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A bush rider’s Olympic story

Neale Lavis is one of Australia’s greatest equestrians. In 2013 as the National Museum started work on the Horses in Australia project, I learned from my farrier that he also shod horses owned by Neale, one of Australia’s 1960 Rome Olympics three-day event champions. Now in his 80s, Neale was still breeding, riding and training horses at his Braidwood property. I was told that he was ‘one of the best blokes’ I was ever likely to meet, and a legendary Australian horseman. This film tells Neale’s story.

A bush rider's Olympic story 15:27

The National Museum thanks Neale and Velma Lavis for their generosity and hospitality. All photos on this site are courtesy of Neale Lavis unless otherwise stated.

Further reading

The Horse in Australia, Fiona Carruthers, Random House, North Sydney, 2008.

Trailblazers: Australia’s First Olympic Equestrians, Wyatt (Bunty) Thompson with Petronella McGovern, Rosenberg Publishing, Dural, 2008.

Our Solo: Bill Roycroft’s Gold Medal Horse, Joan Palmer, Maryborough, 1982.

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