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History of Event

The Sydney CDI 3-Star won the inaugural Equestrian Federation of Australia, Equestrian Event of the Year in 2006. it has since won this award three times in 2009 and 2010.

This event was the first CDI to be held in Australia. Originating from "FEI Days" and CDAs (an event at a lower level, now a CDI 3-Star) at Lochinvar in the wine-producing Hunter Valley region north of Sydney, it was first held there in 1992, but outgrew its venue and was moved to Sydney in 1994.

Foreign riders cannot easily bring their own horses to the CDI because of strict quarantine requirements and the high cost of air transport from other continents. The exception has been New Zealand, which has always competed with riders on their own horses.

The Organising Committee has traditionally invited countries to send two riders to represent their Country in the Small Tour (Prix St Georges/Intermediate I) on borrowed horses. One of the highlights for the international riders is the Prix St Georges Derby Team & Individual Competition where two riders from each country (including Australia) draw horses out of the hat the day before the competition. All the riders take this competition very seriously and a team presentation is made to the winning Teams.
In recent years things have changed and invitations to compete at the event are issued to horse and rider combinations.

• The Sydney CDI has been a benchmark for other equestrian events (particularly dressage) to follow.
• It attracts more spectators that most other equestrian events and has a very loyal following of spectators.
• It is regarded as the "Premier Dressage Event" in Australia and attracts Australia's top horse and rider combinations.
• Each year, the most highly regarded International judges are invited, with at least one or more "O-Level" (Olympic Games) judges appointed.
• The Sydney CDI has been a key selection event for Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games.
• Featuring Australia's top dressage competitors.
• A truly International affair.
• Fantastic venue & facilities.
• Renowned for its hospitality.

Top-Level Judges

It is rare in Australia to find a Dressage Competition that uses more foreign International Dressage Judges and of the calibre, the Sydney CDI 3-Star manages to invite. The Sydney CDI's judging panel normally includes at least one 'O' level International Dressage Judge who can issue Certificates of Capability to horse/rider combinations to compete at Olympic or World Equestrian Games.


Organizers also realize that to be able to compete for spectators, press and television, the sport must have a high entertainment value ("as though the Grand Prix Freestyle wasn't enough"). The Sydney CDI offers a variety of displays, especially on Saturday night, including a number of other entertainment features including the popular Stallion Show. There is also a trade show where visitors can shop and relax.