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Posted by Shelley Tilbrook on 23/04/2023.

Vale Art Uytendaal

Equestrian Australia was saddened to hear the news of Australian Equestrian, Art Uytendaal passing away recently, aged 92.

In the 1960’s Art Uytendaal was Australia’s only full-time professional showjumper. Affectionately referred to as 'The Flying Dutchman', Uytendaal was born in Holland in 1931 and immigrated to Australia in January 1956. 

From 1956 to 1990 Art's list of wins numbered into the thousands in Australia. He was the first sponsored rider in the country - Kevin Dennis Show Jumping Team and also Johnny Walker Whisky. The list of wins includes three Australian Show Jumping Championships, Victorian Championships, Showjumper of the Year awards, and many Puissance records.

He was the first to jump 1 m 93 cm (6' 4") in a Puissance in Australia and in 1969 he jumped 2 m 17 cm (7' 1½") on Chatter, a record he held for many years until the rules were changed and the wall could include hay bales in front of it.

Excluded from competing in the Australian Olympic team because he was a professional, Uytendaal turned his attention to breeding and training many gifted horses for jumping and eventing, including some of the country’s best-known equine athletes. He was the Australian coach of the World Eventing Championships in Gawler, South Australia, nominated coach for the ill-fated Moscow Olympics and also the Los Angeles Olympics.

His family posted this message:

"It is with a broken heart that Art’s family announce that last night Art lost his life after fighting so hard for many years.  At 92 years of age, with failing heart and severe arthritis from many falls, he knew it was time to join his family and all the horses that went before him. He was amazed that he received so many good wishes from so many friends over the last few weeks and we all thank you so much for that.

By request we are not having a funeral, but if anyone would like to remember him and his achievements we would love you to give a few dollars to help an underprivileged young rider reach their goal.  Anything is possible with a little help."

Equestrian Australia wish to acknowledge the significant impact he made on this great sport and send our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

You can read more about his amazing life and contribution to Australian Jumping here.

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