Four-time Olympian, veteran equestrian Blyth Tait is about to add his star power to this year’s Land Rover Horse of the Year Show, announcing he will ride off against eventing ‘power couple’ Tim and Jonelle Price.
The March event which attracts over 1,400 of the country’s top riders has never seen such a star line-up compete and it marks the start of a new ascendancy for the country’s most premier equestrian showpiece.
“We hit the jackpot when Tim and Jonelle announced they were coming and now to have that bolstered again by Blyth’s appearance is absolutely fantastic and will help steer the event in an exciting new direction,” says Event Director Dave Mee.
Since pulling the silver fern on for the first time since 2004 at the World Equestrian Games last year, the two time Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials winner is riding a new wave of momentum.
“I’m looking forward to competing at Land Rover Horse of the Year as I have not participated in its current format before. I hope it will act as an exciting introduction to competition down under that will set my young horses on the road to future success.”
It won’t be the first time Blyth has been up against the in-form Prices. The three are familiar rivals, having competed against one another around some of world eventing’s most formidable courses.
“Tim and Jonelle are dominant on the world stage right now. I admire all that they have achieved and am proud of their successes. It has not been an overnight sensation, they have worked extremely hard. Having been based in the UK for 15 years now, they are now enjoying the rewards of their efforts,” says Blyth.
For Halberg Sportswoman of the Year nominee Jonelle Price the tougher the course and the competition, the better.
“We’ve certainly had a lot of our success when the going gets tough. Both Badminton and Burghley were won on a tough day of sport, it’s in keeping with the Kiwi mentality; when the going gets tough the tough gets going. So it will suit us if the course is what we think it will be,” says Jonelle.
Course designer/builder Chris Ross is assuring spectators plenty of thrills.
“I have some tough challenges in store for these world champions, but I am sure they will be at home over the Burghley jumps as they are just so good at the game.
“I have designed the track to be challenging and technical all the way around, keeping it interesting for the crowd and sponsors over the whole park and through the arenas.
“It’s a seriously gutsy sport so it’s going to be fascinating to watch,” says Chris.
The four-star event takes place at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Showgrounds’ Discovery Gardens on Saturday 16th March.