Tim Price’s Wesko produced as close to the perfect fairytale finish as you could get in the Event Rider Masters penultimate round at Haras de Jardy near Paris this morning.
The Kiwi combo placed second behind Alex Bragg (GBR) and Zagreb, who led from the get-go to finish on 23.6 penalty points. It was Wesko’s first big competition back after a two year break but no-one told him – he came out and delivered a 25.2 penalty point dressage effort to sit in fourth place, adding nothing to the tally from either the showjumping or cross country, leaving his rider purring.
“I was very pleased with Wesko in the dressage – just that he stayed focused and did a nice job. Then he showjumped really well, even though it was the biggest he has jumped for a while. He is just getting the strength back in his body but he demonstrated what an awesome horse he is with his technique and desire to do the right thing for a nice round in the showjumping,” said Price.
In the cross country, they were one of just eight combinations to come home clear and inside time over the Pierre Michelet (FRA) designed course.
“He was super in the cross country. I couldn’t be more pleased with how he delivered and galloped home, two seconds inside the time. He was just excellent.”
Coming into the penultimate round of the series, Price was in fourth on the leaderboard with 53 points. He’s now moved up to third with 81 points. Chris Burton (AUS) has extended his lead to 96 points, with Laura Collett (GBR) in second on 86 and Gemma Tattersall (GBR) in fourth on 78.
Price is over the moon.
“I don’t think I have had another like him,” he says of Wesko. “It is so much fun having him back. You don’t know until you know when you bring a horse like him back out at the top levels. It all came flooding back out there – he is just so much fun.”
Sir Mark Todd and McClaren finished in 17th spot on 39.1 after adding time penalties in both the jumping phases but the efforts of the little horse who goes like a big horse continues to draw praise.
“It is just crazy how awesome he is,” says Price. “It is quite a spectacle to watch.” Jonelle Price and her rather green Cooley Showtime came home for 26th but there is still much to come from this one.
“He has some maturing to do,” says Tim Price, “but he has a lot of talent. He is a very quality horse and he showed that through all three phases.”
Two combinations retired during the cross country, with a further four eliminated. The cash-rich series now heads to the final leg of the 2018 series, which will be held at Blair Castle in Scotland in late August.
The horse details:
McClaren – owned by David and Katherine Thomson
Wesko – owned by Tim Price and the late Christina Kundsen
Cooley Showtime – owned by Suzanne Houchin, Lucy and Ben Sangster and Sir Peter Vela
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ
16th July 2018