Equine influenza (EI) was first diagnosed in the Australian horse population on 24 August 2007 at Centennial Park Equestrian Centre (CPEC) in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. By then, the virus had already spread to many properties in NSW and southern Queensland. The outbreak in NSW affected approximately 6000 premises populated by approximately 47,000 horses. Analyses undertaken by the epidemiology section, a distinct unit within the planning section of the State Disease Control Headquarters, included the attack risk on affected properties, the level of under-reporting of affected properties and a risk assessment of the movement of horses out of the Special Restricted Area. We describe the epidemiological features and the lessons learned from the outbreak in NSW.