Jonelle Price is eyeing her second CCI4* crown as she heads to Luhmuhlen in Germany this week.
It’s a small crew of Kiwis making the trek. Joining Price and Faerie Dianimo is Jesse Campbell with both Amsterdam and Cleveland, and Blyth Tait with Havanna.
Price, who won the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials on Classic Moet in May has previously been second in the CCI4* at Luhmuhlen with Faerie Dianimo in 2015. This time the 13-year-old grey mare heads there with a recent second in the CIC3* at Tattersalls. In 2014, the horse was fourth in the CCI4* at Pau and is no stranger to 4* level. The British-bred mare was also Price’s Rio Olympic Games horse.
“I am hoping for a good weekend at Luhmuhlen,” said Jonelle Price. “Faerie Dianimo comes into it off the back of a good run at Tatts, combined with having gone well there previously . . . I am hoping that bodes well for us.”
Tait, a former world champ and Olympic Gold medallist, takes his 11-year-old chestnut mare Havanna. It will be the first CCI4* start for the Belgium-bred mare, who was third in the CCI3* at Millstreet last year. Tait has previously won the CCI3* at Luhmuhlen, back in 1997 with Aspyring.
While Campbell has had three CCI4* starts, both Amsterdam and Cleveland are making their début at this level. Amsterdam, a 12-year-old German-bred grey gelding, was recently second in the CICO3* – NC at Houghton Hall. Cleveland is an 11-year-old Dutch-bred bay gelding.
Andrew Nicholson and Tim Price have both previously claimed the CCI4* crown at Luhmuhlen – Nicholson aboard Mr Cruise Control in 2013 and Price on Wesko in 2014.
This year has attracted entries from across the globe, including riders from Australia, Belgium, Ecuador, Finland, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, the United States and of course, Germany.
The dressage gets underway on Thursday afternoon (GER time) and will continue through Friday as well. Saturday combinations will be challenged by Mike Etherington-Smith’s cross country course, with the showjumping on Sunday.
It is the second year the Brit has designed at Luhmuhlen and word is that he’s planning to take things up a notch in both difficulty and size.
“Last year was really all about getting a feel for the course, the terrain, and the layout and how the event works,” he said. “Now I am getting more familiar with the venue and the opportunities that present themselves I am feeling more comfortable. The courses will be a bit more intense this time and I am starting to use changes of direction to create a different feel. I am a great believer in looking afresh each year at the overall layout and route of the courses to explore what can be done better and whether we are making optimum use of what there is.”
The biggest changes will be seen at the two water fences.
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
WHAT: Luhmuhlen CCI4*
WHEN: June 14-17, 2018
WHERE: Luhmuhlen, Germany
MORE INFO: https://tgl.luhmuehlen.de/start
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison