Its been an exciting start to the Sydney International Horse Trials 2016, with Olympic hopefuls such as Shane Rose, Stuart Tinney & Sonja Johnson all vying it our for the top placings in the 3* classes.

For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to make it to SIEC for Day 1 of the Sydney International Horse Trials – here’s a round-up of the placings in each class.


  1. Judith Clarke – DIABLITO – 42.00
  2. Shane Rose – CP QUALIFIED – 42.90
  3. Stuart Tinney – CARLCHEN – 44.10

Stuart day 1


  1. Shane Rose – SHANGHAI JOE – 48.00
  2. Sonja Johnson – PARKIARRUP ILLICIT LIAISON – 49.80
  3. Hazel Shannon – CLIFFORD – 50.10


  1. Tania Harding – JIRRIMA YABBA DABBA DOO  – 47.50
  2. Deon Stokes – KOYUNA LEVI – 49.50
  3. Lauren Seeley – BRAVE HEART – 50.30

28 day 2


  1. Emma Bishop – CP ISSEY MIYAKE – 41.90
  2. Robert Palm – KOKO STORY- 44.80
  3. Murray Lamperd – SHEMOZZLE – 47.80


  1. Emma Mason – APH MARINA – 44.00
  2. Sonja Johnson – MISTY ISLE RACONTEUR – 45.00
  3. Jessica Grosmann – EQUUS SPENCER – 47.40

Eva day 1


  1. Robert Palm – HALCYONS DARK SECRET – 46.80
  2. Murray Lamperd – CHOCOHOLIC – 52.00
  3. Ashleigh Wiseman – BARREL OF FUN – 52.10


  1. Christine Bates – GEORGE OREILLY – 45.40
  2. Thea Horsley – KELECYN SUPERNATURAL – 47.90
  3. Sam Lyle – KOKO FLASH – 48.30

Christine Day 1


  1. Jessica Rae – ALABAMA – 39.00
  2. Andrew Cooper – ACACIA RIDGE RILEY – 44.20
  3. Grace Kay – CELERITY PARK FABERGE – 44.20

Ff you’re after a SNEAK PEAK of today’s events – here’s some amazing DRONE footage of our Mike Etherington-Smith designed 3* cross country course at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre.

Many thanks to our official photographer, Stephen Mowbray capturing all the action from Day 1.

Events are won and lost on cross country day – so come and see Australia’s best equestrians battle it out on Day 2 of the Sydney International Horse Trials 2016.




A pictorial record of Sydney International Horse Trials
Anatole Zurrer, part-time photographer and full -time teacher has kindly pulled together a fantastic display of over 100 photos from 2008 to 2015 capturing rider and horse competing at the Sydney International Horse Trials.
The photos will be on display at in the indoor arena at the Sydney International Horse Trials. All photographs will be available for sale with  proceeds going back to the Sydney International Horse Trials
“Starting in 2008, and every year since 2010, I have enjoyed the opportunity to capture the beauty and power displayed by horse and rider at the Sydney International three-day event at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre Horsley Park.
Each year I come home and think this was the best event ever, how can the horses, riders and organisers do better? Like a quality wine it just gets better with each vintage.
Like winemakers each year the organisers face a unique set of challenges. The weather, will it be hot and dry or cool and wet? Will the course be hard and fast or soft and heavy? Well before the competition, and without knowing the conditions that will prevail on the day, the organisers agree layouts and set about grooming the courses.
In parallel, and away from the SIEC, riders and horses prepare for the challenges that await them. Like the organisers they too are unaware of the conditions that will prevail them. They prepare plans, equipment and train for the chance to shine. The public, like a wine connoisseur, awaits this year’s vintage.
After years of enjoyment how will 2016 compare to some of the greats of the past? I look forward to savouring this year’s vintage and capturing more of the magic that is the Sydney International three-day event.” Anatole Zurrer
Exhibit 2
Come and see the exhibition of Antole Zurrer’s work at the Sydney International Horse Trials
April 28- May 1 2016


Winning at Sydney is a goal of almost every elite eventer in Australia. In the lead up to the Sydney International Horse Trials 2016 – we caught up with last years winners to find out, what it’s like to win at Sydney, what they are up to now and what you can expect to see from them at Sydney in 2016?

Libby Lowery – 2015 CCI 3*

Last year “It’s an incredible feeling to win a prestigious event such as Sydney International CCI3***. It truly makes you appreciate your horse and how far you have come. In terms of my career its encouraged me to further pursue my eventing dreams and to attempt another Adelaide CCI4****.”


This year – “At this point in time I have three competition horses which I am thoroughly enjoying. I will be back at Sydney this year but in the short format CIC3*** and I am very much looking forward to seeing all the effort that has been put in to creating a bigger and better cross country track. As it’s an Olympic Qualifier I am very excited also to watch and learn from those vying for a place on the Olympic Team.”

Hayley Frielick – 2015 CCI 2*

Last Year – “Winning the CCI2* last year with My Happiness was totally surreal and a complete fairytale given the odds he had to defy just to be competing there after two colic surgeries, let alone to finish on his dressage score and win! It was a really special win for me because he is a really special horse – it was a long road there but totally worth it!”


This year – “ I’m still at uni now but riding lots more horses having started my own business while we are based at a beautiful property in the Hawkesbury. We did happen to find a half brother to My Happiness not long after last year’s win and given Happy’s performance we couldn’t turn his relative down! So he will hopefully be here this year in the CIC2*, as well as My Happiness again but this time in the CIC3*, Galactic in the CIC1* and a lovely young event horse in the 5yo class too”

Shaun Dillon – 2015 CCI 1*

Last year– “The Sydney International Horse Trials was a real mixed bag for me in 2015. I started off with three horses in the event but then I had a fall on the XC with GV Anzac and then in the showjumping Kinnordy Rubino had the biggest spook (right in front of the VIP tent) and sent me clean over the handles but TS Fantasia kept the dream alive and managed to win the CCI1* – which was really quite special”

LISTEN to Shaun Dillion’s memories of the #SydHT 2015

This year – “One thing I really look forward to and love about the Sydney International Horse Trials is the course Mike Etherington-Smith builds. I find it’s always got a good flow, its horse friendly but there is always a lot of challenges in the course”

Isabel English Update

Isabel English was the recipient of the Rod Winchester award in 2015. Unfortunately, you won’t be seeing Isabel at Sydney this year.

On the back of her win in 2015, Isabel has just taken her horse over to Germany to base herself with Michael Jung. We wish her well and hope to see Isabel back at the Sydney International Horse Trials in 2017.


Teegan Ashby – #SydHT 2015 Ambassador Update

Later this year Teegan will be travelling to the UK to work with William Fox-Pitt. Teegan will be competing in the CCI2* class at Sydney this year. The Sydney International Horse Trials may be one of your last opportunities to see to Teegan compete on home soil.


Come and see who will take out the honours at the Sydney International Horse Trials 2016 on the #RoadtoRio.

When:                 29 April to 1 May

Where:                The Sydney International Equestrian Centre, Saxony Rd Horsley Park

VIP Tickets:        Buy tickets online at Eventbrite

Information:      Please see  for the full schedule of events


An equestrian career can often be a frustrating and lonely endeavour and even the most accomplished riders can sometimes find themselves in need of some good advice.

With the Sydney International Horse Trials 2016 just around the corner – who better to ask for some sage advice than the Ryan Brothers, Heath & Matt?

Few families can boost two Olympic equestrians in their midst and over the years both of the Ryan Brothers have had great success as members of the Sydney International Horse Trials family. Heath has taken out our highest honours four times including 1990, 2004, 2008 & 2010 and Matt in 1986, 1988 & 1992.

Heath has had  the rare privilege of representing Australia in two disciplines.  For eventing at WEG in 1990 and then for dressage at Beijing Games in 2008. Heath also acted as the assistant coach  for the for the gold medal winning Olympic eventing teams at Atlanta and Sydney, as well as the Athens Olympics.


Heath Ryan on Regardez Moi. This incredibly successful combination has won over 40 Grand Prix’s in Australia

Heath win

Heath Ryan after his win at the Sydney International Horse Trials in 2010.

Matt is one of Australia’s most awarded equestrians. Matt is one, of only two  (Laurie Morgan, Rome 1960) Australian equestrians who has had the honour of winning both the individual and the team gold medals in the same year. Matt is a triple gold medallist who rode for Australia at Barcelona in 1992 and the Sydney Olympics in 2000.


Matt Ryan as a member of the gold medal wining Australian Eventing team in Sydney 2000.


Matt Ryan on Kibah Tic Toc in his gold medal winning ride (both individual & team) at Barcelona in 1992

Not everyone has the chance to consult their own Olympic coach – so we took the opportunity to ask the Ryan Brothers if they had any advice to offer young equestrians who are looking to emulate their success.

Here’s their brotherly advice..

HEATH’S advice for young riders


MATT’S advice for young riders.


Thanks to Heath and Matt Ryan for supporting the Sydney International Horse Trials 2016.

The Ryan brothers

The Ryan Brothers (left to right) James, Heath, Simon & Matt


From 29 April – 1 May, Sydney will host one of the nation’s most prestigious equestrian events offering everything from Olympic qualifications in eventing, World Cup jumping and fun for all the family.

The Sydney International Horse Trials (SydHT) have been held since 1957 and in 2016 will again take place at Sydney International Equestrian Centre – venue of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

The event will see athletes vying to earn Olympic nominations for Rio. A number of Olympic hopefuls including Shane Rose, Christine Bates, Sonja Johnson and Stuart Tinney will be looking to impress selectors in the eventing competition. Rose, an Olympic silver medallist from Beijing 2008 will be riding two horses (CP Qualified and Virgil) that are both frontrunners for Rio. Olympic gold medallist Tinney will compete with four horses in the 3 star classes with all eyes on his World Equestrian Games mount Pluto Mio.


Olympian, Stuart Tinney and Pluto Mio won the Sydney International Horse Trials in 2013

 All up there will be around 15 high performance combinations competing at the event, and it will be one of the last times to see these talented athletes and horses in action on home soil before the Rio Games. Since the event’s inception, 17 riders that have won the event have gone on to compete at the Olympics, so a win at the SydHT will be in everyone’s sights.

LISTEN to our Senior Eventing Ambassador, Christine Bates talk about her Olympic journey in this video.


The SydHT also hosts the Greater Sydney World Cup Show which draws jumping horses and riders from all over Australia. Sunday 1 May is the big day for Jumping, with the World Cup qualifier competition for elite athletes. A number of World Cup qualifiers are hosted across Australia throughout the year and a leader board is kept to ultimately have a winner who may go on to the World Cup Final overseas. This is a hotly contested series with riders travelling from State to State to try and gain points to take out the Australian Series. This competition will provide top class jumping, horses negotiating big fences, tough distances and the added element of the closed arena. As well as the main event there will be a number of other classes as the curtain raisers to this special class.


Olympian, Vicky Roycroft took out the World Cup qualifier in 2015

 There will be over 500 horses competing throughout the weekend, however it is not just about the outstanding equestrian competition though, with plenty of fun and entertainment for all the family. There is a Kids Zone with free face painting, jumping castle and petting zoo to keep the budding young equestrian fans busy.

For the big kids there is also a shopping village with trade stands offering everything from saddles to horse rugs to fashionable clothing. There is also a highly sought after raffle, with up to $10,000 worth of prizes on offer.

There are also unique behind the scenes tours with leading event rider and coach Peter Gillis and Olympic Groom Daniel Power. On Saturday 30 April, the tour will include walking the cross country course with world renowned UK course designer Mike Etherington-Smith and former Australia’s Eventing Coach, Wayne Roycroft. On Sunday 1 May, Roycroft will join John Vallance for a walk of the Show Jumping course.

JOIN US April 29 – May 1 at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre

or for MORE INFO visit our – WEBSITE


At the Sydney Olympics, world-renowned course designer, Mike Etherington-Smith paid tribute to the original Darug people with his now iconic, Snake Jump (Darug Bulada). The original fence was jump number three on the cross country course in Sydney 2000. As images of this jump were beamed around the world, so too were the traditions of aboriginal art and culture.

Snake Jump

The Original Snake Jump (Darug Bulada) from the Sydney Olympics.

Unfortunately, the original Snake jump has not survived and the Sydney International Horse Trials is proud to announce the next chapter in the story of this fence.

Recently, three generations of aboriginal artists from the Warmuli/Cannemegal Clan travelled to The Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC) to give this jump a new lease of life. The group from the Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation painted the new jump with a traditional story as a way of honouring their ancestors and preserving cultural heritage.

Jump 2.jpg

Aboriginal artists from the Warmuli/Cannemegal Clan and members of the Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation painting the new Dreaming Jump at SIEC

There are approximately 30 clan groups in and around the Sydney (Darug) area and the SIEC sits on the clan group of the Warmuli/Cannemegal.

These local artists view projects, like this one as a vital link to their culture. As Lexodious Dadd explains, “it’s very important for these projects to continue, so we are still here, we haven’t gone, we are still continuing our culture and with our ancestors guidance we are painting this jump with a beautiful story”.

Artist, Julie (Jones) Webb was responsible for the design of the new jump. In looking for a theme to best represent the countryside at SIEC, Julie chose a creation story. Julie explains, the “rainbow serpent will be travelling from top to tail at either end. He can be seen from either side of the jump, just so people will know who created this amazing piece of country we are on”.

The creation story for the new Gunyalungalung Wumarabara (Dreaming Jump), previously known as the ‘Snake Jump’ (Darug Bulada), shows the Warmuli/Cannemegal’s direct connection to Ngurra, (Country), Mother Earth (Wiyangabembul) and Father Sky (Biiameeburra).   This story is an integral part of the Darug storyline.  Furthermore, within the dreaming, the artwork includes their relationship with the land, significant waterholes, animals, particular family totems, food sources and ways of living for this particular place (nunanglanung). Most importantly, the artwork reflects the importance of sharing and looking after one another.

LISTEN to Lexodious Dadd,  Julie (Jones) Webb, and Rosemary Norman-Hill discuss the significance of art projects like the Dreaming Jump in this VIDEO.


We would like to thank Rosemary Norman-Hill, Julie (Jones) Webb, Shanaya Donovan, Jumikah Donovan, Lexodious Dadd, Corina Norman-Dadd & Malakai Norman-Dadd for creating this beautiful artwork on behalf of the Sydney International Horse Trials.

Jump 3.jpg

Entry is FREE – so come and see the next chapter in the story, (courtesy of the Darug people) on the new Dreaming Jump at SIEC.

When:                 29 April to 1 May

Where:                The Sydney International Equestrian Centre, Saxony Rd Horsley Park

VIP Tickets:        Buy tickets online at Eventbrite

Information:      Please see  for the full schedule of events

Contact:               Please contact Nicky Lyle at or ph 0404 496 182

Or VISIT the Darug Research & Information Centre  – 71 Seven Hills Rd South, Seven Hills, NSW, Ph | Fax 02 9622 4081



Since moving to the Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC) in 1999, the Sydney International Horse Trials has been a lucky fixture for the ladies – with women taking out the honours at Sydney 10 out of the 16 years.

The ladies who have been successful in the SIEC era include:

  1. Christine Bates on Masterprint in 1999
  2. Amanda Ross on Ottoshumacker in 2000
  3. Megan Jones on Kirby Park Hallmark in 2001
  4. Sammi McLeod on Frederick Hunter in 2002
  5. Kadi Eyecamp on Seal in 2003
  6. Wendy Schaffer on Koyuna Sun Magic in 2005
  7. Sharmayne Spencer on Megastar in 2006
  8. Wendy Schaeffer on Koyuna Sun Storm in 2009
  9. Christine Bates on Adelaide Hill in 2001
  10. Elizabeth Lowery on KL Kismet in 2015

Recently, we caught up with Olympian, dual gold medallist and  Equestrian Australia board member, Gillian Rolton.

Gillian won at the Sydney International Horse Trials on Peppermint Grove in 1995.

In this VIDEO, Gillian shares her memories of riding the Wayne Roycroft designed course at Lochinvar.

Gillian was also kind enough to offer young eventers with Olympic aspirations some canny  ADVICE in this video.

Here’s hoping it’s going to be one for the ladies at the Sydney International Horse Trials in 2016 on the #RoadtoRio.


Each year, the Sydney International Horse Trials brings together the Australian eventing and showjumping communities for a huge, three day, equestrian extravaganza.

In 2016 we’re featuring an extensive jumping program and the event is extremely fortunate to have one of jumping’s best YOUNG GUNS, Jamie Priestley as our 2016 Junior Jumping Ambassador.

LISTEN to Jamie’s story here..


Our Sydney International Horse Trials Ambassadors for 2016 include:

Senior Eventing Ambassador – Christine Bates
Senior Jumping Ambassador – Amber Fuller
Junior Eventing Ambassador – Olivia Barton
Junior Jumping Ambassador – Jamie Priestley

Stay tuned to hear more about these inspirational riders!!


Photographer, John Lechner first attended the Sydney International Horse Trials as a spectator in 2001. Since then, John has captured so many special moments on behalf of the Australian Eventing community.

Many of you will know John from his days an an eventer,TD, equestrian photographer and journalist. John now solely focuses on building his arts business. John has since exhibited his works in Australia, New York and Philadelphia.

Today, John has kindly agreed to be our Guest Editor. We asked John to share his favourite photos from covering the Sydney International Horse Trials. OVER TO YOU JOHN…

Choosing three of my favourite photos from the Sydney Three Day Event was a challenge. I first came to the Syd3DE in 2001 as a spectator and until 2014 I think I missed being there once or twice .

It is one of my favourite events being my home town international competition and during the 14 odd years I have been at Syd3DE there are few roles I haven’t been involved in, in the early days they used to mix the 3DE with the ODE so I managed to ride at the event, although only at intro level. My first year as a volunteer I remember being a fence judge and having the trauma of losing a horse at my fence.

 That day I was also taking photos of each horse coming over my fence (with the TDs permission). In the end it was my photos that helped the crisis management team understand what had happened at the fence.

 Over time I progressed to be a TD and was lucky enough to be work with some amazing people from around the world, many of whom I now call friends. Working with the riders of all levels has also been great fun and while there have been some interesting moments.

 When I looked at choosing my favourite photos I went straight to my favourite year which was 2013. At the time I was exclusively working with An Eventful Life as a photographer. Personally I enjoyed the singular task, shooting only.

JL 2

My first favourite shot (pictured above) is one that speaks to me as pure eventing. John Twomey, the smiling assassin, on XC flying and smiling. The two factors I love so much about this shot is the massive grin on John’s face, he is obviously having a great time. Also all four feet of his pony – Wade Equine Highly Recommended – are in the air, flying.

John & Highly Recommended end up third in CIC2* on the weekend behing Tim Boland who had the quinella on Umunga and Mercator Du Ry.

JL 1

Over the weekend I really pushed myself to try and capture some WOW. I headed to the water pond and shooting into the sun aiming to get something awesome. Alex Townsend on her new mount at the time, Clayton Fredericks former mount Bendigo coming through the water.

To focus the eye I processed this shot as a black and white. The light and contrast with the water spray draw you in to the action.

JL 3

Finally, is my favourite photo of the weekend. At the time I wasn’t able to publish the photo, Deb from AEL wasn’t keen on the shot. But Emma Scott and I had a good laugh about it at the time. The full sequence is pretty amazing it really shows how hard Mustang worked to keep Emma safe. He did a great job to land on his feet but sadly Emma landed on her butt in the water.

Iceland Collection

I am currently in a hiatus away from eventing as I focus on building my own business. Today I only shoot landscapes and travel Australia (like the photo above) and the world capturing breathtaking moments and magical place.

Just recently I had a 3am start to capture moon rise and sun rise on the same morning. This artwork I have titled Pastel Moon. It is a moment between moon and sun rise where the light was just unbelievable, this is why I love my job.”

John Lechner Traveller | Artist | Photographer

Connect with John on FACEBOOK

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Visit John’s WEBSITE

Many thanks to John for being our Guest Editor and for sharing these beautiful images.