Torrential rain and flash floods didn’t stop new world no. 1 Tim Price from riding a near perfect cross country round aboard Ascona M to take the lead in the Longines CCI5*-L at the Luhmuhlen Horse Trials in Germany this morning.
Tim and Ascona M added just two time faults to their tally to take the lead on 27.8 penalty points with Alexander Bragg (GBR) aboard Zagreb and Sarah Bullimore (GBR) aboard Reve du Rouet both on their dressage scores of 29.7 and 32.1 respectively.
“Ascona M was great and used her bit of experience to get us round over a tough track,” said Tim. “She certainly felt really capable, dealing with the whole course really well. It is seriously exciting that she has emerged as a proper 5* horse, showing she deserves her place at the top level – she kept on fighting until the end.”
Just 22 of the original 33 combinations remain after six eliminations on the cross country today and five retirements. Four combinations made it home clear and inside time over the Mike Etherington-Smith-designed course. All bar three of the remaining 22 were clear but picked up time penalties.
Kazuma Tomoto (JAP) and Brookpark Vikenti, who were the overnight leaders coming into cross country day, were one of those to retire (at fence 18b) on course. Severe weather conditions in the morning saw a shuffle of times for the cross country.
Tim parted company with Falco towards the end (at fence 19b) of the CCI4*-S German Championship course but still had plenty of praise for the horse. “Falco was awesome, and a lot of progress was made with him today,” he said. “He did nothing wrong really, just one of those things . . . he made a huge leap over an angled brush and I ended up on the ground.”
Tim extended a huge thanks to the team at Luhmuhlen who had worked tirelessly to pump the deluge of water from the site. “The going was really good this afternoon after everywhere was under water this morning.”
Julia Krajewski (GER) and Samourai du Thot held on to their overnight lead to remain on their dressage score of 24.7 penalty points. Right behind them on 24.8 are Ingrid Klimke (GER) and SAP Asha P with Michael Jung (GER) and Highlighter having moved up from seventh to third on 28.3. Forty-three of the original 53 combinations remain in contention after two retirements and five eliminations on course. Three combinations withdrew before the cross country.
Seven combinations made it home clear and inside time and again it was predominantly time penalties being added to scores with only two combinations picking up jump faults. Tonight is the showumping where the winners will be found in both classes.
The horse details:
Ascona M – owned by Suzanne Houchin, Lucy and Ben Sangster and Sir Peter Vela
Falco – owned by Sue Benson
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ