Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres today visited the Sydney International Equestrian Centre Arena where a $745,000 surface upgrade has significantly improved play at the Grand National Hack Championships underway in Western Sydney.“Western Sydney is home to some of NSW’s most important sporting venues and investing in these facilities allows us to attract world-class events and support athletes headed to major competitions like the 2020 Olympics,” Minister Ayres said.

“First built to host equestrian events during the 2000 Summer Olympics, the Sydney International Equestrian Centre this week hosts the show case event for the show horse calendar, the Grand National Championships. The NSW Government has funded a $745,000 upgrade to the facility’s surface to breathe new life into one of our most important Olympic venues.

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“This upgrade will ensure world-class events are set right here in Sydney and we support the many talented riders preparing for the World Equestrian Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.” Equestrian NSW CEO Bruce Farrar said the upgrade to Arena Five and Six included installation of a sub-surface watering system, rubber cushioning and a riding surface that incorporates fine sand, geotextile and fibre additives.

“This project has ensured a consistent and even riding surface which protects the orthopaedic health of horses while delivering international best practice conditions for riders,” Mr Farrar said. “We’ve already had positive feedback from many of our top Australian show jumping and dressage competitors, and we look forward to supporting as many athletes as possible through this fantastic upgrade.”