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The Sydney 3DE is upon us and with it comes plenty of action across a jam-packed program.

The Sydney 3DE is upon us and with it comes plenty of action across a jam-packed program.

The Bates Saddles CCI4L will be a very competitive field. Riders are coming from far and wide. Olympian and World Equestrian Games representative Sonja Johnson will be making the trip from WA with her mount 9yo Parkiarrup Showtime, also driving across the Nullabor is Kenya Wilson and Sandros Salute MW, who finished 5th at Adelaide 5 in April. Also representing WA is William Baxter who has been based in NSW for his preparation.

Andrew Cooper will be travelling from Queensland with his 5-star gelding Hey Arnold, as will Gemma O'Leary and her talented mare Arnage Porsche whilst Savanna Stirling will be adding an international touch to the field representing Ireland. Savanna has travelled over from her home in New Zealand with her own 14yo Encosta de Lago gelding Shilling, who was formerly campaigned by well-known Kiwi rider Bundy Philpott.

In addition to Sonja, this field sports a further three World Championship riders.

Shenae Lowings will be bringing forward her magical thoroughbred Bold Venture on whom she represented Australia at the World Equestrian Championships in Pratoni, Italy, last year. Bentley, as he is known, is no stranger to the winner’s circle having claimed top spot at Adelaide 4S in April and at Millstreet CCIO3-L in Ireland, helping to secure Australia’s place at the 2024 Olympic Games. This pair also won the Melbourne CCI4*L in 2022. Masters of the first phase, they scored 21.8 in the dressage at their most recent international start.

Victoria's David Middleton represented Australia in 2002 in Jerez, Spain, is making a strong comeback in 2023 with his two horses WEC In the Breeze and WEC In the Money. WEC In the Breeze, an 11yo mare, has had 4 FEI wins this year including at the recent Albury Wodonga CCI4S and a 2nd place at Melbourne CCI4 L.

The most decorated of all combinations in this field, however, is the 3-time 5 star winners Willingapark Clifford and Hazel Shannon. This pair also represented Australia at the World Championships in Pratoni last year. At 18 years young Clifford has seen it all before and as always, they will be serious contenders.

23-year-old Olivia Barton and Hollyander HG are a combination to watch. Earlier this year the 10yo mare, by Higgins (Heraldik), finished Melbourne CCI4L on her dressage score to take the win in her first long format 4. This pair is very reliable in the jumping phases. They average 1.4 faults for show jumping across their FEI career and they have not posted a xc fault.

Olivia, or Golly as she is most often called, is also on form with her other ride Henrik APH. Henrik APH was bred by Golly’s mother, Carlene, at her boutique stud APH Sport Horses and is by APH Rocardo. 11yo Henrik APH has a very strong record including a win in the 4*S in Camden in August and 8 top 3 FEI results.

Also by APH Rocardo, is 12yo gelding Go Tosca ridden by Andrew Barnett. This pair has a standout performance record. They have finished 1st or 2nd in 17 of their past 20 starts and they placed 3rd and 4th and 9th in the other 3 starts. This will be their first 4* L. Be sure to be ringside for their dressage, they posted a 21.6 at Tamworth CCN4*this year. Recording an average of just 1.6 penalties in the final phase across their FEI starts, this combination is very strong in all three phases.

Oliver Barrett is a rising star. Whilst he is the youngest rider in the field, the 19yo son of World Games representative Prue Barrett and 5-star winner Craig Barrett, has shown he has what it takes to be competitive at this level. He was equal first with Olivia Barton after cross country at Melbourne 4*L this year when unfortunately, he was not able to show jump. He and his lovely mare Sandhills Special have some unfinished business and the skills to get the job done.

Catherine Herbert has had some great success aboard Wimborne Constable. The 15yo stallion by Contenda has notched up multiple 4*S wins this season and was also 3rd at Adelaide in April.

The strength in the field continues with 5-star horses AEA Flynn and Advantage Hill and riders such as Heath Ryan, Jessica Rae and Emma Mason to name just a few.

The Victoria Racing Club’s Best Placed Thoroughbred Award will be hotly contested by Bold Venture, Willingapark Clifford, Shillings, Hat Trick, Airbrushed and WEC In the Money.

With Paris 2024 on the horizon the riders have it all to play for.

Whilst the focus is always on the Bates Saddles CCI4*L the event will be running national classes from EvA65cm all the way through to FEI 2,3 and 4 star. This is unique for a major international 3DE. The beauty of this format is that so many riders of all levels can take part in a major competition. A feature of the event is the Syd3DE Grassroots Championship which this year is presented by Attention Signs and Embroidery. This is a competition within the national level classes (EvA65cm to 1star) exclusively for riders who have never ridden at 2 star or above. It is an individual and team competition, and 15 teams will come forward to vie for the title.

The Yarraman Park Young Event Horse Championships have been re-formatted this year. The young horse competition is running within the EvA95cm 1,2 and 3* classes and is contested by horses from 4yo to 8yo. Across all the divisions there are 34 entrants. See the list of entries and details on the Yarraman Park Young Event Horse Class on our website.

This year the action will be focussed in the Ariat Arena (arena 2) which will have the 3 and 4 star dressage and the 1 to 4 star show jumping. The Horseland Hospitality Tent and the trade village will be positioned ringside.

Horse and Country TV will be live streaming the FEI cross country and show jumping so be sure to sign up to H&C Plus.

Extra offerings this year include a masterclass hosted by British eventing coach extraordinaire Christopher Bartle on Friday night. Tickets can be booked here.

Christopher will also lead 4* cross country course walk on Saturday morning. Everyone can attend - meet in front of the stables at 9.30am.

Spectators will also be treated to a mounted games display on Saturday morning in the Ariat Arena. The action will then move to the Completely Equine Pond where hospitality guests will have the option to watch the cross-country action from the Bates Saddles seating area.

Riders can unwind on Saturday Evening at the Hannover Lodge Pizza night. Enjoy pizza and live music and bring your pooch along for the dog races with prizes donated by Rose-Hip Vital and True Colours.

Whilst you get your Christmas shopping done the little ones can enjoy the jumping castle which will be available on Sunday.

It is a very full schedule and we look forward to seeing everyone at Syd3DE 2023.

The Sydney 3DE will be held at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre, Horsley Park from Nov 10-12 2023. Entry is free. More information about the event can be found at

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