Equestrian Australia Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Review

   Australian Eventing Team medal winners - Kevin McNab, Shane Rose and Andrew Hoy - at Tokyo 2020


Read our Tokyo coverage and watch Press Conference footage here


“The Tokyo Olympic Cycle presented many challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent postponement of the Games from 2020 to 2021” says the Equestrian Australia (EA) Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Review report presented to key stakeholders during the EA High Performance Forum, held on December 1st 2021 and publicly released this week

The Australian teams and individual athletes faced other difficulties too during the lead up to Tokyo 2020, after a tumultuous period of internal management difficulties for Equestrian Australia resulting in EA entering into and exiting Voluntary Administration and the appointment of a new Chair and CEO, plus a shadow over selection processes and an Anti-Doping violation for the Australian show jumping team

As a result of the EA Voluntary Administration, the High Performance funding and management is overseen and funded by Sport Australia through the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the report points out that “The AIS is currently the sole investor and no EA membership money contributes to the EA High Performance Program”

Medal expectations were set at 1-2 medals for both the Olympic and Paralympic teams; Eventing delivered the medals at Tokyo for Australia with the Australian team winning Silver and Andrew Hoy winning Individual Bronze

The Australian Show Jumping team was unable to compete as showumping team member Jamie Kermond was suspended just prior to the Games under the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy 2021 and the nominated Travelling Reserve rider Rowan Willis had already withdrawn. Edwina Tops-Alexander and Katie Laurie were permitted to compete in the Individual Jumping competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games but did not proceed past the first round of competition

The three Australian dressage competitors Mary Hanna, Simone Pearce and Kelly Layne finished out of contention after the first round of competition

No medals were won for Australia at the Tokyo Paralympics but, thanks to the results of the Eventing riders, “Equestrian Australia has met the funding requirements of the AIS and secured funding for the upcoming two cycles including Paris 2024 and LA 2028” says the report

16 recommendations have been put forward, including the “Undertaking of a Performance Cultural Review for Show Jumping and Dressage” (Item 5) and “Ensuring adequate horse and athlete combination depth available in each discipline to ensure the fielding of teams and reserves at an Olympic Games” (Item 10)

In Eventing, Item 13 recommends “Maintaining the relevant details and rigour with complimenting support in the identified Eventing combinations and the Individual Planning Process”

A performance review of all HP staff, coaches and contractors will be undertaken (Item 14) and the structure of High Performance aligned with performance outcomes in Eventing and Para Equestrian will be reviewed

Read the full report and recommendations here