Faye, exactly. We have zero standing in global dressage, Hayley is probably the only one with a decent level of respect overseas, having been elected to ride a number of German owned stallions.
And she's been booted from the team! The highest ranked Australian Dressage rider, beats all on the time the majority of the time - Kristy isn't even in the top 8 Australian dressage riders, Mary would be lucky to be in the top 5, and Rozzie, well, nothing to be said there.
The EA has a monopoly in Australia. They are the only federation available, I think the only state that has another option is Victoria, and they can only compete to a certain level, and cannot compete in any 'official' competitions.
If you want to have lessons with a qualified instructor on a regular basis, you have to be an EA member, to register a horse, to compete and gain qualification points... EA EA EA. Hence, they have been able to up membership fees astronomically and we've got no choice but to pay. I think after this mess, there will be a push to give us more options, other than EA.
Joe, the government will barely touch equestrian sports, they get some grants now and there from the government, but 90% of funding comes from membership fees.
The head honcho's of the EA, decide who selectes the Olympic team of course *big sigh*.