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Rolton, Gillian (1956 - )


Equestrienne and Olympian


Gillian Rolton is Australia's first female equestrian gold-medallist. She has won or placed at the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the Trans-Tasman's and international competitions in Europe and Australia.


A schoolteacher from Adelaide, Gillian Rolton was a Show and Dressage rider from the age of ten until her early twenties. She began Eventing and Showjumping at twenty-one, and has been competing at an international level since 1984. Rolton was long-listed for the Olympic Games at Los Angeles and Seoul, but missed out on both due to injury (to the horse in the first instance, and to herself in the second). In 1992 she was a late inclusion the Australian equestrian team competing at the Barcelona Olympic Games after she beat all male members of the team in the final selection trial at Savernake, England. Competing alongside Matt Ryan and Andrew Hoy, Rolton rode an excellent round on Peppermint Grove on the final day of competition, and became the first Australian female equestrian to win a gold medal.

Rolton achieved even greater notoriety after the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Thrown twice from Peppermint Grove in the cross-country section, Rolton remounted and finished the course despite a broken collar-bone and two broken ribs. The Australian team, comprised of Andrew Hoy, Wendy Schaeffer, Phillip Dutton and Rolton, won gold.

Since 2003, Rolton has been coordinating and coaching the EFA National Young Eventing Rider Squad. She is an FEI International Eventing judge and is on the Board of Adelaide International Horse Trials.


Gold Medalist at the Barcelona Olympic Games - Equestrian - Three day Event (Team)
Gold Medalist at the Atlanta Olympic Games - Equestrian - Three Day Event (Team)

Sources used to compile this entry: Vamplew, Vray; Moore, Katharine; O'Hara, John; Cashman, Richard; Jobling, Ian (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Australian Sport, Revised Second edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1997. Ian Jobling, p. 353.;; NB: The National Library of Australia holds biographical cuttings on Gillian Rolton, sportswoman, Record ID: 2014032.

Barbara Lemon

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