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Office of Sport

History of the venue

The Sydney International Equestrian Centre was purpose built for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Construction at the Centre began in 1997 and was completed in 1999.  



The Main Arena (Arena 1) was the competition arena at the Olympics. Temporary grandstands were placed around the grass banks of the Main Arena to accommodate for up to 20,000 people. The Main Arena was used for all three disciplines of Dressage, Showjumping and Eventing. The Indoor Arena (Arena 5) was used as a warmup facility. Over the years, the Indoor Arena has slowly become the premier arena within the venue for equestrian events. Recent upgrades to the surface have brought it to an international standard.  

The cross-country course used during the Olympics was 7.4km’s in length and encompassed 42 cross country jumps. The course stretched from within the Sydney International Equestrian Centre, out into Western Sydney Parklands. 

A respectful approach was taken to the preservation of this historic and sensitive landscape with gentle integration of buildings into the contours of the site, paying homage to the significance of this Aboriginal land. The gentle curve of the Indoor Arena takes its cue from the rolling and undulating landscape. Ecologically Sustainable Development initiatives were integral in the design; natural lighting, thermal comfort, water management and run off control were some of the visionary features of the Centre, along with the extensive use of rammed earth walls. 

The stables feature a cranked steel roof design, developed to follow the contours of the surrounding land and break the complex into compartments, in turn creating a sense of privacy in the enclosed courtyard. 

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