New world No.1 Tim Price and Ascona M are primed and ready to take on the best at the Longines CCI5*-L and CCI4*-S Luhmuhlen Horse Trials in Germany this week in an effort to defend the title his wife Jonelle won last year.
The Kiwi duo who will contest the CCI5*-L had a perfect build-up to the event, with a comfortable win at the Tattersalls International Horse Trials CCI4*-S just two weeks ago. The 11-year-old grey Holsteiner mare is by Cassaro, out of Naomi (by Carpaccio) was previously ridden by Jonelle and she’s one he has plenty of confidence in. “She has always been a very quality mare and now the consistency is starting to come with time, training and maturity so it is really exciting,” he said. “We are feeling very ready for Luhmuhlen.”
Tim will also start 10-year-old German-bred Falco, who is by Cardenio 2, in the CCI4*-S at Luhmuhlen. “He is a cool little horse, and this will be his first shot at a bigger competition, so that will be good for him.”
Tim has fond memories of Luhmuhlen – aside from being a previous winner. “I came on foot to support my then girlfriend (and now wife) Jonelle in 2006,” he said. “It was my first experience of German hospitality.”
Both Tim and Jonelle are previous winners at Luhmuhlen – Tim taking it out in 2014 aboard Wesko and Jonelle in 2018 on Faerie Dianimo. She will not be defending her title this year.
Andrew Nicholson aboard Mr Cruise Control also won the top class at Luhmuhlen with Sir Mark Todd’s Leonidas II inducted into the ERA Hall of Fame there.
Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR) will design the cross country courses for both the 4* and 5* classes with Martin Otto (GER) taking care of the showjumping.
The first horse inspection in the 5* will be on Wednesday, followed by two days of dressage for both classes, the cross country on Saturday and showjumping on Sunday. There is a prize purse of 100,000 Euros on offer in the top class with 33,000 Euro for the winner.
Luhmuhlen is one of six 5* events worldwide and has hosted five European Champs and one World Championship in its 60-year history.
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