I have always marvelled at the lack of press coverage our equestrian athletes receive in the mainstream media. Ever since Australia’s Olympic Equestrian debut in 1956 (the team came fourth) our riders have punched well above our weight on the Olympic stage. Australia’s eventing success is something to be celebrated and on the eve of the Rio Games – it’s time to give our Olympic equestrians the recognition they deserve!
Eventing is in fact one of Australia’s most successful Olympic team sports. The Australian three-day event teams medals include:
- GOLD at Rome in 1960
- BRONZE at Mexico City in 1968
- BRONZE at Montreal in 1976
- GOLD at Barcelona in 1992
- GOLD at Atlanta in 1996
- GOLD at Sydney in 2000
- SILVER at Beijing in 2008
Australia equals the USA and Germany (4 Gold medals each), as having won the most team gold medals in eventing since the competition was first held in Stockholm in 1912.
The 1956 team (pictured above), were the quintessential pioneers of the sport. The team comprised of Brian Crago, Wyatt (Bunty) Thompson, Ernie Barker and Bert Jacobs. They had never competed in a three-day event before they headed to England to qualify the the Melbourne Games (the event was held in Stockholm due to Australian quarantine restrictions). The team shocked the European establishment by narrowly missing out on a bronze medal. With that performance the Australian Olympic eventing tradition was born.
Given Australia’s recent win at the Nations Cup in Aachen – the Rio Eventing team appear to be poised to join the list of medal winning equestrian teams below.
GOLD – ROME – 1960
Laurie Morgan, Neale Lavis, Bill Roycroft & Brian Crago.
BRONZE – Mexico City – 1968
Bill Roycroft, Wayne Roycroft, Brian Cobcroft & James Scanlon.
BRONZE – Montreal – 1976
Bill Roycroft, Wayne Roycroft, Merv Bennett, & Denis Piggot.
GOLD – Barcelona – 1992
Matt Ryan, Andrew Hoy, Gillian Rolton & David Green.
GOLD – ATLANTA – 1996
Phillip Dutton, Gillian Rolton, Wendy Schaeffer & Andrew Hoy.
GOLD – SYDNEY – 2000
Andrew Hoy, Phillip Dutton, Matt Ryan & Stuart Tinney.
SILVER – BEIJING -2008
Shane Rose, Sonja Johnson, Megan Jones, Lucinda Fredericks & Clayton Fredericks.
The Sydney International Horse Trails would like to wish Chris Burton (Santano II), Sam Griffiths (Paulank Broackagh), Shane Rose (CP Qualified) and Stuart Tinney (Pluto Mio) the best of luck at Rio- we look forward to seeing the Australian’s standing on the podium once again !
Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi
By Hannah Brooks.