Meet the Chef
As well as being one of the most welcoming and encouraging people on the Australian jumping circuit, Todd Hinde is also Australia’s High Performance Jumping Manager. With his successful contribution at the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) as Chef d’Equipe of the Australian Jumping Team and his wealth of jumping knowledge and experience, Todd was an obvious choice for this key position on the High Performance team.
We caught up with Todd a couple of months ago to learn more about his involvement in the sport and his essential role in shaping the jumping program in Australia.
Right from the moment he could walk, horses and riding were a massive part of Todd’s life. His family have always been into horses and his uncle and his grandfather were successful showjumpers in Australia. His Grandfather, Richard (Paddy) Otton, who has been his main supporter and role model, took Todd and his horses along with him as he travelled to shows all over the country.
During his HSC year, Todd had 6 horses in work and yet managed to get through with good results (in his words ‘part of the deal‘). Following school he gained accreditation as an Auctioneer for Real Estate, Stock and Station and then packed his bags and headed off to Europe for 4 months. This trip served only to further fuel his passion for the sport, and after his amazing experiences in Europe he decided to head back home and set up a riding and training facility in Australia.
Unfortunately, timing was not on his side and soon after he arrived home, Equine Influenza (EI) hit the country which brought horse movement to a standstill. He worked on his family farm and was planning to sit out EI until he got a call from his family stock agent recommending he apply for a job which had come available in Albury. Four days later his bags were once again packed and he was heading to Albury to start his new job. He worked as a stock agent auctioneer in Albury for five years which he recalls was a great experience. Throughout his time in Albury he continued to ride the two horses he had taken with him and went to shows as often as he could.
Todd’s next move was to Sydney where he worked at Oaks Sport Horses with his partner at the time, Hilary Scott, which then led to a relocation to Europe for three years.
In 2013, applications opened for the Chef d’Equipe job for 2014 WEG Normandy and Todd was very keen to apply but was advised by his good friend and previous Chef, Stephen Lamb, that he needed more experience under his belt for that role and that he should not apply for the position. As disappointed as he was, Todd took the advice of his great mate and is grateful to this day that he did so.
A couple of years later, Todd relocated back to Sydney and at the beginning of 2016 took up a position managing Yandoo Park in the Hawkesbury region of NSW. In 2017, applications again came out for the Chef position for the upcoming 2018 WEG at Tryon and this time he got the green light from his mate who encouraged him to apply and advised him about the complexity of the position and how to deal with situations he might find himself in.
The rest is history, literally. There were more than a few challenges that faced Todd upon arrival at Tryon, not the least of which were Hurricane Florence and the fact that the grooms accommodation was not completed prior to the event. WEG was a massive learning curve but Todd certainly stepped up to the challenge. From things like sourcing an apparently non-existent RV for the jumping grooms, to dealing with the very real possibility that Scott Keach and Rowan Willis may not make it on time due to flooding and also then the particular requirement of Rowan Willis for a lunging area close to the competition arena for his incredibly talented and spirited mare Blue Movie. Through all of these challenges, Todd still managed to focus on his core job which was to make sure that riders were only focussed on their performance with no other distractions from delivering the best possible results. Deliver they did, an outstanding result – 6th place overall and instant Olympic qualification!
L to R: Scott Keach, Billy Raymont, Jamie Kermond, Rowan Willis and Todd Hinde at 2018 WEG Tryon.
Since WEG, Todd has been flat out working towards Tokyo (now sadly further away than expected). This has included pulling together complex selection criteria for the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and carefully monitoring the progress of our top competitors at home and oversees.
In the midst of Olympic preparations, Todd had also been the Chef d’Equipe for two trans-Tasman Young Rider Challenges in New Zealand, assisted at numerous shows across the country and earlier this month, been Chef for the Australian Nations Cup Team in the USA with another wonderful outcome of third place at the second event in Wellington.
With the recent postponement of Tokyo, we are sure that Todd still has plenty on his plate, guiding the sport towards success in 2021. We look forward to the day when shows around the country kick off again and we see this dedicated and talented man smiling at us ring-side.
Cameron Moffat, Lucy Evans, Todd Hinde, Clemency Hughes and Lucie Aldridge – Trans-Tasman Young Rider Challenge 2019
Edwena Mitchell, Todd Hinde and Annette Maunder at Waratah Showjumping 2019
Rowan Willis, Hilary Scott, Todd Hinde, Amy Graham and Scott Keach at the 2020 Nations Cup in Wellington, USA.