I stepped back in time on the 20th, 21st and 22nd ofApril 2018 when I went to Ironfest in Lithgow NSW. The event is a medieval fair style set up with so much to do! this year's theme was Wild Wild West. Each year a group of horse enthusiasts that are called HEGA join the shennanigans and put on a show for all to see! This includes jousting and mounted medieval games. If you missed out on seeing them, they are back again at Winterfest on the 7th and 8th of July 2018! I was able to get an interview in with the primary coach for HEGA, Andrew BEATTIE!
Andrew, thank you for doing this interview. Now as far as I understand, you are a part of the Historical Equestrian Games Australia group. When did HEGA begin and how did it come about?
Hi K, and it’s my pleasure. HEGA started 4-5 years ago, and developed from what was seen as a necessary step to provide safe and quality fun training in the activities associated with historical mounted skills and activities. These activities form a lot of the core of what is seen in activities today. It provided a framework for us to expand and practice these skills to get the best out of the relationship with our horses, and have a bit of fun with really unusual activities.
What is your position in the group and who else runs the group?
My role in the Historical Equestrian Games Australia, or HEGA is primary coach/ instructor and coordinator for the various activities. We have a number of other specialist coaches who also provide their support; from horse behaviour to learning and implementing skills and goals, and coaches and range marshals for the specific activities.
Is it a club of sorts and how do people become involved? Is there a membership or is it a self run group that purely holds clinics?
HEGA runs a number of clinics and training activities during the ‘off season’ in historic based mounted skill-at-arms and mounted archery, as well as some more practical skills, such as body control and fall safety. While there includes some theory for the activities, it is very much about practice and safety, while enjoying your relationship with your horse, and working as a team.
The people who join us usually have met us at some of the events where we demonstrate the historic skills and activities, or at the open days run at some of the Riding for the Disabled fundraiser events.
What can we expect to see this year from HEGA?
The clinics will continue in the mounted archery and skills. Lighthorse representation for us this year is expanding, for demonstrations and on film, and the medieval displays continue at festivals such as Ironfest. Winterfest will feature not only the skill-at-arms display and competition, HEGA will also be demonstrating and doing meet-and-greet for those interested in finding out more. As for me, I’ll be once again in the thick of it, doing all of the above as well as representing our local districts for NSW in the Winterfest Joust!
How do people get in contact with you to organise a clinic at their location?
If clubs or individuals are interested in running medieval skill-at-arms, mounted archery or activity days in NSW, or would like to find a reputable group close by, we can certainly be contacted easily through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HEGAus/ and via the website at http://historicalequestriangames.com.au
Lastly, what do you want to see HEGA doing in the near future that you have not done before?
I think HEGA is providing an opportunity for people to engage with their horses in a fun and safe learning environment for both horse and rider. I think if we pursue this as an ideal, we have plenty to look forward to.