Charles Sturt University (CSU) has been praised for its role in the Modern Pentathlon at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
The University's equine centre on the Wagga Wagga Campus bought and trained 26 horses for the showjumping phase of the event held over the last two days of the Olympic Games.
The peak international body for Modern Pentathlon, Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM), hailed the Olympic Games event as the best ever.
CSU's equine studies lecturer, Hunter Doughty, who was contracted to the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) as Sydney 2000 modern pentathlon riding director, returned to Wagga Wagga from Sydney this week from the "experience of a lifetime".
Mr Doughty said after two years of preparation, working seven days a week over the last several months, he was exhausted but very pleased the event went off so successfully with widespread acclaim for CSU.
"The UIPM and all the competing teams raved about the presentation of the horses," Mr Doughty said.
He said the entire CSU team - including 19 equine studies students - had worked extremely hard.
Now back in Wagga Wagga, a small team of horses will stay at CSU for the development of the sport while the remainder will be sold.
Modern Pentathlon competition manager for SOCOG, Alex Watson, congratulated CSU on its entire operation.
"We had wonderful feedback and comments on the horses. They were all beautifully trained and prepared and jumped brilliantly," he said.
Mr Watson said the medal winners were very happy with the quality of the horses and gave CSU lots of praise.
"We hope we can carry the momentum and get things moving to establish Wagga Wagga as the centre for modern pentathlon in Australia."
Wagga Wagga will host the Junior World Modern Pentathlon in September 2002.