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Meet Australia’s best Cross Country Course Designer

Meet Australia’s best Cross Country Course Designer Ewan Kellett

Meet Australia’s best Cross Country Course Designer Ewan Kellett

 

Born and raised in Echuca by sheep and cattle farming parents Joe and Andrea Kellett, Ewan found pony club to be an integral part of his early life. Then after moving to Geelong with his family at age nine, Ewan experienced his first three-day event where a life-long passion for horses was ignited. After completing an Equine Management Course at Marcus Oldham, Ewan followed his curiosity towards the horse industry, taking on various jobs from prepping thoroughbred yearlings to grooming hunters and stud work. He could easily have worked his way into farm management, but restless Ewan remained uncertain about his future. It was during this time that Ewan, a more than accomplished rider, was competing in eventing at a CCI 2* level when he met Geoff Sinclair, whose business, Horseland, was a sponsor of the equine course at the time. Geoff took him under his wing and opened up avenues which led Ewan - at 32 years old – to become the youngest FEI-level course designer in the world.

“I always had an interest in course design, and through Geoff I was able to help out with the designers at the Melbourne three-day event at Werribee Park in 1998… then I was hooked.”

Ewan’s first opportunity to design his own course came in mid-1999, producing a high-class cross-country course at Spray Farm on the Bellarine Peninsula.

“They were looking for a junior course designer. It was supposed to be a three-week position, but it lasted four and a half months,” Ewan says. Not only did he enjoy course design, but the excellent and consistent feedback he received from participants proved that he was also very good at it.

Ewan, now 44, says that ‘doors open’ for Marcus Oldham graduates, and he’s forever thankful for his time at the college. He attributes his education and eventing experience as having helped him master the intricacies of good course design – one that treads a fine line between testing and safe for both horse and rider.

Having built some magnificent courses and a sizeable reputation, Ewan has worked on courses in all Australian states and also overseas in Hong Kong (Beijing Olympics test event), Korea (foreign builder for the Asian Games), Japan, New Zealand and the UK.

 

Ewan Kellett graduated from Marcus Oldham College in 1996

Ewan Kellett graduated from Marcus Oldham College in 1996

 

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