Featured Image: Presentation Ceremony Equestrian Olympic Bronze Medal (Team) Mexico City 1968
Team Members: Bill & Wayne Roycroft Brien Cobcroft James Scanlon
Perhaps Brien isn’t strictly speaking Hunter Valley; but he spent a lot of time here! Some of the stories are legend; even true. I shared some myself!
At the Mexico Olympics in 1968 Brien won the bronze medal with team members Bill and Wayne Roycroft and James Scanlan. His horse was Depeche, a six year- old gelding he spotted at Wyong racecourse (where it ran second last) and bought for 600 pounds, turning it into a champion eventer in just three months. Depeche was the youngest horse to ever represent Australia at an Olympic Games.
“My parents had me on a horse long before I could walk – and from that moment horses were my main priority. After years of riding and chasing cattle here on Parraweena, I had my first run in a camp draft at Wingen when I was about 14 years old. In those days we would ride our horses from home to where ever and ride home again gathering a lot of experience on the way. As the years passed (by this time we had a truck) I was lucky enough to win a lot of championship camp drafts including two NSW titles and the Australian Championships in 1961. In the off season I played A Grade polo with my brother John, Sinclair Hill, and the late Ken Mackay from Dungog – we won a lot of tournaments including most of the majors. In 1961, the late Murray Bain, my father and Bill Hyem talked me into having a go for the Three Day Event team that would be competing at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Luck has it – I made the team and four years later in 1968 competed in the Mexico Olympics winning a bronze medal.”