Explore the Infamous Cross Country Course from The Sydney Olympic Games

It’s been twenty years since the Sydney Olympic Games where Australia took home team gold (with our now-stalwart Phillip Dutton as a member) and David O’Connor and Custom Made snagged individual gold. The 2000 Games where monumental, not just for the grueling competition, but it was also the long format’s last appearance at the Olympics. By 2004, the FEI shifted to the current short format, excluding phases A-C on the endurance phase.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, CrossCountry App have released a digital recreation of the cross country course. Tour the interactive map from the view of the competitior, with fence-by-fence insights from greats like Mary King, Blyth Tait, Stuart Tinney and Amanda Ross who remember their ride and their incredible horses. Audio overlay includes narrative from course designer Mike Etherington-Smith who explains how the venue and course came into being over three years.

“One great thing that has come out of the Sydney Olympics is the legacy of the venue” explains Blyth Tait who is now designing courses at Sydney. “It is a world class facility which must contribute to the preparation for Australian teams when going overseas. It is such a credit that it is such a great venue twenty years later.”

The Sydney International Equestrian Centre continues to regularly host eventing competitions where riders from 60cm to four-star can experience the thrill of riding over the same terrain and galloping through the Olympic water jumps.

“It has been an engrossing and fun project” says CrossCountry App co-Founder Jose Diacono who was herself a volunteer Team Liaison Officer – or Ollie Vollie as they were called. Mike Etherington-Smith, Competition Manager Franz Venhaus and Deputy Competition Manager Vince Roche supplied documents and photographs and many others contributed photos of the competition and fences. The digital course includes the fascinating stories behind the fence names which celebrate the aboriginal heritage and history of the site.

The Anniversary Course includes audio extracts from a highly entertaining zoom panel in which Mary King, Blyth Tait, Stuart Tinney and Amanda Ross relived the excitement by watching their rounds with Mike Etherington-Smith. Hosted by former Australian Olympic coach Prue Barrett and Eventing commentator Fiona Hughes of SitTightRadio.

Find the 20th Anniversary Sydney 2000 course at http://bit.ly/sydney2000xc and on CrossCountry App.

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