Top cross-country course designer – and chief executive of British Eventing – Mike Etherington-Smith has been lured out of temporary retirement to build the Sydney CCI3* course next year.

After creating the 2010 World Equestrian Games eventing course in Kentucky, Mike said he would take a few years off.

But the 2012 Sydney International 3 Day Event (26-29 April) has secured him as designer.

Mike won acclaim for his tracks at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Games in Hong Kong.

He was also technical delegate for the 2004 Olympics in Athens and technical advisor to the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen.

Glenn Wallace, president of Sydney International Eventing, said: “We have been keen to get Mike back to Sydney for some time, so it’s great that he now has the time to come back to work with our team.”

And Equestrian Australia’s eventing director Prue Barrett, said: “For Australian riders to ride over Mike’s course prior to the Olympic Games will give them invaluable experience and ensure they are well-prepared to take on the rest of the world.”