Dedication recognised

Diane Bennit displays her show jumping prowess in her heyday (left), and with WA Governor Malcolm McCusker at the opening night of the Royal Show.
Diane Bennit displays her show jumping prowess in her heyday (left), and with WA Governor Malcolm McCusker at the opening night of the Royal Show.

Her dedication to the WA Royal Agricultural Society won her the 2013 Volunteer of the Year award and special recognition from WA Governor Malcolm McCusker on the opening night of the show on September 27.

‘I was stunned to be named Volunteer of the Year,’ she said this week.

‘Horses are all I have ever known. I feel privileged to be part of the show because the atmosphere is so good and people are so passionate about what they do.’

Throughout the show, Ms Bennit could be found at the main arena providing informative commentary on the showjumping events.

Behind the scenes, she is a member of the society’s showjumping working party, the horse breeds working party and the horse committee. She also judges working hunter classes.

Ms Bennit’s achievements in the horse world are impressive.

Apart from her heavy involvement in the show, she is a national classifier and judge for the Australian Warmblood Horse Association and Connemara Pony Breeders Society of Australia and a qualified coach and a trainer.

She has even trained jockeys for the WA Turf Club.

Ms Bennit has also been a delegate to Federal Equestrian Australia, chairwoman of the Equestrian WA Working Group to Grade Commentators, chair National Coaching Accreditation Scheme EWA branch, national coaching co-ordinator of the Australian Horse Riding Centres, vice chairperson of Riding for the Disabled, a HorseSafe auditor and is a part-time lecturer at Tafe.

In 1996, she was named as the Women’s Sports Foundation of WA’s choice for inclusion in their book Best 100 Women Competitors and Contributors to their Sport and was appointed as stable manager for the Australian ParaEquestrian Team that competed at the World Championships, in the UK, in 2007.