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Prue Barrett has been appointed national performance director of the Australian eventing team.

Prue has served as assistant coach to Australia’s long-term coach Wayne Roycroft — who stepped down from his role in December last year — at three championships, including last year’s World Equestrian Games.

“I believe it is an enormous privilege to serve Australian riders in this capacity as the eventing national performance director,” said Prue.

“We have extremely talented riders and horses both at home and based overseas and as Australians can be very proud of the history that this country’s eventing teams have enjoyed at the Olympic Games.

“I am looking forward to working very closely with the riders in the campaign towards the London Olympics.”

Prue (née Cribb), 41, is an experienced coach, her qualifications including a masters in education, specialising in coach education, from Sydney University.

As a rider she won several three-star events in Australia and finished ninth at the World Equestrian Games in 1998 on Navarone. She has two children with husband Craig and still competes, finishing third in the CCI** at Sydney last August on Wendela Jamie.

Equestrian Australia’s (EA) chair Paul Cargill said: “Prue Barrett’s impressive record speaks for itself. We believe she is the right person to lead our eventing team into the next Olympics with strong experience as a coach at major international campaigns as well as her passion to maintain Australia’s reputation as a leading equestrian nation.

“Being only 16 months out from London 2012, we couldn’t afford to miss a beat which is why we were quick to appoint Prue after the role became vacant in December.

“Prue’s position is not simply coaching but rather as the eventing national performance director who will be responsible for our high performance pathways and programs.”

American eventing website Eventing Nation ran an interview with Prue on Tuesday, where she stated her commitment to keeping the Australian eventing programme based in the Southern Hemisphere, a different strategy to that recently announced by the New Zealanders, who will be based in Britain in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

Australia has a history of success in eventing, including team silver at the 2008 Olympics and team bronze and individual silver (Clayton Fredericks) at the 2006 World Equestrian Games, but disappointed at WEG in Kentucky last year. Team trailblazer Paul Tapner had to pull up Badminton winner Inonothing, who was injured on the cross-country and anchorman Sam Griffiths took a fall with Happy Times. Stuart Tinney finished best of the squad in eighth on Vettori.