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 and numerous volunteers with the committee headed by President Christine Bates, a recognised 3-4* eventer, and vice-presidents Fiona Hughes and Sandy Lucas adding to the depth of eventing experience.
Sydney at SIEC Eventing is 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.
For the 2000 Olmpics, 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 and 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 competing riders a fresh challenge, 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.