Tim Price is feeling the highs and lows of the world of horses this morning after a cracker of a cross country round aboard Ascona M and a water dunking from Wesko in the CCI5*-L at Les 5 Etoiles de Pau in France.

“That’s life at the top level of the sport,” says the Rio Olympian. Tim remains in seventh spot on the leaderboard on a score of 44.5 penalty points with Ascona M after picking up just time faults. Tim McEwean (GBR) and Toledo de Kerser have held on to their overnight lead after adding just 0.8 penalties to their dressage score to finish the day on 25.7.

The only other Kiwi in the field, James Avery aboard Mr Sneezy has moved up to 21st spot on 79.2 penalty points.

There were three retirements during the cross country and nine eliminations, with just 29 combinations still in the running at the end of the day.

“It has been a bit of a bittersweet day,” said Tim. “Ava (Ascona M) was really good – she is a fighter and she really had a massive desire to go and do the job but then she needs a little bit of curbing and just that finding that balance between the two things cost me a bit of time today.”

Tim was early to go in the field had cost him too. “You have to feel your way a little bit without knowing a whole lot about the course so that was a factor as well.” However, he felt this is certainly a mare for the future. “She has a really majorly good ability to jump and (plenty of) scope and things and she is a very exciting mare.”

Ascona M had pulled up looking great and Tim was looking forward to the showjumping tonight. It was a different story with his “old mate” Wesko. “He was jumping a cracker of a round, just making it feel all very easy and we haven’t been to this stage of a big competition with him for a long time and it was great to be back there.”

The combination looked on track to come home clear and inside time, when the gelding stumbled on uneven ground at the last water complex and Tim was unseated. “It was utter bad luck,” he said. “I felt very unfortunate for that to happen so that we couldn’t actually properly bring it home and enjoy everything that brings. Disappointing is an understatement. He is fine and I am fine.”

ESNZ high performance eventing manager Graeme Thom said the cross country was a challenging and twisty track. “Tim showed his high international standing by being the first clear round of the day and setting the table for others to follow,” said Graeme. “James had an unfortunate 20 penalties but for both his and Mr Sneezy’s first 5*, they showed true professionalism with a smooth and confident round.”

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French Time  

NZ Time


Sunday 27th


1.30am Monday

Wesko – owned by The Windrush Equestrian Foundation
Ascona M – owed by Suzanne Houchin, Lucy and Ben Sangster and Sir Peter Vela
Mr Sneezy – owned by Tiny Clapham, and Ian and Heidi Woodhead

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ