Kate Hornsey had the perfect start to her senior career, winning two gold medals at the 2005 World Championships in the eight and four. Hornsey won bronze and gold in the same events in 2006, and secured a Beijing spot for the Australian eight after placing fourth at the 2007 World Championships. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Hornsey rowed in the eight, finishing sixth.
Returning four years on for the London 2012 Games, Hornsey lined up in the women's pair alongside Beijing crewmate Sarah Tait. The duo won their heat by over five seconds and progressed straight through to the final.
Hornsey and Tait had the difficult task of taking on the hot favourite home crew of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the final who were looking to become the first British women rowers to stand on top of the podium as an Olympic Games.
The Australians came through the halfway mark sitting in 3rd position over six seconds off the Brits and trailing the New Zealand crew by 3.57 seconds. Tait and Hornsey picked up the stroke rate and powered home to move into 2nd as the finish line neared to win the silver medal. They finished 2.73 seconds behind the history making British pair.