equissage and has published three books and two DVD’s on Basic Horse Massage Techniques, Tissue Mobilisation and Equine Muscles. She has also been honoured with numerous awards for Equestricare including Telstra’s Most Innovative Business Woman of the Year and runner up Young Business Woman of the Year, and Marcus Oldham’s first ever female Graduate of Excellence.

Her passion is helping people turn their dream career into a reality and educating the general horse owner about helping their horse.

Larissa graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree with first class honours in the early 1990s.  She has travelled throughout Australia and internationally as both a science communicator and animal nutritionist. Larissa has worked in the stock feed industry as an animal nutritionist providing support to the horse, beef, dairy and poultry industries.

She is a founding partner of Farmalogic Pty Ltd, a Brisbane based company producing supportive nutritional supplements for horses, backyard poultry and show cattle.   Larissa grew up in regional Victoria and has a lifetime love of horses, dogs, cats and dressage riding. She now lives in Brisbane with her husband and three lovely teenagers and is also known as the crazy chicken lady of Waterford!   Larissa is passionate about helping animal owners make good decisions regarding feeding and welfare. The Equine Vit&Min and Farmalogic range is the culmination of Larissa’s belief that horse owners can and should understand more about feeding their horses because the basics are not complicated. She wishes to help them sort out the marketing myths from the scientific facts and provides practical animal feeding and management advice through lectures, clinics, social media and individual consultations.

Treating spinal pain and dysfunction of horses has been an obsession of Dr Ian Bidstrup’s for the last 25 years of his veterinary career. Additional qualifications include a Masters Degree in Chiropractic Science and Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture (IVAS).

Therapeutic approaches include Regenerative Injection Therapy (Neural Prolotherapy) for tissue strain. Particular interests include birth trauma, girth pain, kissing spines, stifle lock, sacro-iliac dysfunction and saddle related spinal pain. Between 2002 & 2009 Ian was one of the principal lecturers in Animal Chiropractic at RMIT University Graduate Diploma in Animal Chiropractic. Also from 2000 to present he has been one of the principal lecturers at the ASFA Saddle Fit Accreditation and Advanced Accreditation courses, and is the Editor of the course manuals. He is rated as a Master Saddle Fitter by ASFA, his specialty being saddle design and suitability. Ian is a Board Member of the Animal Biomechanical Professionals Australia, formerly known as the Australian Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Also a member of veterinary professional associations AVA, EVA, AVAG, and IVAS. Ian has presented a numerous veterinary conferences both here and in Europe.

For 39 years Nina ran a live-in camp with a horse program for schools which included a Registered Training Organisation providing nationally recognised qualifications for teaching horse riding. She has been involved in Horse Safety Australia since 1992 and has helped in the development of the AHIC Code of Practice for horse activities (2003), The Safe Work Australia Guide to managing risks of beginners and horses (2014), the Safe Work NSW Code for interactions with horses in the workplace (2017), the Adventure Activity Standards for Trail Riding (2019) and the HSA Standards for group horse riding. Nina has provided qualifications through HSA for approximately 2000 people.

Nina has written expert reports for the court regarding litigation involving horse accidents, and has spoken many times throughout Australia on what people need to know about the codes, how they impact on their businesses, what documentary evidence they need to keep for their workplaces and what are the key risks to their businesses.  The sessions normally have lots of questions and areas which people want information and Nina is looking forward to helping people at EQUITANA.

When it comes to the ability to understand and work well with horses, my background places me in a unique position in the equestrian world. My education in science, learning and human performance has allowed me to appreciate all the realms and dimension of understanding and working with horses. While so much of the equestrian world is full of experts that have their way and method of understanding and working with horses that tend to be narrow and restricted to their own beliefs or disciplines.

This can make many experts critical and dismissive of other professionals or disciplines. This is not me, and I hope to bring to the equestrian world a voice that bridges the divide between the disciplines and beliefs. My background in research has allowed me to appreciate ALL sources of knowledge, insights or ideas. I take on board the knowledge of famous horseman and women, world champions, those with PhD’s in horse behaviour, fellow trainers, equine industry experts from veterinarians to farriers, from diverse disciplines from classical dressage to team roping, from neuroscience, psychology to biomechanics. Therefore, all the various ways of looking at horses and how to work with them. By doing this I have been able to identify how the insights connect and where it overlaps. I have a vast tool box of techniques and methods for working with horses. Then I use my knowledge of human learning and performance to build horse training talent in people.

I promote people to understand horses and appreciate the impact of how we interact with them. What started years ago as an interest in developing my own training skills. Working with my own horses and then any horse I could lay my hands on, turned into helping my friends, then their friends until all my spare time was consumed by coaching and giving clinics. I now coach full time and it is very satisfying to empower people with the knowledge and skills that give them their joy and purpose back into horse riding.

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