A cabin with a view .... | An Eventful Life

A cabin with a view ....


The trucks are slowly rolling in, riders are taking their horses for a gentle stroll to stretch their legs and my office view certainly isn’t a bad one today. Through the skinny gum trees I can see the arch of the indoor arena at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC), almost as iconic for Australian eventers as the Sydney Harbour Bridge (surely that’s where the inspiration for the building design came from?) as I sit on my cabin veranda at Horsley Park

It’s February, it’s Sydney so of course it’s warm and sultry. But the gums provide shade and a cooling breeze is wafting down the wooden porch that runs the length of each set of cabins; little cubicles that offer two beds, a small wardrobe, a bedside table and a plastic chair on which I am currently sitting to type this. It may not be the most salubrious accommodation and certainly quite different to the places I’ll be staying in England in a few weeks time (when heating, hot showers and airing cupboards to dry clothes and cameras will be my main concern) but these cabins are a part of Olympic history. And that makes them special



In 2000, the Sydney Olympic Games equestrian events were held here at Horsley Park and these cabins were temporary homes for the grooms. I can imagine them coming back to these barracks after a day of competition and long hours of looking after their equine charges while the riders headed back to the main Olympic Athletes Village.


       Small but surprisingly comfortable (even with all of our office junk!)


This weekend most of the grooms will be mums and dads, with a record number of entries (over 500) at the Randwick Equine Sydney Eventing Summer Classic competing at all levels from EvA80 to CIC3* level. When countries talk about the ‘legacy’ of an Olympic Games, this venue is a great example but you don’t have an event just because the venue is there; you need organisers, officials, event secretaries, fundraising activities, marketing people and lots more to make it happen. Happily (and no doubt sometimes exhaustedly!) the committee and team of volunteers at Sydney Eventing, led by Christine Bates, Sandy Lucas and Fiona Hughes, make it happen, not once but twice a year

Australia will be going for gold again this year at the World Equestrian Games and the 2018 Australian Eventing Squads have just been named. All but two of the riders on the Gold and Green Squads (and most likely team contenders) are based overseas but take note of the up and coming riders in the Generation Next Squad – every single one of them, with the exception of Queensland’s Isabel English, who has been working with Michael Jung in Germany for a while now, is based in Australia

Looking down this weekend’s competitor list in Sydney I see many of the 2018 Australian Squad members’ names; Shane Rose, Andrew Barnett, Olivia Barton, Emma Bishop, Emma Mason, Shenae Lowings and Hazel Shannon are all here

 And that’s what legacy is all about .........