Two Kiwis topped the podium at the Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials in Scotland overnight.
Tim Price and Pats Jester took out the CCI3* class – a crown he won five years ago aboard Wesko – and James Avery aboard Seaflower finished on their dressage score to win the CCI1*. Tim’s efforts aboard Wesko in the CIC3* Event Rider Masters saw him finish sixth in the class and third overall in the cash-rich series. Jonelle Price and Cloud Dancer II placed 10th in the ERM CIC3*.
Tim was rapt with both of his horses. “I am super happy and proud of Pats Jester and for his owners. The dressage was good, the cross country was a really good round with great rhythm and finishing exactly on the optimum time and he absolutely pinged around the showjumper like a pro. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
The combination had a couple of falls earlier in the season, which Tim took full responsibility for, and for Pats Jester to come back so strongly was particularly pleasing. “To overcome them and have his second win at his second attempt at CCI3* is pretty cool.”
He was amazed to find themselves at the top of the podium. “It was a really pleasant surprise and a great way to finish the weekend. I had a win here five years ago on Wesko when he was just breaking the ground of top level competition, so that was nice to come back and reclaim the trophy.”
They had been in third coming into the final phase but rails to both Tom McEwen (GBR) and Izzy Taylor (GBR) saw them cruise through on their dressage score of 28.5 penalty points.
James Avery and Seaflower also finished on their 25.2 dressage score in the CCI1* to take the win ahead of Nicola Wilson (GBR) aboard JL Dublin on 28.6. “She tried her heart out all week so we couldn’t be happier,” said James. “She’s good fun to ride as she has a lot of attitude. My job is to contain that.”
Chris Burton (AUS) and Graf Liberty took out the ERM CIC3* on 30.9 penalty points. They had been in second by just .5 to Oliver Townend (GBR) aboard Cillnabradden Evo after the dressage. Each combination took a rail in the showjumping and Oliver’s 2.8 time penalties in the cross country saw him concede the lead. Chris also took out the ERM Series.
Tim Price and Wesko were sixth on 39.9 with wife Jonelle 10th on Cloud Dancer on 48.5.
“I was disappointed a little bit to not be in a more attacking position after the dressage (with Wesko),” said Tim. “It was a bit of a situation of a well-prepared horse to the point where he was a little bit fresh and enjoying himself too much. I think he has hit full fitness again and that showed.”
The combo had a “frustrating” rail at the last in the showjumping. Torrential rain during the cross country challenged everyone. “It absolutely bucketed with rain but I was really pleased that he had excellent foot work and I rode him somewhere in the balance of fast enough to be competitive but safe and tidy enough to not be asking too much of him. I was really happy with the way he jumped.”
Jonelle was pleased with the efforts of Cloud Dancer, who had a been a little naughty on a couple of outings.
“It was a very difficult CIC3*,” said Tim, “especially with the conditions. There were a couple of difficult combinations and the time was incredibly tight so it put everyone under a lot of pressure so it was a good test in the masters and well won by Chris Burton who did a good job.”
Hannah Norvill and Magic Roundbout IV placed 17th with 49.1 in the CCI2* which was won by Piggy French (GBR) and Cooley Monsoon on 25.1.
The horse details:
Wesko – owned by the late Christina Knudsen and Tim Price
Cloud Dancer II – owned by the Marley and Me Syndicate
Mr Sneezy – owned by Tiny Clapham and Ian and Heidi Woodhead
Optimus Prime II – owned by Joe, Alex and Louis Giannamore
Cooley Showtime – owned by Suzanne Houchin, Lucy and Ben Sangster and Sir Peter Vela
Pats Jester – owned by Kate Maitland/ Therese Miller, Philip Hunt, Jo Preston-Hunt and Tim Price
Magic Roundabout IV – owned by Laurence Hunt and Sarah Stone
Seaflower – owned by Elizabeth Edwards
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison