Craig Barrett

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When I was 10 our family moved from Sydney to Coffs Harbour and my parents decided to buy a pony.

My sister and I went to Coffs Harbour Pony Club but I wasn't much of a rider and by the time I was 15 I was playing a lot of other sports and I think my parents thought my interest in horses may have been over.

About this time we moved into town and had to agist our horses about a 10 minute bike ride away and I had also outgrown my current horse. However my interest seemed to be reignited by the thought of a new horse. This new horse just happened to come from one of the first auctions that Heath Ryan ran and the horse we bought was owned by his parents.

From that first connection I did some work experience at the NSW Equestrian Centre when I was 16 and from that I was hooked, I'd never seen the Grand Prix movements before and found them fascinating. From then on I spent every school holidays at the Centre and finally went to work there the day after my HSC was finished. I stayed at the Centre for two and half years and learnt about all things horses including riding, breeding, teaching, sales and competing- most importantly that's where I met Prue.

Prue and I left the Centre and headed to the UK in February 1991 but I hated the weather and only lasted a few months. I really loved Australia and knew that's where I wanted to live and establish a business in horses.

In 1992 Prue and I started our riding and coaching business. It was tough at first but we managed to survive and in 1997 we were married then in 1999 we bought our current property Sandhills from where we now run our stud and competition yard.

Most importantly our family has grown and we now have two boys Oliver who is 8 and Jesper who is 4. Both boys ride and Oliver is very keen and can't wait to compete next year on his new pony Rory. Jesper's pony is called Snowy and Jesper can't wait to get off the lead rein and ride on his own.

Currently Prue is putting everything she has into keeping Australian eventers in a position to win medals at WEG and Olympic Games and I am working at establishing a breeding program that produces horses for our riders to pursue their dreams.