Sydney 2000 – “Welcome” Opening Ceremony Olympic Games

This was our once in a lifetime opportunity to work alongside “the best of the best” Ric Birch, Director of Ceremonies, David Atkins Artistic Director / Producer, Ignatius Jones, Segment Director and Lt Don Eyb, Troop Drill Leader.

On Friday, September 15, 2000, approximately 100,000 spectators and over 12,000 performers celebrated the opening of the 27th Olympiad in Sydney, Australia. Four billion viewers joined them worldwide. Ric Birch, the Director of Ceremonies and David Atkins, the artistic director, produced an epic pageant of Australian culture. A lone rider galloped out onto the stadium proper followed by 120 stock horses and riders who signalled the start of the show with their quadrille performance. This was the largest 'musical ride' (horses and riders choreographed to music) in history.

The preparation behind the scenes took over 12 months to deliver, with careful selection of horse/rider combinations; rehearsals took place in the eastern states. Those selected met in Scone on two separate occasions for boot camp training. Finally the participants were whittled down to approx 160 from over 200. Everyone packed up their swags and travelled to Castle Hill, Sydney where they would spend 10 full-on days and nights rehearsing, training and finally performing to the world their specially choreographed routine.

From the very first discussions with Ric Birch to the final “bump out” in Castle Hill…..Animals Downunder were there in force!!

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Australia Day Parades

(Izit Entertainment Productions)

Animals Downunder have proudly supplied a number of segments in the annual parades thru the streets of Brisbane…….including a bullock team, camels in costume, several dignitary coaches, longhorn cattle and stockmen.

Humphrey B. Bear rides in one of the coaches in the picture shown.