Australia has a strong competitive record in performing well in equestrian events, where success depends on the skill of both rider and horse – and the intimate and profound relationship between the two.
And we’ve done particularly well in certain equestrian sports such as the three day eventing – a marathon consisting of dressage, cross country and show jumping set over three days, and requiring peak performance from rider and horse in each phase.
As seen in this clip from Seven Network news, the Australian three-day eventing team took out gold in Sydney. It was their third gold medal in successive Olympics, a first in this sport’s history – and an Olympic record for Andrew Hoy matched only, at that time, by Dawn Fraser.
Featuring Hoy, Matt Ryan, Phillip Dutton and Stuart Tinney, the team had performed brilliantly on the first two days in dressage and cross country. By the third day – the show jumping – they were the only country to have all four horses still in the race and, as mentioned in the segment, could afford one bad ride (as only the best three best horses counted).
Despite a time penalty, Dutton and Tinney rode well and put Hoy in good stead for the final run. Hoy performed magnificently to win gold much to the delight of the 20,000-plus spectators – many of whom had supported Hoy throughout the event by chanting 'Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Hoy, Hoy, Hoy'.
The coverage includes key moments from the final day, editing together footage of the rider’s family, Hoy’s fiancée looking on nervously from the crowd and the team on the podium accepting their medals (including an amusing moment where Hoy kisses the team coach).
Hoy, the three-time gold medallist, will stretch his own record of the most Olympic appearances by an Australian athlete to 8 when he competes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in August 2021. At 62, he will also become the oldest male Olympic competitor ever from Australia.
Excerpt from 7 News Perth, 19 September 2000.