The Warwick Horse Trials (WHT) Club was formed in 1996 with an inspection of Morgan Park grounds by a local group of equestrian enthusiasts. Over the last 20 years, the horse trials grounds has transformed from a piece of virgin bush land into a picturesque, park like setting under the direction of several dedicated committees and numerous volunteers.
In 1996, the club approached local government to lease the current block of land at Morgan Park, and attracted funding from the Department of Sports and Recreation. With further fundraising, the Club set about construction under the direction of an experienced course designer.
Within four years the Club ran the National Championships – the largest event ever run in Australia. The effort put in by the Club and it’s volunteers amounted to over $100,000 of labour in kind and included more than 70 weekends spread over two years. Local business was very supportive and the WHT Club worked actively with community groups to ensure the ongoing viability of the facility for the benefit of all people.
The course was valued at over $500,000, and offered some of the best facilities in country. WHT was officially recognized as the State Eventing Centre and was selected for the staging of the 2007 FEI Eventing World Cup Qualifier.
2006 was an extremely successful year for the club as the rewards of many years of hard work began to materialize. The club was awarded the Equestrian Federation of Australia, 2006 Club of the Year award, the 2006 Equestrian Triequathon was awarded the Equestrian Queensland Event of the Year, Cherry Lawlor (Treasurer) was named Equestrian Queensland Administrator of the Year, Cathy Goddard (Committee) was named the Equestrian Queensland Volunteer of the Year, Simon Goddard (President) was named the Sports Federation of QLD Administrator of the Year AND the WHT club, as a whole, won the Eventing Queensland Premiership.
In 2007 Equine Influenza struck during the hosting of the FEI Eventing World Cup Qualifier on the 25th and 26th of August. This resulted in 42 days of quarantine! It was a very stressful time but the local community and government were very supportive. This was however the catalyst for the club to move operations entirely to the current Warwick Horse Trials grounds. Up until 2007, the WHT club made use of the fantastic facilities at the Warwick Polocrosse Club.
A huge amount of work occurred in late 2007 and early 2008 and the club was ready to host it’s first event from the new grounds in March 2008. New infrastructure included 200 steel yards, 2.5km of water pipe, a club house, a toilet block, a new competition surface and… a trot up track! WHT hosted the FEI Eventing World Cup qualifier on the 26th and 27th of July, 11 months later and were entirely independent!
In more recent years, the WHT grounds has played host to regular clinics and competitions and was selected as the venue for the 2013 and 2014 QLD International Three Day Event.
The course continues to improve with fence upgrades and additions and there is a renewed focus to provide consistent and safe footing around the cross country track and in the competition arenas. In October 2016, WHT will host the Prydes Easifeed International Three Day Event with classes including EvA 60, EvA 80, CCN 95, CCN 105 as well as a CCI 1* and a CIC 2** class.