Three local eventers picked for New Zealand's team at September's World Equestrian Games
New Zealand’s eventing team for the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) is stacked with both Olympic and WEG experience - and includes three locally based eventing stars.
Equestrian Sports New Zealand has announced its team of five: Sir Mark Todd (based at Badgerstown, just north of the Marlborough Downs), Marlborough-based Tim and Jonelle Price. Mr and Mrs Price are in fourth and fifth place respectively in the latest International Equestrian Federation's rankings.
They will be joined by another Wiltshire-based rider Dan Jocelyn whose yard is nearby at Oaksey and by the British-based and veteran New Zealand team member Blyth Tait.
At the Games, which are being held at Tryon, North Carolina from September 11-23,
New Zealand will compete a team of four – with three scores to count – and an individual combination.
Tim and Jonelle Price are very much the golden couple of world eventing at the moment. Back-to-back four star winner Jonelle has been named with the speedy 15-year-old black mare Classic Moet on whom she won Badminton this year.
Thirty-seven-year-old Jonelle and Classic Moet were the best of the Kiwis at the 2014 WEG in Normandy, with their fourth place individual finish.
Jonelle was a member of the bronze medal-winning New Zealand team at the London Olympic Games and also in the team at Rio: "Once again it is an honour to be picked alongside some of the greats of our sport. “Classic Moet has had a super season thus far and we’ll be looking to continue that. Being the only female, I’ll need to keep the boys in line – but I am feeling up to the challenge!”
Tim Price has been named with 11-year-old Cekatinka who was third at Aachen and has been a very consistent horse for him in recent years. Tim has represented New Zealand at both Olympic and WEG level, and made the podium at four star events in Kentucky, Luhmuhlen, Burghley and Pau: “It is incredibly exciting to be able to go and represent New Zealand again. Both Joanne Pullan – Cekatinka’s owner – and I are delighted. I am very confident in this team and what sorts of results we might be able to deliver. I am excited to be included and looking forward to Tryon.”
Tim's reserve horses are Ascona M and his Rio Olympic horse Ringwood Sky Boy.
Sir Mark Todd has been named with McClaren - his 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding who has been with him since mid-2017. He is highly rated by 62-year-old Todd, a seven-time Olympian who has competed at five WEGs. His medal haul from the pinnacle events is impressive, with two WEG team golds, a team bronze and an individual silver alongside six Olympic medals including back-to-back individual golds with the mighty Charisma.
He and Tait were on the New Zealand team to win gold at the inaugural WEG in Stockholm in 1990. Todd is delighted to be on another WEG team: "I'm excited to be part of this great bunch of people. Everything crossed now for the next four weeks to get there safely and in top form.”
Todd also has two horses as reserves - his 2016 Rio Olympic Games horse Leonidas II and Kiltubrid Rhapsody who took him to sixth place at Badminton this year.
Fifty-seven-year-old Tait has represented New Zealand at four Olympic Games, where he has won a full set of medals, and three WEGs where his medal haul includes two individual and team golds. He has been named with the 14-year-old Irish sport horse Dassett Courage, with his reserve horse Havanna.
Todd, Tait and Tim Price were members of the New Zealand team that won gold at the prestigious World Equestrian Festival at Aachen last month.
Forty-seven year old Dan Jocelyn has been named with Grovine de Reve, a 10-year-old Irish-bred gelding who has been with him since mid-2017. Jocelyn has also ridden for New Zealand at both Olympic and WEG level: “It’s been 14 years since I last represented the country at a major championship so I am just so pleased to be on the team. I have been working towards this for a long time."
The two non-travelling reserves for the Kiwis are London Olympian Caroline Powell aboard Up Up and Away and Ramsbury-based Jesse Campbell on Cleveland.
The eventing competition at Tryon will run from September 13-16. There is more information about this year's WEG here.