Jonelle Price wins Badminton - tremendous achievement and a great day for motherhood!
Jonelle is the first female winner of Badminton for eleven years.New Zealand eventer Jonelle Price has won the prestigious four star 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials - 4.9 penalty points ahead of Britain's Oliver Townend.
She was riding Classic Moet - the fifteen year-old mare she has partnered in international competitions since May 2013. They had a tense show jumping round to complete the competition on Sunday (May 6) - rattling most of the obstacles. Classic Moet has the reputaiton of the fastest cross country horse in the world - but has always found the dressage discipline of eventing somewhat burdensome.
Jonelle said: "You certainly need lady luck on your side and it was for me today." And talking about Classic Moet, she said: "Horses go through their careers but never win a big one - so I am so pleased for her. And I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. Sometimes dreams do come true."
Jonelle Price, who has been a member of New Zealand's Olympic team, lives in Marlborough with her husband Tim and their baby boy - Otis, who was born on 16 August 2017.
Because of her pregnancy Jonelle took most of 2017 off - and was unable to defend her position as the International Equestrian Federation's top event rider.
After Otis' birth rode Classic Moet in just four competitions towards the end of the season. This makes her Badminton win an even greater achievement. And motherhood claims another achievement: Classic Moet gave birth to a foal on Good Friday - this year!
It is not just motherhood that has disrupted their preparations for this eventing season - the rain has meant that many competitions have been cancelled. Prior to Badminton Jonelle and Classic Moet had complete one competition - last month's Belton Park International where they won the Advanced Class.
Jonelle's husband Tim Price finished Badminton in twelfth place on Ringwood Sky Boy. Fellow New Zealander Sir Mark Todd finished in sixth place (with Kiltubrid Rhapsody) and at 14 (with Leonidas II).
Andrew Nicholson's horse Nereo was withdrawn on veterinary grounds at the final inspection before Sunday's show jumping. Last year Nicholson won Badminton for the first time and has now announced Nereo's retirement.