A History of Sydney Eventing
Sydney Eventing was formed in 2002, with competitive eventer and course designer Sue Gunn at the helm. Supported by her husband Jim, well-known equestrian volunteers Ken and Pat Weekes, Wendy Simpson, Jim and Babs McSweeney, Mike O’Callaghan, Katrina Dukats and FEI dressage judges Rachel Hunter and Vicky Brydon, the inaugural One Day Event was held in February 2002 using the wonderful facilities of the Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC), which was purpose-built for the 2000 Olympic Games.
More than a decade after it began, Sydney Eventing continues to run several events each year. It is proudly run by a friendly committee, all volunteers and all addicted to the sport of eventing! The committee is headed by President, Christine Bates, a recognised 3-4* eventer, with vice-presidents Fiona Hughes and Sandy Lucas adding to the depth of eventing experience. We are passionate about and committed to running world class events that offer riders a level of competition suited to their individual skills: from junior riders, who are the future of our sport, to many of Australia’s elite eventers, while not forgetting those who event as a hobby.
SIEC is one of the few Olympic Equestrian venues still in use internationally. In addition to its world-class facilities, it offers riders the prestige of competing at the very place where Australia won Eventing gold. Back in 2000, the cross country course was designed by English course designer Mike Etherington-Smith, who returns on a regular basis to work alongside Australian course designers, including Ewan Kellett and Stuart Tinney, to design new tracks and plan the expansion and development of the cross-country course.
SIEC is also the venue for the annual Sydney International Horse Trials. Sydney Eventing works closely with the Horse Trials committee to build and maintain the cross country fences and upgrade the cross country course. Each year, new fences are built and older fences modified to give riders a fresh challenge when they compete, while the Equestrian Centre staff work with the course designers to maintain and upgrade the course, to ensure the grounds are in the best condition for every event.
As a non-profit organisation, Sydney Eventing welcomes anyone who shares our love of the sport. There is a wide range of roles where people can get involved in making our events happen – behind the scenes or in the thick of it on competition day! Click here to find out how you can join in.