Art Uytendaal, respectfully known as ‘The Flying Dutchman’,was born in Holland in 1931 (1 of 17 children) and immigrated to Australia in 1956. He was made professional in his homeland, so decided to spend two years in Australia as an assisted migrant, returning as an amateur, but ended up staying for a lifetime.
He was one of the first riders to use the ‘European’ style in Australia and introduced dressage as the basis of show jumping, changing the face of the sport in this country.
From 1956 to 1990 Art’s list of wins numbered into the thousands in Australia. He was the first sponsored rider in the country – Kevin Dennis Show Jumping Team and also Johnny Walker Whisky.
The list of his wins includes three Australian Show Jumping Championships, Victorian Championships, Showjumper of the Year awards, and many Puissance records.
He was the first to jump 1m 93 m (6’4″) in a Puissance in Australia and in 1969 jumped 2m 17cm (7’1½”) on Chatter, a record he held for many years until the rules were changed and the wall could include hay bales in front of it.
Two of his horses, Mr. Dennis finished 5th at the Montreal Olympics ridden by Guy Creighton, and Autograph ridden by Geoff McVean finished 4th at the alternate Olympics in Rotterdam.
In 1976 he took two young horses to the UK – Tongala and Jamaica Inn where they both won and placed in shows, qualifying for the Horse of the Year Show, but unfortunately Art was injured and returned home.
He was the Australian coach of the World Eventing Championships in Gawler, South Australia, nominated coach for the ill-fated Moscow Olympics and also Los Angeles Olympics.
Art Uytendaal, a brilliant, determined equestrian with a fierce competitive streak, has influenced many riders in Australia.