Top eventer Jonelle Price secured her own slice of history last night when she won her second consecutive CCI4*.
Price, who won Badminton Horse Trials last month, notched a nail-biting victory aboard Faerie Dianimo at Luhmuhlen in Germany. She is the first female Kiwi to have achieved back-to-back wins at top level.
“If you had asked me in January, having come off the back of a quiet year, I would never in my wildest dreams have thought I would be sitting here at the end of June with two four star wins under my belt,” she said. “It is beyond my wildest expectations.”
Price was second at the end of the challenging Mike Etherington-Smith cross country course, with leader Boyd Martin (USA) withdrawing his horse Shamwari 4 before the second horse inspection today, citing a sore hind leg.
But it was no walk in the park, with less than a rail between the top six coming into the showjumping. Just six of the 29 combinations were clear and inside time.
The four Brits who finished behind Price put plenty of pressure on her, and while she nudged a couple of rails, everything stayed in place for her to finish on 28.3 penalty points with Laura Collett (GBR) and Mr Bass second on 29.9, Rosaline Canter (GBR) on Zenshera third on 29.9 and Kitty King (GBR) fourth on Ceylor LAN on 32.2.
Price received a standing ovation from the German crowd as she cleared the final fence in the showjumping. “We love coming here,” Price told the crowd. “It is the highlight of our calendar. This is a special win for Faerie Dianimo.”
And an “extra special day” for her UK breeder and co-owner Trisha Rickards. “It has been a fantastic competition from start to finish,” she said. “This mare is spectacular in so many ways. She is tiny – barely 16hh but thinks she is 18hh and bulletproof. It is those qualities that make her quite difficult but equally brilliant and she showed that brilliance today coming out and jumping like that under pressure.”
Faerie Dianimo is a 13-year-old grey mare who is by Dimaggio and out of Faerie Dazzler VII (by Catherston Dazzler). She is owned by her breeder Rickards, Jacky Green and Price. Faerie Dianimo was price’s Rio Olympic Games horse and in 2015 were second in the CCI4* at Luhmuhlen.
“I couldn’t be more happy with my two mares,” she said, tipping her hat to her Badminton winner Classic Moet as well. “I believe each are such deserving winners (of a CCI4*).” She is not the first Price to have won at Luhmuhlen – husband Tim won the CCI4* aboard Wesko in 2014.
Jesse Campbell, the only other Kiwi left in the CCI4* was 19th aboard Amsterdam 21 on 71.1. Blyth Tait and Havana retired during the cross country, while Campbell had an unlucky spill on his other horse Cleveland.
CCI4* is the highest level of international eventing, with just six held each year across the globe.
The horse details:
Havanna – owned by Jane Lovell-Smith, Katherine Corich and John Ormiston
Faerie Dianimo – owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Jonelle Price
Amsterdam – owned by Craig Campbell
Cleveland – owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ
18th June 2018