Australia has produced some outstanding riders over the years, and their competitive nature means they are always to the fore, whether for racing or equestrianism. At Barbury, we’ve been privileged to witness some magic moments from Aussies living in the UK who’ve made Wiltshire and Gloucestershire their base.
With the winter approaching, and the outdoor eventing programme at an end it’s time to look at some of the Australian riders that stand out across all disciplines.
British Eventing’s top 20 riders include 7 Australians amongst them, but the quality of competition down under means plenty opt not to travel to the Northern hemisphere. Here’s some who’ll be familiar to you, others less so.
Based at Littel Cheverell near Devizes, Lucinda is as close to Barbury as anyone, and rides under the Australian flag since 2002. She and her famous mare Hedley Britannia have won 3 of the world’s six CCI4* events, being Burghley 2006, Badminton 2007 and Kentucky 2009. She represented Australia in London in 2012 and niw spends as much time mentoring younger riders as competing. She’s ranked fourth in the BE rider rankings.
Chris Burton is the highest ranked Australian rider, moved to England in 2012 to further his chances in the London Olympics and has lived in Dorset since. He was a winner at Burghley in 2016 and 3rd at the last Badminton in 2019. He’s been competing at the highest level, all over the world for over 10 years, and rising 39, has plenty more in him.
Andrew has lived in the UK for 25 years, competing at the highest level of the sport, from which achievements he can record 2 Burghleys, 3 Olympic team Golds and an individual Silver. At the age of 61, he’s been selected to ride for his country more than any other rider. Formerly living in Wiltshire until his separation from wife Bettina, he is now based in Leicestershire.
Shane is a member of the last Australian Olympic eventing team at Rio in 2016, collecting team bronze. You won’t find him on the UK or European circuit unless at the World Equestrian Games, but he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Stuart is a gold medallist from Sydney and a bronze medallist from Rio and is currently ranked 22nds in the FEI rankings. He is regularly competing 25 horses every year, several of which have been good enough to travel over for Badminton and Burghley.
The racing scene in Australia has much in common with the UK, not least in the presence of bookmakers. Flat racing is of as high a standard as in Europe, and everyone bar none wants to win the Melbourne Cup! Websites like www.Sportsbet.com.au, have the sport to thank for keeping them in business! The glamour of the races attracts large crowds and a high level of engagement from punters and social spectators alike.
Here are some of the best Aussie riders to consider. See whether you agree with this shortlist:
Bowman is a famous name for bookmakers and punters alike. The 40 year old Bowman is a winner of 99 Group 1 races and is best known in the UK for his association with race-winning phenomenon Winx. In 2017, he was awarded the World’s Best Jockey title by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
Brazilian-born Joe is often referred to as the ‘Magic Man’ within the international racing set. Born in South America to Australian parents, he’s managed to spread his name all over the world, and is currently riding in Hong Kong. From Hong Kong’s cups to the biggest races that Dubai and Europe have ever seen, Moreira is a globe-trotter for hire on the world’s biggest racing stages.
Dwayne Dunn’s 2372 winners make hime veteran of the racing scene in his home state of Victoria. A winner of 23 Group 1s since Undoubtedly in 2005 for David Heyes, for whom he still rides.
Since 2008, he’s been based in Melbourne and announced his presence with an opening 123 winners in that season. Last season’s 75 winners netted over AUS$7.5m for their owners. This is a man for the big occasion.
Nolen is best known to UK racegoers ar the jockey who came close to breaking Black Caviar’s unbeaten strong of 25 victories on an excursion to Royal Ascot in June 20. In that year’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Nolen dropped his hands before the post and was lucky to retain the race by a head. Black VCaviar went on to complete an uneaten career the following year with victories at Flemington, Moonee Valley and Randwick.
A prolific winner of over 1700 races in native Victoria, he rides largely for Peter Moody.
The last jockey in our top Australian jockeys, 48 year old Oliver is probably one of the most recognised in our list for Australian jockeys. Why? Not many horse riders can say that there is a movie that has been made about them, can they? Oliver has rarely been out of the headlines, especially with winning the Melbourne Cup three times amidst his 2591 winners. His 118 Group 1 wins put him right at the zenith of his profession.