National Eventing Championships a family affair for Branxton's Barrett family

If genes count then Oliver and Jesper Barrett are going to have huge futures in Australian equestrian eventing.

Oliver, 13, and Jesper, 8, are the sons of Branxton-based Australian equestrian greats Craig and Prue Barrett, with all four competing at this year’s National Eventing Championships at the Camden Equestriad in Sydney.

Prue was recently awarded Equestrian Australia Coach of the Year for her role in coaching Australia to a team bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games but has stepped down to concentrate on the family’s horse breeding business.

As a competitor she represented Australia at the 1994 World Championships. Craig won the 2014 Australian International Three Day Event in Adelaide, the premier Eventing Competition in Australia. 

Prue said the move away from full-time coaching had allowed her and Craig to compete with the boys as a family, with Jesper competing in his first event last weekend.

“Jesper loved it and Oliver is reaching a stage where he says he is taking the sport seriously,” Prue said of her sons who attend Maitland Christian College where they are in year seven and three.

Interestingly, the horses which Craig, Prue and Oliver will ride are also all related. Craig's horse Sandhills Style is the mother of Olivier's horse Sandhills Special.

Prue's horse Sandhills Stanza is sisters with Sandhills Special. 

Oliver is regarded as an up and coming athlete and has aspirations to compete at the highest levels and with his pedigree he is certainly destined for big things.