Jonelle Price: pregnancy means she will miss Barbury - her favourite event
When I arrived to meet with Jonelle Price she scooted up, sitting side saddle on a tractor mower, having been busy cutting grass. Nearly seven months pregnant, it becomes apparent quite quickly that this lady is not going to let pregnancy slow her down.
Photo above: Jonelle and Classic Moet take the Keyflow jump in the Barbury International leg of 2016's Event Rider Masters. She was overall second in the first running of the ERM competition.
Jonelle admits at being frustrated at missing the St James's Place Barbury International Horse Trials (July 6-9), an event she enjoys for many of reasons, and not least because it is right on her doorstep: “Barbury is quite different to other events. We are so lucky to have it as our local. It is fantastically spectator friendly, the weather is usually good, the terrain is different and it comes at a good time in the eventing calendar."
“I thought I could ride for fun but I have discovered that I cannot! I miss the adrenaline of competitions,” says the female half of one of the most successful couples in world eventing.
Jonelle and husband Tim have been based just outside Marlborough for 12 years, having moved there directly from New Zealand. The fact that most of the New Zealand team are also located in this area, she says, is pure coincidence - but one she and Tim enjoy.
With the baby due in early August, Jonelle’s sights are already set on the World Championships in 2018 and she will be working towards being part of the New Zealand team with Tim, who is enjoying a very successful season.
“I am still riding at home but Tim has taken over some of my horses. It is not fair on the horses to keep chopping and changing but it has taken some adjusting."
“Tim does things differently but I still want to have some ownership still and it has taken work to find the balance and not overly interfere. Our objectives and solving problems in training is something we both have to face but we have different ways of getting to the end result,” she says honestly.
Jonelle plans to be back competing as soon as she can, aiming for the Etoiles de Pau in October as her first four star competition. She describes herself as “quite tough mentally” and “very focused”, so I am sure it won’t be long before we see her back to her winning ways and in the New Zealand team next year.
FOOTNOTE: early in the season Tim Price won an Advanced competition at the Belton Park International with Xavier Faer. Then in May he rode Xavier Faer to take third place in the Badminton CCI4*.
Later in May he rode Cekatinka to win the Rockingham International Advanced Intermediate competition off a dressage score of 23.3 - one of a number of excellent dressage scores he has achieved during the season.
At the Tattersalls International in Ireland at the start of June, Tim Price won the CCI2** with Kincooley Cruising and also took fourth place in that competition on Pats Jester. He went on to win the CC1* on Falco. In all three rides he added no cross country or show jumping penalties to his dressage score.
He also took individual third place on Ascona M in the Irish leg of the FEI Nations Cup CICO3* team competition. The team event was won by France with Great Britain second and Ireland third.