Eventing in Australian and New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand may be located away from the central hub of eventing in the UK and Europe but both countries have a keen participation in the sport and have produced some of the most successful eventing riders and horses in the world.
While some riders, such as Olympic medallists Stuart Tinney, Shane Rose and Clarke Johnstone, remain based in the Southern Hemisphere, others such as Tim and Jonelle Price have moved to the Northern Hemisphere, creating strong bases for the up-and-coming riders that follow in their footsteps.
Adelaide, South Australia hosts the only CCI5* in the Southern Hemisphere, the highest level of competition in the sport and An Eventful Life covers most of the major events that take place ‘Down Under’ as well as the major Championships involving both countries.
Equestrian Australia oversees national and international level eventing competitions, with the majority of major events taking place in NSW and Victoria.
History of Australian Olympic Eventing
Australia has a rich history in the Olympic sport of eventing with the first Australian eventers taking part in the 1956 Olympics, held in Stockholm instead of Melbourne due to the strict Australian quarantine requirements for horses.
The first Australian eventing medals were won at the following Olympic Games at Rome in 1960 with Laurie Morgan and Neale Lavis winning the gold and silver medals respectively in the individual contest, being joined by an injured Bill Roycroft to win the team event.
Bronze medals followed in Mexico City in 1968 and Montreal in 1976. Barcelona 1992 saw Matt Ryan win the individual gold medal in the three-day event and combine with Andrew Hoy and Gillian Rolton to win the team competition.
Australia's eventing team won again in Atlanta in 1996 (Hoy, Rolton, Wendy Schaeffer, Andrew Hoy, Phillip Dutton) and on home ground in Sydney in 2000 (Ryan, Hoy, Dutton, Stuart Tinney), giving them three consecutive gold medals. Andrew Hoy also won the silver medal in the individual event in Sydney
In Beijing 2008, the eventing team (Clayton Fredericks, Lucinda Fredericks, Sonja Johnson, Megan Jones, Shane Rose) took home silver.
The bronze medal winning team of Chris Burton, Sam Griffiths, Shane Rose and Stuart Tinney won Australia its seventh Olympic team eventing medal at Rio 2016, continuing Australia’s strong tradition in the sport. Griffiths and Burton narrowly missed individual event medals, finishing fourth and fifth respectively
Shane Rose, Kevin McNab and Andrew Hoy went on to claim team silver at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021 with Hoy also adding yet another individual silver medal to his Olympic tally
New Zealand Eventing
New Zealand eventing riders are recognised as some of the most accomplished and successful in the world, with the now retired Sir Mark Todd, Blyth Tait and Andrew Nicholson all legendary names in the sport.
More recently the husband and wife team of Tim and Jonelle Price have taken over the mantle of these greats and a host of up and coming Kiwi riders are based in both the UK and New Zealand
Over the years New Zealand has been competitive at many Olympic Games with a tally of 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 5 Bronze medals
New Zealand Eventing Olympic Medals
1984 Los Angeles - Individual (Mark Todd), 1988 Seoul - Individual (Mark Todd), 1996 Atlanta - Individual (Blyth Tait)
1992 Barcelona -Team (Andrew Nicholson, Blyth Tait, Vicky Latta), 1996 Atlanta -Individual (Sally Clark)
1988 Seoul - Team (Tinks Pottinger, Mark Todd, Andrew Bennie, Margs Carline), 1992 Barcelona -Individual (Blyth Tait), 1996 Atlanta - Team (Vaughn Jefferis, Andrew Nicholson, Blyth Tait, Vicky Latta), 2000 Sydney - Individual (Mark Todd), 2012 London - Team (Jonelle Richards, Caroline Powell, Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Jock Paget)
New Zealand Eventing at World Championships
New Zealand have also had World Championship success having twice won team gold – at Stockholm in 1990 and Rome in 1998 – plus team bronze at Kentucky WEG 2010 when Andrew Nicholson, Sir Mark Todd, Caroline Powell and Clarke Johnstone won the team medals and Andrew also won an individual bronze riding Nereo.
Individually, golds have been won by Blyth Tait and Messiah in 1998, Vaughn Jefferis and Bounce in 1994, and Blyth and Ready Teddy in 1998, the same year that Sir Mark and Broadcast News won silver.
In 2022 the New Zealand team of Tim and Jonelle Price, Monica Spencer and Clarke Johnstone took team bronze and Tim Price also took individual bronze at the 2022 FEI World Championships at Pratoni Del Vivaro, Italy