Jonelle and Tim Price top the field at Event Rider Masters third leg competition in Belgium
A great day at the office for the New Zealand couple who live in Marlborough.It was Tim Price's first win in an Event Rider Masters (ERM) competition - and his wife Jonelle took second place.
Tim was riding his long-time partner Wesko and Jonelle was on Faerie Dianimo.
There was a dramatic finish to this leg of the ERM 2019 series at Concours Complet D’Arville in Belgium. Australia's Chris Burton and Quality Purdey were namedwinners with what he thought was a clear round inside the time.
Then the ground jury gave him 11 penalties for knocking out an element of the triple bar of a fence. He dropped to third place on a final score of 40.7 - lifting Tim Price to victory.
The overnight leaders Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V retired following a runout at the first water complex of the cross country.
Tim and Wesko were ultimately the only pair to jump clear and inside the optimum time on the cross country course, which saw 53 per cent of riders jumping clear. They were also the only pair to finish on their dressage score, rising up from fourth place after the first phase to win on a final score of 30.5.
Wesko was been out with an injury from April 2016 to June 2018 - missing the Rio Olympics. Tim is thrilled to have him back on form: “The good horses make you look good, don’t they? I’ve missed him because of moments like that. He’s just so exceptional."
"The corner in the first water, I couldn’t quite see the line, but he was on it. He’s just a fantastic horse. Of course, it’s a partnership, and we’ve been together for a long time, so it was great to showcase that at places like this. It’s nice to tick all the boxes and come home healthy.”
Jonelle Price added 6.8 time penalties with Faerie Dianimo to finish on 39.1 for second place in the mare’s first international run since winning the Luhmühlen CCI5*-L last year.
The result is Jonelle’s best ERM podium placing to date and her first time back on the podium since finishing third at Blenheim Palace with Cloud Dancer in 2016:
“I’ve been a bit absent from this podium, so it’s nice to be back, especially with this little mare.”
“She’s quite a busy little mare. She’s a bit of a handful — a very good handful — but she is a feisty little thing. A twisty, turny track shows that a bit more, but she showed all her experience, and it’s just fantastic to have her back at this level.”
Despite missing out on the Arville win, Chris Burton still rose to the top of the ERM Series Rankings with 54 points. Jonelle Price now sits second in the rankings on 46 points, followed by Laura Collett in third on 45 points.
The ERM caravan is skipping the Barbury Innternational Horse Trials (4-7 July) and their fourth leg of the 2019 Event Rider Masters Series will be at Haras de Jardy near Paris (13 and 14 July).