In Memoriam: Jim Dunn OAM (AUS), 1946-2013

Jim Dunn OAM, former Chairman of Selectors for Australian Eventing, has died at the age of 67. (Photo: Equestrian Australia).
Jim Dunn OAM, former Chairman of Selectors for Australian Eventing, has died at the age of 67. (Photo: Equestrian Australia).

James (Jim) Lavington Dunn, former Chairman of Equestrian Australia’s Eventing selectors, has passed away after a long illness. He was 67.
Jim Dunn acted as Chef d’Equipe to the Australian Eventing team and his proudest moment was leading in his team to collect gold on home ground at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, a historic third successive Olympic team gold for Australia’s eventers.
In 2004, Jim Dunn was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to equestrian sports in Australia and at Olympic level as a coach, manager, administrator and judge. In the same year, he was also inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
He was Chairman of Selectors for more than 20 years and during that time formed a close bond with national coach Wayne Roycroft and Australian team veterinarian Denis Goulding.
“The three of us (Jim, Wayne and I) went everywhere together,” Denis Goulding said. “Everywhere we travelled people would hover towards Jim. He was such an iconic figure who was loved by everybody. Equestrian was his life. It meant everything to him.”
Wayne Roycroft also has fond memories of his close friend: “I’ll always remember him leading the team into the presentation at the Sydney Olympics. Of all our campaigns this was probably the hardest because expectations were so high, but under Jim’s guidance we were able to win the gold. He was a really honest, good Australian person and a good friend.”
A native of South Australia, Jim Dunn was an FEI 3* Jumping Judge and FEI 4* Eventing Judge and had officiated in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in Great Britain, Indonesia and Malaysia. He was Chairman of the National Eventing Committee from 1981 to 2009, President of the South Australian Branch from 1988 to 1994, and a member of the South Australian state branch committee, sitting on its board from 1976 to 1997.
He stood down as Chairman of Selectors in June 2012 due to ill health, but remained on the selection panel under the Chairmanship of Georgia Clifford.
“Jim Dunn was so well known in the Eventing world, both at a national level in Australia and on the international scene,” Director of the FEI Eventing & Olympic Department Catrin Norinder said. “He had an incredible knowledge of the sport and was a highly respected judge. His passing leaves an enormous gap in the Australian Eventing world. He will be much missed.”
His funeral will be held on Monday 9 December at 13.00 at the Heysen Chapel, Centennial Park, 760 Goodwood Rd, Pasadena SA.
The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to Jim Dunn’s family and close circle of friends, to Equestrian Australia and the wider Eventing community.