Australia Post is setting the pace with a new equestrian focused stamp issue featuring the equestrian activities of dressage, cross-country and showjumping, polocrosse and pony club on five domestic base-rate (70c) stamps.
Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt said, "Many Australians enjoy horses through pony clubs, competition and leisure, and these form the focus of this stamp issue."
"We trust collectors and especially equine enthusiasts will jump at the opportunity to collect these equestrian-themed stamps and the associated products."
"Today equestrian disciplines such as dressage, showjumping and eventing are practised at local, state and national levels, and are also represented at the Olympic Games. They showcase very different sets of skills and ability in both the rider and horse and polocrosse is also played at both national and international levels, with the World Cup held every two years," he added.
There are five English riding style events featured in the equestrian stamp issue including:
- Dressage - In competition, the rider puts the horse through a predetermined series of movements (or "figures"), performed in a rectangular arena. Dressage requires a high level of control, discipline and precision in both horse and rider.
- Cross-country - Eventing combines the disciplines of dressage, cross-country and showjumping. The cross-country component tests the endurance of both horse and rider.
- Showjumping - Performed either indoors or out, the horse is put through a tight course of brightly coloured temporary obstacles that it must clear against the clock.
- Polocrosse - This sport originated in Australia in 1939, and today there are around 4,000 Australian players and 135 clubs. Polocrosse is a fast-paced team sport that combines speed, strategy, tactics and toughness.
- Pony club - Australia has approximately 980 active clubs across all states and territories, which together have around 50,000 members.
Phil Ellett from Creative Ethos designed the stamps which use photographs by Bronwen Healy (dressage) and Julie Wilson (cross-country, showjumping, polocrosse, and pony club).
The products associated with this stamp issue are a first day cover, stamp pack, set of five maxicards, five booklets of 10 x 70c self-adhesive stamps, a roll of 200 x 70c self-adhesive stamps and a booklet collection.